Place residence

LIFE HERE: A New Place | Open

Sometimes even the best things come to an end.

I no longer live in the Imperial Valley. Eleven months ago, my wife and I bought a house in a historic area of ​​Tucson and gradually began moving our business and our lives to Arizona.

The move is complete. Our home in Imperial has been sold and we’ve moved into a beautiful but older home and neighborhood in Midtown Tucson near the University of Arizona. The old house needs a few upgrades, but overall the house, the neighborhood, and Tucson are proving to be wonderful places to live.

The Imperial Valley, however, will always be my home, will always have a home in my heart and mind. I will visit often and continue to write for this journal.

I lived in the Valley for 32 years. I met my wife in the valley. I raised a child in the valley. I coached and refereed youth sports teams in the Valley. I had two long runs at two great jobs in the valley. I have parents, former students and colleagues that I love in the Valley. My Valley basketball buddies, many of whom I played hoops with twice a week for nearly three decades, are among my closest friends.

As my wife and I were retiring from our primary jobs, we decided, like many people in the Valley, to live elsewhere in retirement. Frankly, unless you have grandkids in the valley, and we don’t, there’s not much to do as retirees other than eat Mexican or Chinese.

So we started looking and narrowed down the search to three places.

We love San Diego, but we can’t afford a house in San Diego.

Sacramento is nice but expensive. It also lacks… I don’t know… funk.

Tucson, however, has funk in packages. It has a thriving artistic community. He brought Linda Ronstadt and the great rock’n’roll/cowpunk band the Supersuckers into the world.

It offers everything my wife and I love to do, including eating at great restaurants, going to plays and concerts, seeing great movies. We are already a member of the neighboring community cinema, which shows art films from all over the world. We can and do walk to U of A sporting events. We can and do walk to great restaurants.

I want to spend my remaining time writing and, if possible, participating in film production, and Tucson has active writing and film communities.

And Tucson is affordable. Real estate prices are reasonable and taxes are low.

People have asked us, “Why move from a place where it’s hot as hell to another place where it’s hot as hell?”

But it’s not that hot in Tucson. On a recent day in the Imperial Valley, when it was 114 degrees, the high in Tucson was 97. Tucson is typically 10-15 degrees cooler than the Valley in the summer, especially during Tucson’s monsoon season .

And yes, we could have moved to Phoenix, but Phoenix is ​​as hot as the Imperial Valley and its metropolitan area is five times larger than Tucson’s, and I’m more of a mid-city guy than a big-city guy. .

However, it wasn’t just the lifestyle and weather choices that prompted the move. I lost three of my closest friends during the pandemic and watched others I know die too soon. With the time I had left, I decided. I wanted to live somewhere where I had long dreamed of living.

I loved Tucson ever since I visited as a college student, when I came to watch the Fresno State baseball team, where my close friend played catcher, play against the University of Arizona in the playoffs of the NCAA. Although the U of A fans were tough on the Fresno State players and on the Fresno State student supporters of which I was one, I remember thinking to myself, “I really like this place.”

And now I live in Tucson…thankfully.

Much of my heart, however, will always remain in the Imperial Valley.

Bret Kofford is a screenwriter and retired full-time lecturer in writing and film at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley. He can be contacted at [email protected]