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

On this week’s show, we’re going to feature a book that came from this show. The book’s title is called “My Life along the Streetcar: A Collection of Interviews,” and it’s seven stories from our first year on the air that shaped the show. It shaped the vision and shaped our community.

Today is June 19th, Happy Juneteenth, 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 @Life Along the Streetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with music from Betty Carter, “I Could Write A Book.”


Good morning. It’s another beautiful day in the old Weblow. I want to thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on KTD, your downtown Tucson community sponsor rock and roll radio station.

On this week’s show, we’re going to feature a book that came from this show. The book’s title is called “My Life along the Streetcar: A Collection of Interviews,” and it’s seven stories from our first year on the air that shaped the show. It shaped the vision and shaped our community.

Today is June 19. It’s June 10. It’s Father’s Day. My name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to Life along the Streetcar. Each and every Sunday are focused on social, cultural and economic impacts in Tucson’s urban core. We shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about, from a mountain to You, Arizona, and all stops in between. You get the inside track right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on And if you ever go to your App store, whatever you do on the Google phone and get the Downtown Radio

Tucson app, you can take us wherever you go on the show. You can reach us with the email address, [email protected], and a lot of people. And I think we prefer if you can reach out to us on Facebook and Instagram. Our website is and it has all of our past episodes as well as some ways to get a hold of us. And our podcast is on all those cool platforms like Spotify, itunes, iHeartRadio, all those good places you’d like to find podcasts. Well, it is Juneteen th. This is a new federal holiday being celebrated, recognized tomorrow. It’s actually being celebrated today. We did a feature on this a couple of years ago. And if you head over to that website I just mentioned in Google, in the search bar there on the shows page, you’ll find June 8. You’ll hear our story about a celebration and the history of it. This is an important recognition of a holiday here in the United States. You probably know the story, but the Emancipation Proclamation from President

Abraham Lincoln freed the enslaved African Americans on January of 1863, but that did not get to the entire country that date, it took years. And June 10 represents the point where a group in Texas were informed of this proclamation and set free. It was years later. It was a couple of years later. And that is why we celebrate June 8. As of last year, it’s been recognized as a federal holiday, so people will have tomorrow off banks and such. So happy June 10, happy Freedom Day. And it’s also Father’s Day, so all kinds of celebrations happening on the show. We have a celebration happening. And I thought today, rather than have an exciting, fascinating guest come in and talk to us about amazing things happen in our urban core, I’d rather regale your stories about my success and my excitement of writing a book. We’ve talked about it a couple of times on the show, but we’ve never really featured it. Thought today would be the day. I am not a father of biological children, but I am a father of

a book. And it was a painstaking process, believe it or not. The book is called My Life Along the Streetcar a Collection of Interviews. The concept came out of covet, of course. We weren’t doing anything and thought we weren’t having too many shows, doing too many interviews. Let’s get this information out in a different way. And so I thought, let’s write a book. And the bulk of this book would be transcripts from the show’s guests. And then we started kind of plotting out what this looks like. And keep in mind, we’ve been on the air for almost five years now. We’ve got over 200 episodes. We’ve talked to 175 individual guests. We had a lot of content, and that book was going to be like a thousand pages. So we decided, you know what, let’s kind of break this down. Let’s focus on that first year. We started in October of 2017. The first twelve months of that, we had about 60 shows, 50 to 60 shows somewhere in there, I don’t remember and what story stood out. So I talked to a couple of people

that have helped me with the show over the years. My partner in this, his name is James Porto. He is the man behind the scenes. He is the one that will make sure that the radio show turns into a podcast and gets in all the appropriate places. He is also a photographer and web designer, all kinds of skill sets. So he helped with the layout of the book, and he and I came up with the content and the vision. We decided we’re going to tell the story of why we tell the story. The book became seven featured stories from 2017 and 2018 that really highlighted why I wanted to do the radio show Life Along the Streetcar. And we went into those transcripts, pulled out a good chunk of those, edited them up with the help of a local editor, and contacted each one of these guests, went back to them and kind of got updated information, in some cases were relevant. We went out and took pictures and added to the story that was there. And then James did the hard part of putting it all together in this beautiful


We launched this really in earnest in 2021, and I personally thought it was going to take a couple of months, and it took over a year. We finally got the book in the format that we wanted and was delivered to us in April. We have been in since kind of figuring out how do we then get this book out into the world? And we still don’t quite know how to do that yet, but we’re making some progress. The book is called My Life Along the Streetcar collection of interviews. And I got to tell you, it was challenging to put together, but to hold something in your hands that you created like that, it’s just a wonderful feeling. And I’m so appreciative of James and his efforts to make this happen. Our cover art is by a local artist named Julie Bonner. We’ve really kind of been that quintessential local book and focused on those local topics, the seven stories we decided to share. We have Steve Farley telling us the history of the streetcar. We chose the streetcar as the theme of the show for a reason,

and we explain that reason in the book. And Steve Farley gives us a good overview as to how the streetcar got from an idea that was fought among our citizens to bring to fruition and how it actually came to be. So we started the story with that and then we discussed the importance of some key places here in Tucson, one of which is Mission Garden. We have featured them numerous times on the show because within the several acres of that confined space at the base of a mountain, volunteers are recreating the agricultural history that is making Tucson such a special place. We know there’s a history of thousands of years, 10,000 plus years of people using this region, using the Santa Cruz as their home. And for the last 4200 years, there’s evidence that it’s been an uninterrupted period of agricultural history and development. The volunteers within size of Mission Garden are recreating that and that really is just the perfect story. It was the very first story we told on the show for a reason.

And it not only tells about the commitment of volunteers to our community, it not only highlights the 4200 years worth of agricultural history, it’s become a symbol of a sustainable model of how to use local grains, local ingredients to create local products. You just heard last week that Donguera from Barrio Bread was announced as a James Beard winner. Not just a finalist, but a winner of that prestigious award. And a lot of it has to do with his use of locally sourced ingredients. And that is the value proposition of a place like Mission Garden. When we got the City of Gastronomy designation, I think it was in 2017, but a few years ago, a large part of the reason why was because of the work done with inside of Mission Garden and those volunteers. So we thought we had to share that story. It was the first one we did on the show and it was a big part of the book. We went back out, we talked to Roger Pfeiffer, who was our guest on the show when it aired and got an updated tour. We saw some

really cool things happening. We got some beautiful photos and they’re all captured within the book. We’re going to take a really quick break here and when we come back, we’ll share the other five components of the book and why I think this is an important piece of work, not just because I was involved with it, because of the stories that it tells. But I do want to remind you that you are currently listening to the radio show Life Along the Streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtown

This podcast is sponsored by the Mortgage Guidance Group and Noble Home Loans. If you enjoyed this podcast, keep listening or head over to for all of our past episodes, current events and things to do while visiting Tucson tom Heath and a MLS number 182420 Nova and a MLS number 3087 BK number 090-2429 equal Housing Opportunity

welcome back. If you’re just joining us, normally we have an exciting guest, someone who’s having a huge impact on our urban core doing amazing things. And today we decided not to do that. And you’re stuck with me telling you the story of the book we just created. And truthfully though, I think it’s a good piece of work, it’s not just a vanity project that it is something that highlights seven key stories of how this show came to be and why we’re still doing it after five years. And the stories that we chose were emblematic of the reason we started the radio show to begin with. And they were also influential in giving us direction as to where we would go with the show. And most importantly, these were entities that are important in Tucson for a variety of reasons. We chose seven topics that ranged all the way from Mission Garden at the base of the mountain, all the way to the University of Arizona. And we told the story before the break of Mission Garden and then the book covers the Presidio

Museum. And again, this is a frequent topic on the show, so it’s probably no surprise to you how much we love that place. But being Father’s Day and the founder of that Spanish Spanish mission, the Spanish Presidio was James Hugo, a man named Hugo O’Connor or Hugo Okano, I believe the Spanish would call him. And he is considered the father of Tucson. We know the area has been around for 10,000 years, but this European version of Tucson, this more modern version, happened in the late 1007 hundreds and it was at the foundation of the Presidio Santa Gusta. So today, being Father’s Day, we also celebrate the father of Tucson, Hugo Okinawa. We told that story and had some beautiful photos. James captured a great photo of the cannon that fires it. The cannon is what really led me to want to do a radio show. When I found out that there’s a cannon that fires off on second Saturdays and after being in Tucson for 20 years, I did not know that it started me on this quest that ended up being the radio

show and James went out and got a beautiful photo of them on the second Saturday reenactment of that cannon firing. As we move sort of down the streetcar route, we tell important stories of Amago Day. It’s a middle school in downtown Tucson that has an extremely successful graduation rate. Their students go on to a 95 plus percent graduation rate in high school, the highest in Pima County by far. They do this without federal or state money for the large part, and they do it with a population that is largely made up of refugees. And English can be a challenging language for them. So not only are they having success in school, they’re also helping them have success in our community. And the school is focused on all of the family aspects, not just the academics. So we had to feature that story in there. We go over towards Fourth Avenue and we share the story of the Food Conspiracy coop they’re right in the middle of a huge expansion, decades in the same location, and bringing fresh quality

food to the urban core was their mission, to do it in a cooperative way, starting in a parking lot and then later taking over the building. It was a story we felt we had to tell. We thought it was very influential in the community development and also a great example of this vision over time, coming from idea to implementation. And now, after doing the original story, we had a chance to go back and find out about their huge expansion. As they’re moving to the east on property that they own, they’re expanding the building, opening up a new entrance, providing more opportunities for people to learn about their efforts and sustainability. So we had to share that story. Got some great photos in there of the staff working as well. And because we talked about the co op, we also mentioned the things on Fourth Avenue, like Bachelor, Bacher, who the Cider Tap Room, only one in Tucson. It’s on Fourth Avenue. And we got to talk with them. So we put a little expert in there, a little excerpt in there

about them. Not a huge feature, but enough to wet the whistle, so to speak. Get your appetite a little wet there and then pop cycle next door. And certainly wench with

against smaller features or smaller articles, not full features like we did for the co op. But in each one of these stories, I thought we were pretty smart. We put QR codes embedded into the text so that you could actually, if you’re reading it, just pick up your phone, scan that QR code, and it would take you over to the stories that we shared on the air and the interview itself. So it’s actually an interactive book. So we’re kind of cool that way. And then we kept going along and louise Pucar Marshall that story just amazed me that this woman, one of the first professors, female professors, at the University of Arizona, ends up buying all the land outside of the university, creates what we now known as Main Gate Square philanthropic, gives so much money back to the community and a name that we didn’t hear a lot about. So we were excited to share her story of Louise Fucar Marshall and how it became the Marshall Foundation and the impact that over 100 years later she is still having in

our community because of her vision in the early one thousand nine hundred s. And then we tell the story of the USS Arizona Mall Memorial, which to me is one of the biggest hidden gems along the streetcar out because it’s the outline of the entire USS Arizona ship. It’s done in curbing that’s about six inches wide. And so unless you’re aware of it, you walk over it without really understanding what that is. But once you see it and it’s full spectrum and you realize that from that cactus garden on the u of a mall all the way up to the old Main, that that whole area is basically the size of the USS Arizona. It’s a huge footprint. And you get to feel that and walk that, and if you weren’t paying attention, you’d walk right over it. But you would see the memorial with the 1177 Medallions representing the sailors and Marines who lost their life on the USS Arizona as part of the Pearl Harbor invasion. And we got some really great updated photos of that site and the book is filled with those.

So it’s called My Life Along the Streetcar collection of interviews and I’m super excited to share it. Not just because I get to say I wrote a book, which is actually kind of pretty cool, but also because I get to say that I talked to these amazing people, these influencers, these creators, these visionaries, took time to share their stories with me, the volunteers that are recreating this history, the volunteers that are keeping this history alive. Jane McCollum over at the Marshall Foundation, who’s got a lot on her plate, took time to share the story of Louise Fukar Marshall and the history of that foundation. That to me is what’s so humbling is that people will take the time to share that for us here on the show and then we got to categorize it there in the book. So if you want a copy of it, you can head over to our website, if you want to pick one up. I highly encourage you though, maybe to go to the Presidia Museum or Mission Garden. We donated several books

to each group there and they’re going to keep all of those profits. If you come to our website, you can certainly get a copy, but you have to pay shipping fees and all that stuff. So you might be better off just going to one of these other locations and exploring them. And we’ll use those funds then that they can use those funds to further their mission. We’d really like you to do that. We’ll have them available in bookstores and a few other places in the near future. We’re just kind of getting that marketing up and running. But a huge shout out to James Portus once again, he was the person that really kind of drove this effort. My name is the author of the book, but it doesn’t happen without all of the people stepping forward and helping with the logistics and the foundation. And that was James Portus wonderful photography here in Tucson, and it’s fun to display his work. And in the back, just so you know, we do have his bio along with Julie Bonner, who did our cover art, and more about

each of them, so that you can get a sense of the three of us that really kind of worked together to bring this book into the public there. Well, I appreciate you sort of bearing with me as I ramble on about this, but it was a great project to work on and I feel like for the people that gave us those interviews, for James, for Julie and for myself, it was appropriate to spend a little time here on the show and discuss it. The book is called My Life Along the Streetcar Collection of Interviews. It’s available on our website,, also available currently at the Presidium Museum, Mission Gardens, and soon it will be at Pop Cycle and bookstores all over the place. So pick up a copy and spread the word about how cool Downtown Radio is and the importance of having a forum like Downtown Radio for us to share all this information. My name is Tom Heath and you are listening to the radio show called Life Along the Streetcar. We’re on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and we are available

for streaming on This podcast is sponsored by the Mortgage Guidance Group and Noble Home Loans. If you enjoyed this podcast, keep listening or head over to for all of our past episodes, current events and things to do while visiting Tucson. Tom Heath and a MLS number 182420 Nova and a MLS number 3087 BK number 090-2429 equal housing opportunity

all right, enough about me. Thank you for indulging me. If you are still listening or if you got tired of the sound of my voice and maybe I went back to some replays of DJ Bank in the art of easing that you may have saved. I don’t blame you for that. But please keep in mind, Downtown Radio is a fabulous forum. It allows us to share stories that you might not hear other places, and it allows us to share music you might not hear other places. So head over to our website,, check out all the lineups. I’m sure you tuned in on Sunday morning to listen to Mr. Nature and Little Leaf Radio. And then you heard DJ Bank with the art of easing. You’re like, Man, I’m going to stick around. And now you got Life Along the Streetcar. And we’re going to follow this up with Ted Cruzalski’s words and work talks to writers and members of the labor movement here in Tucson. Top of the hour with Ty Logan heavy mental. And then back into music. And that’s just Sunday. We got shows throughout the

week that we are super proud of. All the DJs put in and volunteer their time to put together great shows. If you want to hear someone other than my voice, if there’s somebody out there we should be talking about that’s doing great things in the urban core, please let us know. That email address, once again, is [email protected]. Or you can hit us up on the social media platforms and maybe Instagram and Facebook. Those are the two places where you can tag us if there’s something that we should be aware of. Starting to get a lot more feedback on the show from the general public and people telling us who we should talk to and why. And that is very helpful after 200. And this is episode 207. So as you get into these episodes, it becomes a little bit harder sometimes to go out and find the time to get great stories. So when you tell us what we should be talking about, that makes it a lot easier for us. Next week, we’re going to talk with the head of the City High School here in

Tucson. He’s entering his last year. And Brett is going to take some time and talk with us about the impact of that school. In the book, I mentioned Amago Day, which is a middle school, and they’re doing fantastic things. Well, right around the corner from them on Pennington is City High, and they are also doing amazing things. They just recently toured that facility and was just completely impressed with how they’re putting everything together and doing this in the middle of the urban core. So that’ll be on next Sunday’s show. And then as we kind of wind to the end here, I’m hoping to thank all of the dads out there. Congratulations to you for Father’s Day, and I hope you maybe had a chance to listen to Mr. Nature this morning. I’m sure he had a great celebration of all the papa Leafs, I think he would call them out there. But it is Father’s Day, so thank you to all the dads that make things a click out there. It’s June 10, celebration of freedom. I’m not sure there’s much better to celebrate

than that, but June 10 is a celebration of freedom. You can learn more about that holiday. We did a story prior to it being a federal holiday a few years ago and got some great input there from the community. We’re going to take you out today with some music that I think is appropriate. We always try to find a song that ties into the theme of the show or the artist that’s represented. Since today was about a book we thought we’d leave you with music. Today about a book. This is going to go back to

little blues here. I think DJ Bank would approve of this. This is from Betty Carter and the Ray Bryant Trio. It’s from a 1980 album called Social. And the song is called I Could Write A Book.

Well, I appreciate again, you listening to me today. My name is Tom Heath. I hope you have a great week and tune in next Sunday for some more life along the streetcar. I want to share betty Carter and I could write a book have a great day. It’s Sunday. Happy Father’s Day. Happy June 10.

If they ask me I could write a book.