People look at me funny as I leave the office early, but I shrug it off. I’ve put in my time.
The open desert road and a unique voice calls. I slide the CD into the player and drive, destination Hotel Congress.
The windows come down and I let the warm breezes cascade across my skin as I pull into town.
In 1919, the Hotel Congress and tap room was built. On January 22nd, 1934, the Hotel Congress catches fire. The third floor is never restored, and they lost the elevator, which to this day is still out of commission.
The fire though led to the capture of the infamous John Dillinger and his gang. The story is one that truly must be heard or read about while in the hotel.
The historic hotel is also haunted, at least some of the rooms. I spend the night in room 220, and later learn this one of the rooms that housed one of the hotel’s last long term residents, Vince Szuda.
He lived there for $7/night from the 1950’s until his passing in 2001. He was a helpful fix-it man, and was always borrowing butter knives from the Cup Cafe to use as screwdrivers to fix things around the hotel.
As I finish my libation in the Tap Room, I see it’s been re-named Tiger’s tap room, in honor of the bar keep that turned 80 in 2013, and still works the counter to this day.
I was more than pleasantly surprised with the gem I found in the heart of Tucson.