Monthly Archives: February 2020


We moved to Tucson in June of 1982 and the skies were not cloudy at all. My wife even commented that she was going to find it difficult to live in an area without clouds. By August that had all changed, and now one of our great joys is seeing the seemingly endless shapes that clouds can take. On a recent trip up the mountains I saw one formation where the clouds ran almost from horizon to horizon in a straight line.

That same day we saw one that at first looked like an embryo, but on closer inspection was a human face looking to the left, with a huge shock of hair curling over its ear.

We have seen clouds that were almost square, as well as one with streaks radiating out from a center. When we see things like this my wife is glad she stayed.

Lately I have been completing a set of paintings for my next watercolor show. It will open at the Contreras Gallery in Tucson (110 E. 6th Street), Saturday March 7 from 6 to 9pm. Our son, Owen, will also have paintings in the show which will continue most of the month.

Fall in Turkey Run

A week after the opening Owen and I will share a booth at the Tucson Festival of Books, March 14 and 15, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. I will have my books and cards on sale, and Owen will have books published by his publishing company, Hardy Perennial Press. We would love to see you at Booth 265.


I have been thinking a lot lately of my brother Jack (John Wells Rose), who died January 18 at the age of 95). We were in a family of 12 children. Jack was number 7 and I was number 9. My other five brothers have all passed on, and three of my five sisters have died. This causes me to stop and think about life, and how precious every moment is.

Jack married and moved to Pittsburgh, so I did not see much of him until 1971 when he was a key person in helping me start a church summer camp, which we called “Laurel” (Since it was held in Laurel Hill State Park, Pennsylvania.) When my wife, Louise, and I moved to Tucson we had to hand over leadership of the camp to other people, and brother Jack kept the whole thing going. It is going to this day!

There were other connections between us, notably singing together in a barbershop quartet.
I was a student in Bryn Athyn, PA when Jack, invited me to join. He did all the organizing. Jack sang top tenor. I sang lead. Our friend, Hilary Simons, sang baritone, and our brother-in-law, Larry Soneson, sang bass. We called ourselves the “Campus Quarter” since we were all university students at the time. Thanks to Jack’s initiative , we had many gigs, including being contestants in the New Jersey State Championship (which we won), and being on television on the amateur hour.

Larry, Hilary, Frank, Jack and our father, Don Rose

The amateur hour was started by Major Bowes (Edward Bowes – 1874-1946) as a competitive show. When he died, his assistant, Ted Mack (William Edward Maguiness – 1904-1976) took over and they moved the show to Television. Brother Jack got us on the show as contestants, (there were 8 skits per show), and on that show we won the popular vote. When we came back the next week, Ted said that we were shoe-ins to win again. If we won three times in a row, we would get $2,000 (the equivalent of at least $20,000 in today’s money). That was not to be. One of the contestants was an elderly woman who played the fiddle, and kept time by clacking her false teeth. People wrote or phoned in, and she was an easy winner that week. Perhaps it is just as well. Frank Sinatra was the shows most successful contestant.

So I am thinking fondly of Jack and how he enriched my life and the life of so many other people.