This was also the city's most sweeping era of change. It saw the emergence of many of the trends that later turned malevolent or toxic. Below the gleam of Eisenhower peace and prosperity, much of the town was troubled.
To begin, however, it is easy to see why these years are remembered with fondness, and not merely with lazy nostalgia.
The fifties were the last decade when much of the city's life revolved around such sweet, small-town reveries as the Masque of the Yellow Moon, held annually at Phoenix Union High School's giant Montgomery Stadium. Although the Jaycees Rodeo of Rodeos would soldier on for a few more years, it reached its pinnacle then, too. Phoenix was not far removed from its roots of planting and cowboying.