KTTU "In Focus," 1/23/11, 10:30 AM & KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," 1/30/11, 7:30 AMPosted: Updated:
By Bryce Potter
Host Bob Lee interviews Alan Kruse, founder of KruseArizona Tours.
Kruse taught chemistry at Pima Community College for 28 years before retiring in 2002. He says there wasn’t much of a demand in Tucson for retired chemistry professors so he became docent at the Arizona Historical Society where he did walking tours for the Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House. He says that led to the founding of KruseArizona Tours, so he could conduct visits to other historic places in the vicinity of downtown Tucson..
Kruse says his historic walking tours give an idea of what it was like to live in Tucson from about 1850-1910. He says they emphasize the history and architecture of the Barrio Historico, El Presidio Neighborhood, Armory Park, the original presidio, and the downtown commercial area. He says knowing Tucson’s history gives you an idea of how City got to where it is now, including the importance of Rio Nuevo.
Kruse says the tours are done in 1870’s dress as he portrays John Spring, the second public school teacher in Tucson. He says what could be more appropriate for a retired educator?
His favorite tour is the twilight walking tour of Barrio Viejo and focuses on Hispanic cultural and architectural traditions. He says some of the colorful and interesting characters include Leopoldo Carrillo, Pete Kitchen, Lalo Guerrero, John Spring, Sam Drachman, and of course El Tiradito Shrine and La Pilita Museum.