Life Along the Streetcar with Tom Heath from The Heath Team Nova Home Loans

Cele Peterson - Interview with Daniel Buckley

On this week’s show, our guest is Daniel Buckley, who at one point in his life studied lunar and planetary geology at the University of Arizona. He was also the very first act to perform at Tucson’s Downtown venerable Club Congress. He’s a movie producer, he’s a newspaper writer, he’s got a wide background and today, we talk to him about another Tucson icon, Cele Peterson.

Today is February 26th, my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”.

Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app. Reach us by email [email protected] — interact with us on Facebook at LifeAlongTheStreetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with music from John Bennett, “Dressmaker.”

Transcript (Unedited)

Good morning. It’s a beautiful Sunday in the old pueblo and you’re listening to Ktdt tucson. Thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on your Downtown tucson community sponsored, all volunteer powered rock and roll radio station.

On this week’s show, our guest is Daniel Buckley, who at one point in his life studied lunar and planetary geology at the University of Arizona. He was also the very first act to perform at Tucson’s Downtown venerable Club Congress. He’s a movie producer, he’s a newspaper writer, he’s got a wide background and today, we talk to him about another Tucson icon, Cele Peterson.

Today is February 26, 2023. My name is Tom heath and you’re listening to life along the streetcar. Each and every Sunday, our focuses on social, cultural and economic impacts in tucson’s urban core, and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about, from a mountain to the University of Arizona and all stops in between. You get the inside track right here on 99.1

FM, streaming on, also available on your iphone or Android. Using our very own Downtown Radio tucson app, you can interact with us on Facebook and Instagram. If you want to learn more about the show. You can also head over to our website with information about who we are, some of our past episodes, our book, and other ways to contact us. And that website is And of course, you can listen to our podcast on all kinds of platforms like spotify, itunes, or simply asking your smart speaker to play Life Along the Streetcar podcast. We are wrapping up. February and March brings with it some amazing events in tucson. One coming up next weekend is the tucson Festival of Books. I’m a huge fan of this one, been involved with it since really the very first day on campus. I don’t know, 1415 years ago. I showed up as a volunteer and I’ve been doing it ever since. My excitement is not just because of the weekend, but also that this event does so much for our community.

It brings people in from around the world. It raises money at this free event to support literacy efforts here in tucson, and they just have a tremendous amount of wonderful authors and presentations. You may have seen the news that the Linda Ronstein is coming to speak and Bernie Sanders will be here. And a few other notable speakers and panelists, 300 plus authors in total, will be on the U of A mall for the fourth and fifth of this month. Well, next month the March dates there. And Life Along the Streetcar for the second year is going to have a booth at the tucson Festival Books. It’s number two one three. So if you are out and about on Saturday or Sunday next weekend, have your headphones in listening to Downtown Radio on the app and swing by booth 213. Maybe we’ll have a sticker or something there for you as well. Say hi to my friends. Jeff and Julie will be working there parts of the day as well. Someone else to say hello to is Daniel buckley. He’s our guest today. Very entertaining,

wide background. We’re going to do a show just on him. Everything that he has done, we talked a little bit about in the introduction, but he was someone that was referred to me as an expert on Seal peterson, and I really wanted to do a story on her because it’s a person that I’ve heard about since I’ve been in tucson, but didn’t really fully understand. And the more I researched, the more I was just overwhelmed by her impact in our community. So I wanted to find out about her. And Dan was the man that everyone told me to talk to.

So I reached out to Facebook World and I said, hey, I want to do a show on Seal peterson and who should I talk to? And I got multiple people that said, you should talk to Dan buckley. And so I reached out to Dan buckley and have you on the show now. And I’m not going to go too far into your introduction because we would take about 30 minutes just to go through everything you’ve accomplished. But you’ve got an art background, a film background. You’re working on a film right now about the mariachi miracle. How does all of this lead people to say, you’ve got to talk to Dan about Seal peterson?

Well, Seal and I kind of orbited around one another for a long time before we actually started having really concrete conversations. In fact, she was 101 years old before we really started getting into it. But our first interactions came in the 70s when I was working for a record store in elkhan when elcon was the only mall in the city and Seal had a store there. And I had dated a woman who had worked for Seal. I had good friends that were working for her. I’m sure she cursed me out under her breath as she passed my store on the way to the bank every day, because the guys that worked in my store were always playing the music way too loud. But we had minor interactions then. I knew who she was and that sort of thing. I did not realize again the scope of who this woman was until later on. And then in the mid eighty s nineteen eighty seven actually, I started working for the tucson Citizen after working for the Weekly for a while as a music writer. And of course, I would run into Seal and

her daughter katya at the symphony and the opera. And then as I was getting into more historic things about tucson, I would run into her everywhere, anytime anything was happening. When they dedicated the presidio downtown, there was Seal when anything of any importance was going down politically, if there was something that really put important things in the balance. You could always count on the fact that Seal was going to be there and she was going to speak about it. And so we kind of knew each other casually through that. And then her 100th birthday came up and the citizen asked me to interview her. Well, I want to tell you, that was one hell of an interview. It was so much fun. She was practically blind as a bat. We held the interview in her shop where she held court still three days a week and 100 years old. damned this woman. Just unbelievable energy and desire to do things. She held my hand through the whole thing. I had a camera shooting over my shoulder. She would lean into me

and go completely out of frame and there was no way for me to know it, but the sound was good, so who cared? We just threw in old pictures of her and man, she was a knockout when she was a young lady. And she told me these epic stories of her life of growing up in bisby. When she was a very little girl, they went to visit her aunt up in San Francisco, and the aunt had just bought a new sewing machine and she said to her, now, cecilia, don’t you dare touch this sewing machine. And of course, the first thing Seal did when she walked out of the room was go over and put her finger on the sewing machine and an earthquake aftershock hit and she was absolutely certain that she had caused it. And it’s hilarious, but this is the kind of things that went on in seal’s life.

Well, I, and, oh, I moved to tucson in, in the 90s, like 93 and, and of course, you know, Seal peterson’s stores were around and I knew the name and she passed, what, 2010, I think. And it wasn’t until I really started getting involved with downtown that I really understood what you said, that she was involved with everything. Children’s Museum, she was on a numerous board. She was the University of Arizona. The mayor says she’s just pretty much walks in my office whenever she needs. She sees a problem and tells me to fix it. And I thought, how does this happen from a fashion icon? And just started reading these stories and just completely it’s almost superhuman, the strength and amount of time she was able to get things done in a day.

It is true. She had a charm about her. She was just charming and lovely to everyone. And I remember Linda Onstadt found out that one of her relatives was being beaten up by a spouse and asked her why she didn’t leave him. And she said, Well, I’d have to leave my kids. And so Linda ponied up a million dollars out of her own pocket to build a battered women’s shelter for women where they could bring their kids with them. And it was Seal who made it happen. And Seal found the property. Seal got everything going inside of a year that thing was built and occupied. And that is so typically Seal. Well, I have to tell you about this 100th birthday party because I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life. They had it at one of her friend’s house, and there was a line that wrapped not only around the house, but down the block and around the block. And this line included dignitaries, government officials, former mayors, former council people, current council people in state government, people

in federal government, as well as nobodies whose path she had crossed or who she had on her show, Star of the Day. She had a radio show here in the town.

I didn’t know.


Star of the day. Okay.

Star of the day.

And we’re going to cut it right there for a moment. We’re going to do a quick break and then we’re going to be back to learn more about Star of the Day. We’re with Daniel buckley talking about Seal peterson. And just so you know, this is going to be a two week adventure with Dan. This first segment was part one of four. Part two will be right after the break. But first, I want to remind you that you are listening to Lifelong, the Streetcar on downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on

Greetings and salutations, downtown radio listeners. paleo Dave, your unfrozen caveman DJ, here to spread the good word about the scrambled sunrise rock mix happening every weekday morning from seven to 09:00 A.m. Right here on downtown radio from the earliest days of psych punk and new wave to 80s college rock, 90s alternative, and the ongoing wave of 21st century indie rock. It’s all right here on the scrambled sunrise, so tune in via 99.1 FM if you’re in the greater downtown area or streaming worldwide via downtown

Paleo Dave doing a great job every day, Monday through Friday at 07:00 A.m.. He’s he’s a staple in my life now. I listen to him just about every day for a chunk of the morning there. We’re going to get back into our interview with Daniel buckley just before the break. We were talking about Seal peterson, of course, and he was discussing her show called Star of the Day. So we’re going to pick up that segment here and carry it through. And this is going to be part two of our series on Seal peterson. Parts three and four will be next Sunday. So it’s a two week adventure with Dan buckley and Seal peterson, and honestly, it’s just not even enough to do her justice. This woman is an incredible foundation of tucson and deserves more than what we’re giving her. But this is what we’ve got at the moment, and I’m excited to share it with you. So let’s pick up again that second part of today’s interview with Dan buckley regarding Seal peterson and her show that she was doing on a daily basis about

wonderful people here in tucson.

She would interview ordinary people that she found out about who were doing interesting things. And how that came about was she got pissed off at whoever the publisher was and I don’t know whether it was the star of The Citizen, but she was not happy about how they were treating her ads. And he basically said to her, well, that’s just tough, take it or leave it. And she said, I’m leaving it, and started her own radio show. And she had that show for decades and it was a daily show. It was like a Monday through Friday show, a short show, like 20 minutes a day or something like that. But she did that for decades. Really extraordinary. So anyway, getting back to this crowd that was wrapped around the building, I remember Lalogo’s son Dan singing his song barrio viejo to her during his two minutes in front of her. And I remember Chuck bowden, the writer, brought her his latest book and he said to her, I don’t know what you’re going to do with this Seal. He can maybe smack people over the head

with it. He was hilarious. Linda ronstadt sang at her 100th birthday party. Gabby gifford showed up. And one of the things that people don’t know about Seal is well, she graduated high school when she was 14, lived in bisby and went to the U of A. And then her mother found out that she was dating 21, 22 year old guys and said to how would that pulled her out of the U of A and sent her to an all girls school on the East Coast in Virginia, close to Washington DC. Well, all of her friends were working on Capitol Hill. And so Seal went and talked to Senator Carl hayden and asked him for a job. And he said, can you translate Spanish into English? And she said, well I can try. And so she spent a number of years working from the Library of Congress translating historic documents from arizona’s early history from Spanish into English. Well, on her 100th birthday, gabby giffords collected everything that she had translated, had it leather bound and presented it to her.


It was unbelievable. And, you know, so I wrote this piece in The Citizen about her and she told me these stories, you know, that were just so hilarious. The story that I just told you a second ago about her feeling like she had caused an earthquake in San Francisco was one of many really hilarious stories. And about a year later, as I say, she was 101 years old at this point actually she had her niece or her granddaughter contact me on Facebook and pass along her phone number. And I was just told, Seal would like to talk to you. And so I called Seal and she said to me, well, Dan, I’m writing a book, and I want it to be funny. And you’re funny, so will you help me write the book? Well, I didn’t have to do shit. She was hilarious. Her stories were wonderful, and they were charming. The book was to be titled undressed Women memories of the Fashion Industry. And my favorite story was of her when she how she started the clothing business in the middle of the Depression, a high end clothing business

was she made a bet with a guy in Virginia that she could do it and keep the business open for a year. Well, the guy she met was Tom peterson, the guy that she ended up marrying. He had the wisdom after she did it, to move to tucson and marry her. And I never met Tom. I’m really sorry. I know that he was fascinating in and of himself. Just to have that wisdom, to realize this is the gal. Anyway, she told me the story about first buying trip she did to New York City. And it was the middle of winter. She went with a girlfriend. She had a partner in the business originally. It wasn’t called sealed. peterson’s It was called the College Shop. And so they hopped on a train, and in the middle of winter, they went back. Well, it’s cold back there. And she was wearing a fur coat, and she had a fur muff, one of those hand warmer things that looked like a mini mink stove. And she brought a little pistol along with her in case there are two young women traveling by themselves, who knows what’s going

to happen?

This is like 1930s.

Yes, this is early 1930s. And so she gets to New York and she finds out at the hotel that it’s illegal to have a gun. So she doesn’t want to leave it in the hotel and have the maid catch her and turn her in. So she just brings it with her as she goes out to do the buying. And she goes into this one place, and the guy there is like every typical guy in the world. Oh, little lady, you’re from the Wild West. Can you ride a horse? Yes, I can ride a horse. Can you shoot a gun? She pulls it out of the muff and she says, if I have to, and puts it back in comedic timing like you’ve never heard. She waits the perfect beat, and she says to me, I had the best service from those people. From there forward,

she was a hoot. She was just so charming. I spent every Wednesday with her from the Wednesday after she and I talked on the phone until the day before she died. And that day she was in a coma at her daughter’s house. And I went over and just hung out with her, talk to her, and then the next day she was done. And that was a sad day. For me because I really felt like I had lost a good friend. And those stories are just so good.

Yeah. So good, for sure. And in fact, they’re so good. You’re going to want to tune in next Sunday when we do the last segments of our interview with Daniel buckley. We talked with him for quite a while and we’ve got it kind of pared down into today’s show and then next week’s show with a couple of segments on Seal peterson as well. Wonderful, remarkable woman stories are phenomenal. Her impact in tucson, her drive, is just all incredible. Kind of embarrassed that it’s taken me this long to have a show about her, but I’m glad we’re finally getting it done. My name is Tom heath. You are listening to Life Along the Streetcar on downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on

You’re listening to Ktdt, tucson, Arizona, 99.1 FM, downtown radio. I’m Brother Mark, host of a show called Radio Club Crawl that airs every Tuesday at 03:00 P.m.. We try to focus on most of the bands that are coming through tucson, and we give you a tasty taste of their music. You want to check out what’s happening around tucson? Check out Radio Club crawl. tuesdays, 03:00 P.m., right here on Ktdt. tucson, Arizona. 99.1 FM, downtown radio.

Thank you very much. Enjoy your evening. bye bye. Yeah, Brother Mark does some great things on the station. He’s got a great talent for music in general. But this club crawl is phenomenal. You get to listen to all these bands that are going to be playing in tucson, and then you can find out if it’s something that you like and if you want to go hear him, then you do it. And he’s got other shows, too, so check them out. And you can get all that information on, all of our shows. Speaking of which, coming up next at the bottom of the hour, Ted Prazelski with words and work as he talks to writers and members of the labor movement. And then at the top of the hour, ty Logan and Heavy Mental gets us back into the music, which starts up at back up at 01:00. And you can listen to speakerbox Xovibe sunday omec underground animusic you know, it’s just good stuff. And then this evening at 09:00 P.m., the Love shack, which I love their I love their description on our website. The Love

shack is a kaleidoscope of sounds from across the globe. Just that visual image there. It’s fabulous. Hey, throughout the week, plenty. Plenty to listen to, not just these fabulous talk shows on Sundays. Hey, I want to thank Daniel buckley for the time he spent with us. It was quite a bit of information on Seal peterson, so much so that it’s turned into two episodes. So next week, we’re going to have the conclusion of that conversation we had with Dan buckley, and then he’ll be back in the future because he’s got just such an interesting history. He started the show talking about he’s a planetary geologist. He was the opening act when Club Congress finally got off the ground there in downtown tucson. First person to play there. I mean, that just in of itself is really, really quite amazing. And then we got some other cool shows lined up, interesting events, topics. Things that we find interesting are not necessarily what you want to hear. So if that’s the case, you got to tell us what’s

something we’re missing? What’s a hidden gem out there that everyone should be talking about? How do we get that information? Well, you you head over to Instagram and Facebook and you tag us, you mention us. You know, all that stuff you do in the meta world, I think it’s called, or the metaverse, I don’t know. It pops up on my phone and I then know something’s on there. I got a research, but you can also go over to our website, There’s a contact button there if you want to reach us that way. And you can also check out some of our past episodes over there.

Come out and see us at the Festival of Books. Booth number 213. Is that what it is? Let me check that up really quick. I’ve got so many numbers running through my head right now. Booth 213, it’s a really prime location. We’re going to have all kinds of fun stuff out there. We’ll be able to get a copy of the book and I would love to meet some of you. Also have some other items kind of working in conjunction with the tucson Gallery. So we’ll have some art reprints and stickers and things like that. If you wanted to come out, we’d love to see it. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, that’s fine. Just come out and support the tucson Festival of Books if it’s within your schedule to do so. Hoping for great weather, great turnout, lots of fun speakers. And at the end of the day, it really is about bringing community together. And then my last pitch for the day is about community radio and downtown radio because 99.1 FM is a beautiful station that I’ve just been a joy to be a pleasure to be

a part of for the last several years. And it doesn’t happen without your support. So there’s a donate button. Click it and maybe make a little bit of a donation to keep things rolling here in downtown tucson, underground radio and wherever you might be listening from around the world. Thanks again to Dan buckley. And as we head out today, we’re going to leave you some music that kind of ties into our theme today. It’s from a gentleman named John Bennett. This is off an album we found from 2016. The album is called A Saints Book, and the title of the song, I think very appropriate it’s called the dressmaker. My name is Tom heath. I hope you have a great week and tune in next Sunday for more life along the streetcar.