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December 03, 2013

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The '50s in Phoenix; Great town, good times to be a boy!

re kb -- $2 haircuts and all the back copies of 'Stag' and 'Outdoor Life' to read while waiting!

http://pulpcovers.com/tag/stag/

This is a public service for nostalgia fans.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:-/\

Even in my chilly outpost in Portland, it's easy to look out my window to see what went wrong. Cars. They have have been - and are - the single-most destructive element in modern America, in both its cities and towns. They changed the way we relate to our buildings and their relationship to the street. They coarsened us as well, making us care less about community and more about mobility for its own sake. Cars were destabilizing Phoenix even before the 1950s. But throw in prosperity, exponential population growth, white flight, and production housing, and the die was cast. Phoenix didn't lose all its charm in that decade but it created the template for today's misery.

Portland has great mass transit and the nation's best biking infrastructure and culture. But far too many people drive anyway. The city has prevailed because it was, in fact, a substantial city before cars could fundamentally change its character. Streets are necessarily more narrow here so there isn't that linear slum look that Phoenix has almost everywhere west of Central and south of Indian School Rd. Portland ultimately began to heal itself with good transit (even tearing down an existing downtown freeway). And it began to practice in earnest good civic values like historic preservation. The result is a city where citizens talk about the city with pride and love. In Phoenix, people talk about their houses and cars. The city itself is an afterthought. There simply isn't enough to love.

I grew up in Sunnyslope in the 1950s and there's a busy nostalgia industry built up around the town and its former quaintness. Sadly, it's a wreck today. Just about all of my former classmates have moved on, some to Prescott and Payson, others to Scottsdale and Carefree. We grew prosperous in the '60s and '70s and drove, needless to say, as fast as we could to the nearest exits. Our lives are materially richer but reek of anomie and regret.

I don't blame Phoenix for its bad choices now because I realize that it was an epic tide that swamped us. This happened all across the country but was particularly hurtful to small cities with weak bones. Phoenix became a car town in the 1950s when all that was fun. Today it's a horror.

A friend alerted me to a column that the right-wing doofus Doug MacEachern wrote in Sunday's Republic about the lack of freeways in Phoenix (!!!). I would read him with clinched teeth when I lived in Phoenix. I never believed him when he was playing the culture warrior - his biggest shtick - because I got that he was essentially a sociopath. For him the culture was white people living the good life in suburban zombiehoods while blaming liberals for black people. To think a newspaper in a city the size of Phoenix would inflict such an ideologue on its citizenry (he even blames Eugene Pulliam for not wanting Phoenix to look like LA!) is a kind of tragedy. This is what the 1950s has bequeathed us: a city not worth caring about and one of its leading voices doubling down on the strategy that created it.

He's no Don Dedera -- or even Erma Bombeck.

Great storytelling, Jon, and a fantastic education for me (having only arrived here in the late '70's.) Thanks for painting these historical pictures (the book is writing itself, haha.)

And "hear, hear" to soleri regarding the destructive consequences of car culture.

(My first LTE, in the late '70's, was a lament against freeway construction. I recall that I was exhorting to let congestion reign, so that alternative (public) transportation would be more economically attractive. Yea, I'm sure it was just like that...)

How ironic that Doug has become a shill for transit! Time to get the retirement papers in order!

A minor possible quibble.

As I remember, Bob Wian (the "Bob" of "Bob's") was an Angeleno - and "Bob's" was regional (albeit a rather small region) rather than strictly local.

Having grown up in Phoenix in the 50's and earlier 60's ... this is, as is normal for Phoenix 101, an excellent evocation. Thanks.

Wow, I grew up in this Phoenix. Small hospital back then called Good Samaritan, now a behemoth of buildings, home to a little street in Encanto called Cypress. (A home I strongly suspect was only a couple doors down from another historian and Sheriff Deputy named Mapstone but I digress)Then in 1957, out into that urban sprawl 3 blocks into the County north of Camelback off 36th Street. This was my town.

While the name is the same, the town isn't and I am grateful for someone who cares for my City and my State, Albeit at a distance to remind me of a life 50 something years ago. Thank you again Jon Talton.

During this reincarnation, I harken back to the first time I passed through this valley. It was the 1540's and I was traveling with Coronado. We were mislead by a red haired native wearing a black hat, who took us all the way to what is now Iowa. It was a tough trip. No gold. I sure would like to find out what ever happened to that Iowa native.

The auto enabled the suburbs which hollowed out Phoenix to the point there is not a sufficient tax base to maintain the infrastructure for a city it's size. It's ironic that the same thing happened to Mesa, as the its citizens move out to Gilbert, Chandler, and Queen Creek. The retail center started in downtown Phoenix and moved to Park Central. It then shifted to Thomas Mall, then Los Arcos, to Fiesta Mall, to Chandler Mall and Superstition Mall.

Now gas is $3+ and it takes a good job to afford the $1,000 mo. average cost of a car. As the middle class incomes shrink, fewer and fewer will be able to afford the luxury of suburban living. As Kunstler says,it really is a clusterf&*k.

I am still here REB. And I got your grandmothers scalp on my belt.
Also you are in charge of the coffee klatch schedule for the fan club.

Jon, as Petro points out you have completed a lot of chapters on the book on Phoenix and really Arizona history.

I got here January of 50. I lived two blocks from Soleri. I remember well his house with a fish pond inside and outside the house his father built. I also remember North Mountain Hospital and was on duty with and riding with Phoenix police officer, Ed Shultz the night he shot and killed one of the North Mountain Hospital Chimpanzees. Sunnyslope, the home of Slope Kings and Queens. A place you could fight tuberculosis while living at the Walbash trailer court . A community, where as a kid I would sell you the “Real” Arizona Republic and doughnut holes by the bag. Or you could by heroin from the local Italian dope dealer. I loved Sunnyslope and its desert that no longer exists

Reference the old Democratic mob, there were kinda low life types concentrating on gambling and hookers. But Lefty and the boys did pretty much run the state. Harry and his charter government crew were really only interested in “cleaning up” the town so to have a good image when they went forth with “zoning”. And thus began the sprawl. In my opinion zoning has been a huge crime since 1950.

Doug MacEachern is a hanger-on with little credibility. He writes just junk enough to make a few pennies. He was never one of The Arizona Republics stars. Don Dedra and Paul Dean were much better writers. He doesn’t even come close to Bob Robb in intelligence.

“A minor possible quibble. As I remember, Bob Wian (the "Bob" of "Bob's") was an Angeleno - and "Bob's" was regional (albeit a rather small region) rather than strictly local.”

You are correct but it was still a great place to get a hamburger and malt and at least it was from a guy with an open shirt and no tie as opposed to the sharks in suits from the east coast. I got my first ticket at Bob’s “Pipes” from the legendary motorcycle champion and Phoenix cop, Jon Sellers. And a quieter spot was “The Three Palms Drive In on 7th Avenue and Highland.

I identify with Soleri’s Portland but I am a desert rat. I love the desert. I just don’t care for a lot of rats. I have respect for Teddy Roosevelt but he should have not built the dam and then more dams. Tempe is now spending millions to replace the condom dam on the Salt so they can sell more condos. I get to Downtown Tempe PD on occasion while investigating the latest bar fight where a drunken, out of money student has been tossed by the bouncers into the waiting arms of the police. The big income is furnishing students booze and old men young women. Interesting is the joints are run and owned by young men with business degrees from ASU. One of the best Smoke shops (translation Hookah bars) is in just a block or two off campus. You guessed right the owners are from the Middle East. And the local Muslim recruiting station is also just a couple of blocks off campus.

Regarding Oregon, if you really want a picture of Oregon the state of many rivers to the sea, I suggest Ken Kesey’s “Sometimes a Great Notion.” Personally my deep psychological problem with a lack of sun will keep me from moving to Portland, Seattle or New Port Beach.
Phoenix, once a great small town. No mas.

Cal, not a chimpanzee. A baboon.

Was that dope dealer a small grocer at 7th Ave & Mountain View? Santopietro? As I recall, everyone was afraid of that family.

A firefighter bought the old family house (be it ever so humble, there's nothing like a midcentury money pit). He's done a great job fixing it up but one of the casualties of that effort was the indoor/outdoor fish pond.

Like you, I'm a desert rat. The northwest is a foreign substance my body still wants to reject. But a late-life choice comes with its own implacable logic. I'll die here.

I just finished the biography of the former Oregon governor Tom McCall (Fire at Eden's Gate). He was Oregon's pivotal political figure of the last 50 years. Oregon, you find out, is not that different from Arizona! You have the usual suspects running roughshod over the political process from sheer greed and arrogance. The difference is that Oregon won its war with them and Arizona lost. That's why Arizona has the look and feel of an experiment gone horribly awry. You don't fix the Phoenix (the blob that's eating Arizona, per Abbey) of 2013. It was too late even in 1993. And by 2033, it will be unmistakeably dystopian. Politics, you also find out, matters. What happened in Arizona was a crime against the state. That's why this blog exists - to detail the depredations. We all know the story by heart now but we're compelled to tell it again and again. If you don't take this personally, you don't have a heart.

http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/
Because it's a fun site to waste time, if anyone doesn't know about it. Phoenix in the fifties was uniquely situated to become one of the world's great desert oases, and I wouldn't blame the impoundments on the Salt River for what occurred later. We coulda had a paradise, but with the passing of the swamp cooler and the advent of AC, all natural barriers to growth were removed, and people who weren't really willing to suffer the summers began flooding in. What potential Phoenix had was quickly squandered, and is irretrievable. Outside my house, a light snow is falling, and it'll be cold until May, but it's still the southwest, and unlike western Oregon and Washington(I lived in both states for years) there will be summer thunderstorms, summer nights(11 p.m. is a little late for daytime for my taste)and plenty of bright, beautiful days with that southwestern quality of light in the mornings and evenings. But no great city.

Jon, I'm hoping you turn this series into a book.

Anyone remember TV newsman/weatherman Art Brock?

Soleri, U R right on all counts.
Thanks for the quote from ED Abbey. (Postcards from ED?)
The "Good News" ( a Abbey novel) sets out the ending for Phoenix.
And Ed had it right on "impoundments" or dams. "The Monkey Wrench Gang."
Without them the Sonoran would have remained a quiet desert.

Pat, I remember houses with no cooling. Houses with dirt floors and cots with wet sheets and mom praying for a breeze.
Houses in "quiet" communities and void of freeways. John Jacobs fields of lettuce and grapes. The sweet potato sheds of Carol Arthur Farms.

Headless, you mean "short hairs" Brock.
Of course.

Didn't Art Brock look a little like Max Headroom?

Anyway, Phoenix had its stars: Bill Close, Don Nickles, etc. in the '50s, future governor Jack Williams was big.

THE PICTURE OF LERNERS, My Mother (LILLION LAVIN) came to Phoenix from New York with SAM LERNER to open this store in 1931.

She then met and married my DAD. MAC CHIATE, who opened the #1 Package Good Liquor Store at 434 N. Central in 1938.
First Liquor License after Prohibition.

I graduated from West Phoenix High School in 1956.
Go T Birds! Elaine Chiate Morton emorton96@mac.com

"Didn't Art Brock look a little like Max Headroom?"

A little bit chubbier than Max. He also ran for governor as a Democrat, but lost.

Jack Williams had a winning slogan when he ran: "Jack's got an eye out for you!"

Elaine I think I remember You from Nelsons pool.

headless, that's funny in a non-PC way. Williams was Arizona's first culture warrior pol. His tag line on KOY was "another beautiful day in Arizona. Leave us all enjoy it". I was a hippie when he was governor and I loved hating him. Now I can look back on that period and miss all those bozos wearing plaid blazers and pants pulled up to their tits. This points out another limitation to nostalgia: anytime you think things used to be better, remember how people dressed.

Art Brock, another Greatest Generation glad-hander, would say "hum a ditty" for humidity. Other than that, he looked like the guy who would teach Shop in high school. He was a conservative, which back then meant one thing - no sex outside your pajamas.

"...that's funny in a non-PC way."

Wallace and Ladmo were responsible for teaching the Phx. Boomers that kind of satirical bent. Seattle had 'Patches the Clown', but Patches was kind and gentle and did not scare children -- nothing like Mr. Grudgmier or the obviously gay, Marshal Goode.

There were many things about growing up in boomtown Phx that were irreplaceable and great. I don't think that this is all just a trip down memory lane. I spent the first eight years of my life in the Burbs of Long Island, NY and I can tell you that Phx was 1,000% better in every way.

What was it about those times that we can realistically hope to give back to future generations?

I thought Marshal Goode was just sad and downtrodden! This isn't a teletubbies thing now is it?

Who deleted the video?
Speaking of conservatives with a crew cut and sex and funny pajamas.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/29/1259046/-Mormon-Bishop-Posing-As-Homeless-Man-Rebuffed-by-Congregation?detail=email
WJD

The actual campaign slogan : ONE-EYED JACKS ARE WILD! Tru dat. My brother told me so.

I sat in the downtown YMCA steam room with Jack Williams and Jesse Owens anmong others.
Both were quiet easy going honest and humble human beings. No clothes and steam comfort provide for a equal zone.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

I know how you feel, Cal.

Jack Williams could have adopted the look of a wild, black eye-patch pirate, but chose instead the friendly frosted lens over his missing eye.

Many who knew him wondered if they should look him in the one good eye with both of their eyes or would that look unnatural? Should they look at him in both eye(s).

I guess we'll never really know, because none of us had the guts to ask him when he was with us.

Great article. Great comments. Really thought provoking.
I how I can articulate myself properly. The one thing that struck me was the level of local business/government in 1950 compared to today. Most business today is conducted by firms on a national scale. It’s very hard for a local business to compete (except in niche markets). I’m going to “blame”:
- The interstate highway system
- National TV networks (and their national advertising)
- Easy access to capital via “Wall Street” for the big national firms
-National banking consolidation
- National consolidation of the newspapers
- Others I haven’t thought of yet.
Here’s the worse news: it’s going to get worse as more and more of the economy is taken over by businesses operating at the international level. We’ve already seen this in cars, fast food, airplanes, banking, etc. I’m starting to see this at the retail level (think IKEA). We’ll all work for our lords and masters in New York, London, Tokyo and their lackeys in Washington. Furthering the problem is the internet/UPS which has already killed the local bookstore. Your local newspaper is probably on life-support.

wkg, spot on.

The erosion of local economies means communities that don't function well, and citizens that have less loyalty to one another because of that. Once every city and town looks and acts the same, there's less to cherish and protect. The more the business roundtable is peopled by so many branch managers, the stewardship class shrinks in its ambition and concern.

Phoenix tripped unconsciously into this set of arrangements and the results speak for themselves. But the trends have been the same for most cities. The difference for a city like Phoenix is that it didn't bring great assets and legacy institutions into this situation. It didn't have the great universities, endowments, and political muscle to reinvent itself. Nor did it have core community values that could protect the Sonoran desert, establish growth boundaries, and create an unique Phoenix ethos. Growth was the god, and the best of Phoenix was the virgin pushed into its volcano.

We look back in the 1950s as a golden era, but the paradox is that it was precisely then that hyperkinetic growth should have alerted us to the dangers before us. We didn't have enough imagination to wonder about the future. We were drunk on cheap success. And the hangover we have now is permanent. There is no road back.

"There is no road {that we have yet seen} back."

Without the black plague, the forests of Europe would never have recovered. There is something(s) that will appear to restore balance, whether we consciously engineer it ourselves or if it is forced upon us by mother nature, is the choice that we have.

Fear not! Disaster is just around the corner....

headless, I tend to think disaster is inevitable. Even if we somehow evolve into some higher consciousness, climate change will crush us (that is, all of us). Take the long view, and you realize how vain our kvetching about the Phoenix problem is.

What can't go on, won't.
Affordable automobility was the medium that allowed this Ponzi scheme development pattern where new growth paid for the cost of recent development. Those spread-out places are not productive (income per unit of area) enough to pay for their own upkeep, i.e. they can't afford to exist. So, things will crater (Hello Detroit!), or people will start to build differently:

http://youtu.be/52NhFMFgLEY?t=22m0s

In another video from Strong Towns (can't seem to find it), the analogy to the post-war US was royal Spain that blew its riches from the New World on an inefficient transport system, necessitated by the unfortunate siting of its capital Madrid in the dead center of the country. The result was a long bye-bye to a former world power.

The first wave of suburbia in the fifties was financed by real earnings and investments. The second wave, a generation later, was financed by debt right up until 2008. There will be no third wave. Everyone's heard about the trends: less driving, less suburban developments, ever more expensive city living, ...
But where does that leave all those places that have hung big nooses of asphalt around their necks? Absent any real core to fall back to, even our favorite bulldozer scenario is unlikely, too expensive, not worth it - there is no it. Instead, expect the Grapes of Wrath - Millenial Edition.

http://youtu.be/52NhFMFgLEY?t=22m0s

What can't go on, won't.
Cars were the medium that allowed this pyramid scheme development pattern where new growth paid for the cost of recent development. Those spread-out places are not productive (income per unit of area) enough to pay for their own upkeep, i.e. they can't afford to exist. So, things will crater (Hello Detroit!), or people will start to build differently.

In another video from Strong Towns (can't seem to find it), the analogy to the post-war US was royal Spain that blew its riches from the New World on an inefficient transport system, necessitated by the unfortunate siting of its capital Madrid in the dead center of the country. The result was a long bye-bye to a former world power.

The first wave of suburbia in the fifties was financed by real earnings and investments. The second wave, a generation later, was financed by debt right up until 2008. There will be no third wave. Everyone's heard about the trends: less driving, less suburban developments, ever more expensive city living, ...
But where does that leave all those places that have hung big nooses of asphalt around their necks? Absent any real core to fall back to, even our favorite bulldozer scenario is unlikely, too expensive, not worth it - there is no it. Instead, expect the Grapes of Wrath - Millenial Edition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52NhFMFgLEY&t=22m1s

The pyramid scheme is over. Old developments that couldn't afford to exist in the first place will no longer be rescued by new growth. The future is rearing its head: less driving, expensive city living, slumburbia, Detroit Downfall, etc. And for Phoenix: The Grapes of Wrath - Millenial Edition.

Another thing that struck me was that Phoenix was very much a city with only 100,000 to 400,000 people during the period in question. I had been harboring the idea that the best size for a city to be was somewhere between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 people. I need to do some thinking and research about this matter.

Jon doesn’t say anything about the matter, but I think the city was carrying around very little dead weight during the period. I suspect that workforce participation was very close to 100%. (Note: I consider “house-wife” to be workforce participation - particularly for the period under consideration). In boxing terms, the city was hitting way over its weight.

Take heart. There is another version of Genghis Khan and/or the black plague that will hit us and pare the population down to manageable size -- and with it, all the bad side effects of our industrial civilization.

Maybe the best preparation for what is to come would be a re-reading of the Canterbury Tales.

AWinter, thanks for the link to the Strong Town videos.

I've heard it stated it before, probably by Kunstler, that suburban infrastructure is simply too expensive to maintain. And with burgeoning energy prices, the economic calculus behind it begins to implode. But as Dick Cheney said, "the American way of life is not negotiable", so we'll pretend our economy is strong enough to support something grotesquely out of proportion to our real wealth.

The blue vs red, urban vs exurban divide is partly unfinished business from the past but also a harbinger of the coming shake-out. Suburbs want cheap oil, subsidies, and the lingering if fading aroma of prosperity. They don't want alternative energy, higher taxes, mass transit, or any of those things they think of as "socialist" (meaning, support for the commons). The tragedy is that they've invented an entirely fictitious economy based on little more than wishful thinking. Denialism is their cognitive key to explaining reality.

A city like Phoenix is an anomaly, a huge city with low density and no real core. You don't retrofit it for harsher reality. There isn't the wealth for that, and as the city already shows, poverty is increasing year by year. The manifest destiny of a drive-everywhere society is finally meeting its brick wall.

Petro, hell is living too long. I know I'm close to overstaying my welcome. The best thing about growing old is realizing there's nothing you really need to fear.

It is my opinion that government and U.S. government alone that is behind the tremendous sprawl throughout the Salt River Valley. The government made lucrative deals with existing farmers to develop Roosevelt dam. The government built two air bases in the area to support Motorola and other manufacturers as a job base. And, (keep in mind that the government grids sections of land in a public/private checkerboard) after WW2 the government auctioned off , at give-away prices, every one of its sections across the Salt River basin (and beyond). It is this final fact that was the catalyst for sprawl.


soleri writes, Suburbs want cheap oil, subsidies, and the lingering if fading aroma of prosperity. They don't want alternative energy, higher taxes, mass transit, or any of those things they think of as "socialist" (meaning, support for the commons).

That may be true, but more specifically it is ALEC and their wealth influence and focus on state legislators to discourage change that is more difficult.

Suzanne, ALEC is one of the worst examples of concentrated wealth buying our political system in order to advance their own interests. This is why if you're a Republican/right-winger and reading this blog, I say verily unto you: stooge, they're using you. They whisper "nigger" into your ear and you reach for your gun. It's one thing to be a fool for love but don't be a fool for plutocrats. That is really dumb.

That said, do people have a legitimate interest in living the suburban idyll away from the tumult of cities and "others"? I'm an urban guy but I can't second-guess that choice. Granted, it's soul-killing and boring but I can understand why people want to live as stress-free as possible. Only problem: it's not sustainable. At some point, as AWinter's link shows, the edifice collapses from a weak foundation (read: Ponzi scheme). This is why the Republican Party exists: to disguise and deflect this fundamental issue so the "producers" can continue looting the public purse.

ALEC has no problem advancing the agenda of the oligarchy in red states because the average citizen really does feel entitled to cheap gas and expensive infrastructure. But even if citizens were a bit more sensitive to the environmental and fiscal costs, the oligarchs would still prevail. Money doesn't talk, it screams.

From the indispensable Charles Pierce:
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/alec-trayvon-martin-case-120313

Thank you for continuing to write Phoenix 101. I first met you in approx.2005 when you spoke to a large gathering at ASU of people who wanted the AZ Centennial to be a large scale success. There were some wonderful collaborative breakout sessions that explored all kinds of statewide program ideas. I later found out that there was never any intent to implement any of the proposals;all breakout session notes were destroyed after the conference. I ache for what might have been.

Per Suzzane: "It is my opinion that government and U.S. government alone that is behind the tremendous sprawl throughout the Salt River Valley. The government made lucrative deals with existing farmers to develop Roosevelt dam."

I m not saying I just been saying.

Soleri and the broad brush!"This is why the Republican Party exists: to disguise and deflect this fundamental issue so the "producers" can continue looting the public purse."
At 73 and on the rim of human existence I am not bothering myself with changing my party registration
Can U pick out a historical time period that this may not have been true. And then beam me back.

I m off to pet a Sajuaro so I will leave you with something that might brighten your day. a quote from Jim Stiles Take it or Leave it on Edward Abbey

http://www.canyoncountryzephyr.com/2012/04/01/take-it-or-leave-it-was-cactus-eds-last-joke-on-us-and-vice-versa-by-jim-stiles/

“What Abbey always hoped we’d take away from his writing and from his life was a sense of ourselves as individuals, as men and women who could take control of our own lives and our own destinies. Abbey spoke of a “nation of bleating sheep and braying jackasses.” He longed for a people with dignity and courage and he loathed the mindless “bleating” that he found even in his own readers.
He once said, “ If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule. That was the American Dream.” Most New Westerners love Ed Abbey and have no idea what that means.”

Cal, I love Abbey's writings but he lived in a dream. There is simply no way 315 million Americans can be "self-reliant farmers, craftsmen....", etc.

Even in crunchy Portland, there are limits to the small-is-beautiful economy. What Portland does show is that it's possible to live better with less. That is, less crap, big-box stores, freeways, cars - the whole catastrophe of modern American life. I am impatient with doomers because while they do have important wisdom to impart, they ultimately can't explain how to transition to a dramatically smaller society. Well, a few of them can, but it would be both pointless and disturbing to relate their methodology.

I am alert to my "broad brush", btw. But if at this late date, the Republican Party doesn't disgust you, you have a stronger stomach than I do. The best defense against the equivocations of political life is the bright line: you don't demonize the weak. You don't intentionally sabotage the economy. You don't work tirelessly on behalf of oligarchs and plutocrats. You don't deny environmental issues as "hoaxes". A broad brush helps here because if we were to get caught up in the idea that Democrats can be craven as well, then the effectiveness of our outrage is diluted to weak tea. We're not going to change anything in this blog, but we desperately need to tell blunt truths with blunt language if we have any aspiration to bear moral witness.

Abbeys dream "Desert Solitaire"
Abbeys truck, not for sale but his red Caddy is. Contact Ken Sanders at his Utah book store. Hang in there Soleri " I have a dream"
That the Saguaro' s rise up and with the help of Wiley Coyote crush "manunkind."
U know the story Sahuaro crushes man with shotgun, to death.

Sorry for the duplicate posts - the spam filter was not good to me.
There is a big cognitive dissonance when it comes to the issue of sprawl. While it is one instance where the idea of big government doing big damage has merit, you can see tea partiers inveighing against 'liberalized' zoning, property rights, less government spending on roads, market pricing for parking etc. The world is upside down and people are starting to fall on their heads. I don't think of it as much of severe hypocrisy but straight-up, self-interested politics - purporting philosophical purity while hanging on, hope against hope, to the fading dream.

Now I wonder if Phoenix had been better off not receiving the infusions of government water projects and interstate highways. What doesn't get bloated can't implode. But that gets into "Canticle for Leibowitz" territory.

Regarding climate change, a fun fact:
"Half of all the fossil fuels ever burned have been burned since Whitney Houston released her first album."

https://twitter.com/brookejarvis/statuses/397818289226657794

Soleri -- "We're not going to change anything in this blog...."

I disagree with you a bit on this point. Prior to the blogosphere, free political speech for the average working man was more or less a pipe dream -- philosophically possible, but, in truth, not a reality.

At this point in time, the 'high wind' (I'm not trying to be funny here)that can emanate from blogs such as this one are indeed a political force to be reckoned with.

Republicans have paid trolls, some with over 100 handles, whose job it is to offer oppositional blather on blog sites such as this to any point the RNC deems harmful to their cause.

Bottom line -- Blogs like Rogue Columnist are a threat to the status quo because they hammer home viewpoints that are in strong and sometimes eloquent opposition to it.

Keep on keepin' on, Soleri, Cal, Emil, etc.... although sometimes I wish Emil wasn't so sensitive. I think that there are some high school 'wedgie' issues that he's still sorting through.

The history and analysis this blog provides is highly dangerous to the elites that run the hustles that are today's Phoenix and Arizona. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been run out of the Republic and the state.

Will it ultimately make a difference for the better? I can't say. But I will claim some credit for some of the good things that have happened in the core. Beyond that, I'm not willing to let the bastards get away with their lies.

Forgive the special pleading.

Just visited Phoenix for my 50th HS reunion (North '63).
Growing up there was a fond memory that Jon so often evokes.
…. and yes it took me years to get away from Art Brock's pronunciation of "humididy."

Jon,

I really enjoy your columns and pass them on to friends who have lived in the Valley since childhood.

A question, if you have time: Do you remember a small branch library somewhere near The Projects and Paul West Market on 20th (?) Street. In 1959, shortly after arriving in Phoenix, my father and I went there. The elderly lady librarian said her name was Amherst or Applegate or Alpine, as in the telephone directory, and that she was (one of?) the last of her family. The library, I think, closed not long afterward. I checked out books on the star and constellations that had a powerful impact on me. dk

Dan,
You know more than me about this specific case. Try posting it on the most recent column -- which I will post later today -- and maybe someone like Cal can give more information.

Thanks for reading!

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