The General coughs and points, and says, “That’s Killer, he’s been the best partner I’ve ever had.” Killer the dog nudges my hand with his nose, but he’s just a sweet old thing burdened by a harmless bark and an overfed frame. “I was layin’ here dyin’ one day about three years ago,” The General continues, “and I hear this moanin’. So I go outside and there he is. I came in and cooked us up a pork steak and he never left. And I don’t even know what type of damn dog he is.”The General is thin with an old prospector’s face, gray horseshoe mustache and watery blue eyes. He carries himself with strange dignity, equal parts roadside crank ravaged by gold fever and electable politician—his smoky, cigarette-husk of a voice sustains the air of an old-man sage, and he’s unignorable. For one thing, he’s a walking textbook on the Santa Catalina Mountains, particularly anything related to gold and silver, and mining. Apart from Killer, the 69-year-old’s one lasting relationship in life is to gold and precious ore. He talks, rants and raves about it, like one might after his wife of 40 years has run out on him. He’s flat broke, he says, and he’s been that way for years (earlier today he bummed a Jackson off his pal, one-armed Lefty, an old guy he often picks up mornings for coffee and to watch the sunrise.) The General’s held hundreds of mining claims in the Catalinas; gold, silver and so on. And just as he knows paths to countless claims of gold and silver up the mountain outside of the trailer he’s housesitting for “a generous friend,” he knows the routes to bottom. He quit the booze nearly a decade ago, for example. Doctor’s orders. The General, as he’s known to close friends, is William T “Flint” Carter, a “seasoned prospector.” He’s also a jewelry maker, artist and author, among other things. Killer and I follow The General into the doublewide. The living room is sizable and tidy and smells of cigarettes, spliff and pine needles. There’s a single made bed in front of the TV, which is tuned to the History Channel, volume down. He says the TV is always tuned to the History Channel.
More than 100 million Americans, about a third of the population, suffer from chronic pain. More people are affected by chronic pain than by heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined, and at a cost of more than $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity. A free presentation, “Tame Your Pain ... An Inside Look at Conventional and Alternative Therapies for Pain Management,” will be held Wednesday, March 1 from 6 until 7:15 p.m. at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, located at 1501 N. Campbell Ave. The 75-minute talk will include time for questions and answers.Speaker Mohab Ibrahim, MD, PhD, director of the Comprehensive Pain Management Clinic at Banner – University Medical Center South, UA assistant professor of anesthesiology and pharmacology, and director of the Chronic Pain Fellowship Program at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, will present a detailed discussion of the causes of chronic pain and the current available treatments for arthritis and related joint pain, including the associated side effects. Pain can be considered a disease, not just a symptom of a disease. Pain specialists identify the type of pain and tailor the therapy accordingly. There is no “one size fits all.” Most pain specialists will avoid opioid medications to manage arthritis pain. Opioids are good for the short term, but when taken chronically, negative factors emerge which may outweigh the benefit of pain control.Dr. Ibrahim will present the latest conventional and alternative approaches to pain management while highlighting the facts, fads and fiction associated with this complex medical issue.Seating for the lecture is limited and prior registration is requested. For more information or to register, please visit the UA Arthritis Center website at www.arthritis.arizona.edu or call 626-5040 or email email@example.com.