John’s high school classmate Ron and wife Kathy had fun things planned for our visit. They drove us about Tucson for a little while before going to Pinnacle Peak restaurant. There are a group of stores and restaurants with a Western theme clustered about a small train. We ate dinner at a fun place where the rafters were full of men’s ties. Years ago they declared it an informal eatery, and any tie being worn would be cut off. There are shops that sell ties for 3 or 4 dollars, so you can buy a cheap tie and wear it there. We were in luck. There was a big announcement that two people were wearing ties. Wait staff clapped, brought out the scissors, cut the ties, and called for general applause. One boy was wearing a tee shirt and a haphazardly knotted tie. You should have seen the grin on his face as they hacked his tie.
After dinner we rode the little train and poked about a few shops before going home to continue talking.
Ron picked out a marvelous church for us to go to. It was a Presbyterian church that was nearby. They were celebrating the reformed heritage on Reformation Sunday. There was an excellent bagpipe band that piped the choir and ministers into the church in a formal procession. Many people in the congregation were wearing tartans in one form or another — a hat, a stole, a skirt.
We sang A Mighty Fortress, and the first rate organist played several chorale preludes based on that famous Reformation hymn. Ron couldn’t have known that I grew up in a Presbyterian church or that my family came from Scotland in the 1600’s. John and I were pleased with the Lutheran bits, knowing some of the churches we often go to might not celebrate the day as enthusiastically as this group did. We learned that Kathy also went to a Presbyterian church when she was young.
After brunch at a marvelously preserved hotel, we reluctantly said goodbye to Kathy and Ron and headed toward Colorado again.