Years ago, Hugh Holub wrote for the Tucson Citizen. He was let go. He claimed that the reason was “due to a ‘lack of a proper sense of immediacy.”
So you can call my neglect of a timely post about the death of Holub a tribute to the man.
The Tucson Sentinel called Holub the founder of Baja Arizona. The concept of Baja Arizona was first proposed by Holub during Evan Mecham’s embarrassing (at least to Southern Arizonans) months as governor.
Baja Arizona was one of many contributions he made as a satirist. His work in this area can be found at his online satirical newspaper, The Frumious Bandersnatch, which started as a campus publication in 1965. His work in the Bandersnatch not only started the Baja Arizona meme, but also introduced the Sonoran sand trout and the annual ice break on the Santa Cruz.
The Bandersnatch was part of my inspiration for doing a blog. I knew him only by reputation (although my brother spoke to him often), and was happy to find out that he visited this blog and even posted on here a couple of times.
Holub was very involved in water issues, which didn’t make him popular in some circles. I made the mistake of quoting one of Holub’s water quips to a legislative candidate I was working for. She was less than pleased. Ironically, his death came the same day that local developers announced a push to further deregulate water in this region. Some folks just can’t learn.
Among the last conversations Holub had: joking with his nurses about water policy.
Holub’s general politics leaned toward a liberal populism, but he wasn’t always easily labeled. His views on border policy infuriated both sides: he called out the anti-immigration movement for it’s willingness to throw in with racist extremists, but he also advocated on behalf of local ranchers that he felt were being damaged by migration.
Holub was born in Texas, so was technically a transplant. Still, it would be difficult to imagine a person like him existing far from the saguaros and gila monsters. Agree with him or not, he’ll be missed.