I remember a long hot drive from Phoenix to Tucson. I was 9, maybe 10.
I had absolutely no idea where we were going. I didn't know if we were moving to Tucson or going to see someone. I don't remember eating much. But I know I really wanted a Twinkie. That was out of the question though. My mom was on a serious health kick. We were NOT allowed to have any sugar or meat. I guess I didn't care, but I could not stop thinking about Twinkie's. It was a creamy rich fluffy sugary explosion in your mouth. I was gonna have to suck it up and eat a peanut butter and honey sandwich on some nasty whole wheat bread. To me, I'd rather just eat a handful of rocks.
My mom was gorgeous. No, she was HOT! She was dolled up and going to play music at the local zoo. She was on a mission and my baby sister and I were going to be on her ship. There was a rather large jolly man telling stories to children and playing Tibetan bells. He wore overall jeans and smelled like strawberry jam and cream cheese. There was a small dog in his front pocket. I learned many years later that he was an American Communist who became an informer for the FBI. He was all set up on the hillside at the zoo. And my mom was getting ready to play her flute behind his story.
But I was a child and I could care less what this jovial gentleman did for a living. I just wanted to put my clothes somewhere and know where I was going to sleep. We stayed with this storyteller Job. Job Matusow was his name. He had a house on 4th Avenue. His wife Emily was a quiet woman who laughed a lot. She was happy to have us stay. It turned out the house was gifted to him in trade to tell his stories. I looked around the house which had no furniture, just some beds. I had a bed upstairs along with some other people. I settled in and took my clothes out of the black trash bag I carried them in. I quickly became friends with a girl with red curly hair. She could juggle and play violin.
Lots of good looking people started showing up. I didn't even know it was the hippie generation. Job was the ring leader and everyone wanted to get in on his show. He was eccentric. I get that. But he wasn't a charmer. Not really. Somehow though, he charmed a lot of people into getting people to join his circus. And we were signed up. My mom was having the time of her life playing music with a bunch of creative souls. And all I wanted was a Twinkie. There was no way I was getting out of this circus.
Job Matusow was flying high! He had rich folks giving him money to support his theater company he called Magic Mouse. My mom was one of the players in the band. They were singing hippy songs about love and hugging trees and being free. Every Saturday was the gig. The gig at Reid Park Zoo on 22nd St. I don't know when it happened but eventually we were living in another place. A little shack behind Safeway. My mom just met Ron, who played wicked jazz guitar. He actually played guitar not just with his fingers but with expressions on his face! I was almost 12. And that’s when I realized I might like to play guitar.