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June 04, 2009


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I was born in the city in 1976, so I am too young to have witnessed the magic that Mr. Talton refers to in this installment of Phoenix 101.
But, I spent enough time in the Valley of the Sun -- just over a generation, to be precise -- so I was able to witness firsthand the region's devolution that saw the pristine Sonoran desert on Phoenix's fringes replaced with soulless cookie-cutter subdivisions, strip malls and mega car dealerships.
I moved away to Boston in early 2004 to take a journalism job at a respected regional newspaper; the time that my wife and I spent there taught us what a beautiful, cosmopolitan city is all about -- vibrant, cultural and walkable -- and that Phoenix will never be one.
Still, I missed Phoenix when I lived in Boston, and I ached to pay my native city a visit. I received that opportunity in late April when I had to travel to Phoenix on business. Suffice it to say, I wasn't prepared for what I saw -- much of the city, it seems, has decayed into one giant linear slum.
On the north side of town, near I-17 and Cactus, whole strip malls sit abandoned, while residential neighborhoods appear overgrown, the homes that fill them in disrepair. I couldn't help wondering, are these homes in foreclosure -- is this an indicator of the severity of Arizona's real-estate crisis? Or are the homeowners simply lazy?
Who knows. But as an outsider looking in, and a longtime Phoenix resident who until last April hadn't set foot in the city for more than four years, I can say with confidence that I am appalled and saddened by the decay that has beset Phoenix, and glad that I escaped while I still had the opportunity.
Farewell, Phoenix. And thank you, Mr. Talton, for penning such a beautiful memoir of the beauty and magic that was Phoenix.

I was born in Phoenix in 1948 and grew up in Sunnyslope. My early memories were shaped by the Big Beautiful Tomorrow boom of the 50s: the dazzling new skyscrapers on north Central, modern ranch houses taking root in the citrus groves, and the sense that things were not only getting better but that Phoenix was well on its way to be one of the best places on Earth.

Of course, that was the perspective of a kid whose sense of reality was so limited that there was really nothing to compare Phoenix to except a couple of small cities in Oklahoma where my parents were born. Yet even today, I recall with residual pleasure the modernism of 50s Phoenix.

The disappointment came in the late 60s. By that point, it was obvious that Phoenix was not getting better, just bigger. And the price of this gigantism was the loss of soul. By that point, I was grown, had been drafted into the Army, and had seen enough of America to know Phoenix was not magically unique but just a place where newness replaced everything.

By the late 60s, modernism itself became old. What was bright, shiny and dazzling became stuccoed, inward, and guarded. Instead of huge plate glass windows inviting the outdoors in, we pulled up the drawbridge and retreated into backyards and rear patios. Phoenix had seen the future and it was dark.

The metastatic growth of Phoenix hollowed out the Phoenix of my youth, including Sunnyslope. The revaluing of Phoenix was relentless. Some older things did survive and prosper: the old historic neighborhoods were gentified, north Central Phoenix maintained, and even modernism was placed on preservation watch lists. But by that point, it was clear that the fate of this place was outside our control, that the machinery of growth had ultimate control, and that we were not guardians of a legacy but the survivors of a previous explosion.

Now the cancer is so advanced that even the New can't disguise the condition of the patient. The city without a core, a heartbeat, and a soul has finally reached its limits. The implosion that's coming will remind us why this city is named Phoenix.

Regarding the Channel 8 docs: it's my opinion that they lack depth, much less any kind of emotional connection to Phoenix residents, current and past, because the powers that be decline to accept any input or hear any voices other than their own, often narrow view of the world.

If it were only my "voice" or "ideas" that the Channel 8 producers weren't interested in hearing, I could understand that. But, their unrelenting provincial attitude permeates many of their projects. Where is the Hispanic voice? I for one, would like to see some Hispanic history told by someone other than an Anglo-Saxon.

Thanks Jon - -
We settled in Phoenix in 1949 and (though long departed) I have watched the decline and loss of what made it such a wonderful place. My Dad (still living in AZ, but not in the valley) said to me on my last visit that they should have grown it up, not out. I always said that the city was 20 years behind LA and headed in the same sorry direction. Now when people tell me that they live in Phoenix, I ask what part, and when they say Peoria or Cave Creek, I can only fondly remember when it took a while to get to those places through the desert, the fields and the groves.

It is still possible to live in a grand farmhouse built in the 1920s, get your flood irrigation from an old SRP lateral and look across the street at a hundred-acre field of corn or cotton, all within 6 miles of downtown. But you have to want that more than anything. We did, and for the past decade we've ignored our skyrocketing property value and joined a few like-minded neighbors in trying to slow down the flips and subdivisions encroaching on our little patch of old Phoenix. We are the youngest, and may be the last of the holdouts in our area. In another 20 years,the game will be over. But every game ends. For everyone else, it's hard to mis what you've never had.

I'm a latecomer to the Valley -- Summer, 2003 -- but I've enjoyed reading your work for a while, both in print and online.

I see this as similar to other mid-20th-century cities, though there may not be many that are at this stage of their urban lives.

After all, 39 years have passed from 1970 to now -- how many American cities have gone unscathed, or at least unchanged in a big way, over that time?

I've met few Arizonans in my six years here who have any pre-1980 memories, and only a few who can even speak to what life was like as few as 20 years ago. I don't know if that indicates that people have moved on, literally or figuratively, or if it indicates that few have interest in the urban landscape.

I moved here from an area that rarely changed -- the Western NY region between Buffalo and Niagara Falls -- from what was established in the last 1800s. Well, no changes outside of the half-million fewer residents in the region, and the changes resulting from that exodus.

Change happens in every city and region. There is little we can do to stop it, good or bad.

That doesn't mean the Valley or Phoenix itself won't be livable or thriving. It just won't be the same as it was in the old days.

Few things are.

I grew up in the 1960's in phoenix, the sad thing is my grandma house ,my mom house, were torn down for what,a car lot , Ill I have is memories,my grandma had been there since 1950, and it a shit hole of cars , i pray tha t they will go out of business.

Gosh, such memories... in the late 60's I moved into a rental house in that neighborhood South of Roosevelt and West of 7th Ave. It was wonderful. I do remember the city cooling overnight even in the summer. Took a drive to Cave Creek one morning at 4 AM when I couldn't sleep and it was positively cold!

I left Phoenix for West Texas two years ago. What happened there happened in a lot of places. It will probably happen here too. I picked a place that reminded me of the spirit of Phoenix but it's not nearly as beautiful (as Phx WAS). Still, there's no brown cloud, my allergies are gone, I can get anywhere in town within 10 minutes and it's a big enough town to have most of what I want. But it'll never compare to my memories of Phoenix as I found it in 1964.

I left in the early 70s for college and quickly came back but knew the city was changing forever. I was forced out of partial denial when they tore the house and citrus groves down on the southwest corner of 32 St and Camelback for that damn office building...

My family gradually moved back to my father's original hometown, Prescott, but it's also changed. Nothing stays the same but I don't have to always like the change. I still can't imagine living out of this state.

I was born in 1940 and have lived here all my life. My 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren find some of my stories hard to believe: unlocked doors, sleeping outdoors on hot summer nights, five-cent telephone calls, 27-30 cents for a gallon of gasoline, $2-$3,000 for an average car, $12-$15,000 for a decent three or four-bedroom house, etc. I have many beautiful memories of growing up in the Valley - especially the wonderful 1950s!

Hi Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Trying to remember the names of the Downtown theaters; Fox, Orpheum/Paramount, Vista, Strand, Rialto and slightly east of Downtown was the Spanish language Azteca.

What'd i miss?

Jon: some years back when you came to Fountain Hills to talk about the craft of writing books, I also remember your comment that if we got here after the mid-80's, we missed the best of Phoenix. For me, that was when the air got more soup-y and the out-of-control subdivisions were beginning to spread their stucco tentacles to places like (Heaven Forbid) Queen Creek! Being a retailer, I charted all this with growing delight in what it did for the bottom line. Mexico was my escape, just as Oregon has become. Living here year round is difficult, because summers are longer, hotter and drier. Help!

I recall Phoenix of 1958 before irrigation made the place humid and unbearable during daylight. Everyone did what they had to outside before 2:00 PM when the temperature got up to 115F. until 5:00. Everyone sought out cool bars,then came out after 5:00.

By the 60s irrigation made the place humid all the time. Everyone lived indoors with A/C a must.

Great column, Jon! I was somewhat put off by the "doom and gloom" comments of some of my fellow " "posters" until I noticed the 2009 dates. Maybe I'm an eternal optimist, but I still believe Phoenix can become a great city someday. Downtown is slowly making a comeback--light rail and the ASU campus are leading that. There's still plenty of room for improvement. In my case, my dad was the relative who took me down to Union Station to watch the trains. Occasionally--when I didn't have school the following day--I could even talk him into a late night trip to watch the East- and Westbound Golden States arrive and depart. Now, Phoenix is the largest city in North America (perhaps globally) without intercity rail passenger service. That will change someday.

Thanks for a very poignant trip back to when Phoenix was in many ways a small town, even well into the 60's. I was almost 10 when we arrived in 1955. We lived in a new subdivsion, "Delano Estates", just north of Van Buren, between 48th and 46th Streets. Part of it, and the small subdivision just to the north, were demolished for the Red Mountain Freeway. My grade school, the original Balsz on Van Buren and 44th Street, was bulldozed years ago for a hotel. My high school, Phoenix Union, has a few buildings left. The magnificent auditorium, where professionals played (I saw Liberace backstage once during play practice) was gutted inside. In the summer the nights cooled off somewhat, and the scent of the orange blossoms was a natural perfume. I left in the early 70's but have been back many times, and each time it seems to have lost a little more of its soul. I still remember coming home from school and watching Wallace and Ladmo in glorious black and white. Phoenix was, well into the 60's, still on a scale where you didn't feel dwarfed. Crime was not an issue -- your doors were unlocked because there was no need to lock them. That Phoenix is gone forever, and at times I feel sad, for the loss of what was, for a time, an incredible place to live.

I was born in Phoenix in 1946. My family lived in a beautiful old home on Portland St. between 5th & 7th ST. My mother and father owened the origional armored car service (Armored Motor Service) which they bought from my uncle I believe the year I was born.
It brings tears of joy growing up in that time period. I miss you old Phoenix!

Born in 1940 and moving to Phoenix in 1944, I reveled in the wholesomeness of the grand City. We lived on Almeria St between First and Third Avenue one block north of McDowell. Commercial buildings were just encroaching the area, but the Oleanders, lush green grass and narrow sidewalks made for lovely children's play areas. Kenilworth School meant crossing McDowell and as an 8 year old, I had no worries, as long as I crossed with the old traffic light - which was brand new then. At the corner of McDowell and Central Ave on the northwest side was an Oldsmobile dealer where my grandfather bought all his cars. The library was near First Avenue in an old three story house, later moved nearby to a modern facility with two floors. I was disappointed when the "Heard" took over and an alabaster buidling with confusing hallways came to replace the neighborly atmosphere that encouragied reading. My grandparents stayed and my mother left to live at the end of Jefferson and 30th Avenue. The neighborhood never got better. It was a bus ride to old Phoenix Union High School, and a short walk to Phoenix Tech across the street. I'd walk from 27th Avenue to the Rialto on Saturdays for the double feature, newsreel and all the cartoons, plus the continually running serial about my favorite actor/actress. The days of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Flash Gordon and their counterparts are gone. So is Phoenix, leaving in its wake the gray cement and thick steamy cloud of smog covered buildings. The past never returns. I moved to Texas, the open spaces and never missed the new Phoenix. My memories are no doubt better than the reality was with swamp coolers and blistery asphalt streets that we dealt with. I miss the good times I had at Bob's Big Boy on Central Ave, and the drive-ins. Neighbors were good, we had movies shown on a huge sheet in the backyard of a nearby family's dwelling place...awww. Memories are always good. I can do without the reality. Thanks for your column. It has helped my autobiography progress.

Phoenix rises from its own ashes every single day, but its fire burns out without being doused by water. It's always been a dry heat. Those of us who are natives, appreciate that, as well as the citrus, the relaxed lifestyle, the nice people who live here.

The thing to remember is this: Phoenix does NOT rise from its own asses--the people/politicians/bureaucrats who allowed unbridled suburban growth, who didn't provide for some important historic preservation, and, the people who take this place for granted.

Phoenix is not meant to be taken for granted. It is a rough climate. The nice people who live here are appreciators of that fact--no matter how long they've been here or how much they remember how interesting the "old" days were!

As for me, a third generation Arizona native, I love it here: then and now.

I moved to Sunnyslope when I was 2 I in 1981. I have seen channel 8 air the 1950's documentary of Phoenix but it was along time ago, I really wish I knew where to find them online. Does anyone know? Please get back to me if you do, thank you!

We left Massachusetts in l947 to move to Phoenix due to my dad's health.
We lived in the Far West Auto Court at 1950 Grand Ave.
There was a small store there, run by a world war 2 veteran and his family.
I remember there were railroad tracks across the street, and the Arizona fairgrounds were not far away.
I went to Adams School, was 12 years old. My mother worked at Woolworths and remember many Indian women sitting on the sidewalk in front of store selling there jewelry etc.
Just seems like it was yesterday. My dad could not fine a job so we only lived there 7 months.
I just loved the west and wish we could have made it our permanent home.

Thank you. I was born in 1954 and remember so much of what you said. I miss the town I knew as a child and fail to recognize it anymore ... Sigh.

I was born 1949 and my first 15 years growing up on the Heard Ranch surrounded by irrigation , citrus orchards,cotton fields & alfalfa,and vineyard of table grapes plus palm tree grove of various dates from around the would and loved irrigation for relief of humidity only monsoon time was i uncomfortable

You describe Phoenix perfectly. I came as a child of seven years old in 1952. Attended Grace Court school and swan at University Park. Loved the Valley from first stepping off the Greyhound bus from Milwaukee. So many fond memories found in your writings. Thank you!R

Touching a sweet memory spot. Thank you, Jon. Like you, I recall Phoenix in the 1950s with an innate pleasure. I was born at Good Sam in December, 1949, (as were my three sons - much later). That year my grandpa and my dad built our house just east of 24th Street and just south of Thomas. It wouldn't be officially part of Phoenix until I went to first grade in 1955. I remember slight irritation as the name of the street was changed from Poinsettia to Cambridge in keeping with the streets named for universities and colleges. I had already memorized the prior street name and then it was switched on me. Later the city would cover the irrigation ditch that ran at the top of the front lawn and where i would play much to my mom's chagrin when the irrigation water flowed. It was a pretty itchy activity post wading, My dad worked, nearly lived, at Sky Harbor where he worked for Trans World Airlines. It was a straight shot down the road to the old terminal where stairs were rolled out to Constellation and DC-3 passenger planes. Watching those prop planes and visiting the control tower was part of my youth. On Sunday drives 24th Street took us south to Baseline where we drove past those spectacular Japanese flower gardens. Driving north on 24th took us to Camelback and the orange and date roadside stands. The Stockyards restaurant was actually in the stockyards. The aroma inside the restaurant was much, much improved over the outside. A rare treat was taking out of towners there for a steak dinner. It's where I learned to love blue cheese salad dressing. If we were just driving by to get to Tempe or further east my Grandma Ross would always say, "Hmm, smells like money." Although my Grandma could fly TWA because of Daddy's pass benefits she often took the train out of Union Station to visit family in Houston. Aunts and cousins rode the train from Houston to visit us on occasion. I loved going downtown on the bus with Grandma or my mother to shop at the big stores, Goldwater's, Korricks, Diamonds, and Home Silk Shop. Oddly, there was a 'satellite' Hanny's Men's Store on the commercial corner near our house at 24th Street and Thomas. A.J. Bayless, Biltmore Pharmacy and a five and dime were there, too. For a short time Duane Eddy's mother worked at that five and dime. It was my first experience with six degrees of separation from a bona fide celebrity! In 1961, my dad's job took us to St. Louis, Missouri, a booming area at the time, and a promotion for him. The 'new' airport in Phoenix was in operation and those big jets were in and out of Sky Harbor. I wasn't around day to day - but with flying privileges and older siblings in Phoenix I was back on school breaks, summers, and even long weekends. Phoenix was always home. After university and marrying a midwestern guy I migrated back to full time residency in 1972. We bought our first house on the Glendale/Phoenix border at 49th Ave and Cactus. The city boundaries had exploded. MetroCenter was being built. Tract homes and subdivisions blanketed the valley in all directions. Later we moved to a more central location in Moon Valley. When I was a child Moon Valley was just that, a valley north of North Mountain between Moon Mountain and Lookout Mountain. By the 1980's it was burgeoning with homes, churches, some healthy strip malls. We loved the location and the schools. We loved seeing the mountains out the back and front doors of our home or hiking up North Mountain off of 7th Street. Things change, continue to change. Unbridled growth, crazy politics, underfunding for education, inflamed biases and prejudices began to color my affinity for my native land. I continue to love Phoenix and AZ. In fact, I just returned from a short visit to check in on my aging siblings and give hugs to some close friends, but I am loving our new home in the Pacific Northwest, too. We migrated to Portland in March, 2017. We are near our only grandchildren - the big lure, but we also are partial to the mindset of a more progressive (if rainier) climate. There are myriad problems here, too - traffic and homelessness predominantly. It's ironic, native Portlanders lament the passing of 'old Portland,' while this Desert Rat mourns for a 1950s Phoenix where our doors were not locked, summers were bearable, traffic manageable, air breathable, and the legislature had a brain collectively.

I was born in Good Sam hospital in 1958, in the 5th generation of my mom's family to live in Phoenix, since the arrival of the Moore family from California in 1883. I'm old enough to remember "going to town" to shop, meaning downtown, to Penny's and Korrick's and Diamond's - formerly the Boston Store where my grandparents met in 1921-22. Growing up on the east side at 44th St & Palm Ln, I watched Thomas Mall being built 4 blocks to the north across a pasture, in an area that still had a lot of acreage properties with horses & livestock. Summer nights we could smell the stockyards at 48th St and Washington, hike & bike up and down the old Cross Cut Canal bank along 48th. My uncle bought a house way way out in the new subdivision called "Westown" and it seemed like an endless trip across the country heading up a very rolling 16th St to Northern to go to 35th Ave & Cactus. I can still hear the eerie sounds of the well site pumps humming at night as we drove through the farmland out that direction. Mom talked about how she and my dad, seniors at North Phx High School, would drive across the canal at 40th St into Cudia City to "neck" - and as teenagers at East High School we drove up and parked along the streets on Camelback Mtn to drink beer and look at the city lights. By that time I knew the city was changing, but I had no idea how quickly the charm and livability of Phoenix would alter. Phoenix is still home, but I admit it would feel more like home with about with 3 million fewer people again.

My family moved to Phoenix from Los Angeles in 1952. That was the year Brophy Prep reopened and I was a member of the first graduating class (1956). I believe there were 35 of us. I remember playing on the basketball team that first year. We played the JV teams from every school in and around Phoenix and even traveled to Globe and Miami. It was a long season and an inauspicious beginning for a school that eventually became an athletic powerhouse, for, alas, we lost every single game! One of the schools we played was Carver High. Phoenix schools were segregated then, and Carver was the old "Phoenix Colored High School". As almost all black folks lived downtown, literally "on the other side of the tracks," a person in my circumstances rarely saw a black kid, let alone got to know one. So much so, in fact, that playing Carver on their turf was almost an exotic experience. I remember their team not being very good in spite of the obviously gifted athletes they fielded. My sophomore year, or thereabouts, Carver was closed down and most of the students were sent to nearby Phoenix Union. Within a year or so, with decent coaching, etc., P.U. suddenly became very well known for its athletic prowess, and was on its way to many State titles.
Our first home was on 8th. Ave. It backed onto 7th. Ave. across from a big racetrack. Many mornings we could hear the track announcers as they practiced calling races over the loudspeakers.
Next, we moved to the east side of town: Catalina Drive, just north of Thomas Road and very near North High. (Later, my folks would build a very modern home on the desert north of Camelback on 40th. St. And yes, it was really desert then!)
When we arrived in Phoenix, my parents opened a "contemporary" furniture store at 4206 N. Central Ave. It was just north of the Carnation buildings and across the street from what was then the Phoenix Indian School. In those days, the Indian School property extended along Central Ave. from Indian School Rd. clear up to, and including I believe, the land on which Central High was eventually built. The store was notable for being the first in Phoenix to deal in what is nowadays referred to as "Mid-Century" furnishings. It was a successful undertaking and when Park Central, the first of Phoenix's "malls" was built, we opened a satellite store there.
When I was 16 and a junior at Brophy, I got my first car - a 1950 Ford convertible. From then on, there commenced a lot of '50s cruisin' to the Three Palms Drive-In on 7th. Ave. and The Polar Bar and Bob's Big Boy on Central Ave. One could also go to the drive-in movies on, I believe, N. 7th. St., and watch a flick on a sweltering summer evening. In essence, my high school years were very "American Grafitti," as middle-class Phoenix in the '50s was the perfect place for it.
A few days after I graduated from Brophy, I found myself on a train bound for San Diego and the Marines, never to live full time in Phoenix again. After the military, I enrolled at the University of Arizona in Tucson and spent four great years down there. After college, work took me many places but, over the years, I periodically returned to Phoenix to visit friends and my family. My father died there in 1980 and, to date, that was my last trip to the Valley of the Sun. I doubt I'd recognize the place today, but I certainly have many fond memories of it and I'm grateful that I got to live there when the city was young and so was I.

I happened upon this article, and read every post afterwards. They all brought back a few memories I had of a Phoenix we moved to in 1960, (until June of '64). I was all of 8 years old, my younger sister was almost lost to asthma the previous Christmas Eve, hence my parents uprooted, and we arrived a week after school let out that June.

We rented on 32nd off Northern Ave.(somewhere) for the first 2 months, and then my parents bought at 3712 W. Palmaire Dr.. It was a new 3 bedroom ranch in the Cox Builders development off W.35th and Glendale Ave., (for $12K!). I went to George Washington Elementary, (for 4th grade), and then the 'new' Palo Verde Elementary, (5th-7th), which my Father helped build on Orangewood Ave. and 49th.

Phoenix was as many here stated. Hot summer days, cool summer nights. The school year ran from the day after Labor Day until the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend - every year. (I NEVER went to school one day in June, like here in Cleveland). There were irrigation ditches on both sides of Glendale Ave., and the shopping center at the corner of 35th and Glendale had just been built in '61 or '62. There was a Skaggs drug store in the strip, where I would buy my AMT model cars, along w/ double-dip ice cream cones for 8 cents, (single for a nickel).

My friend, Barry Harmitz and myself would 'ride bikes' all over Phoenix during the summers. His Father worked at a Chrysler,Plymouth, Dodge dealership, (probably the only one at the time), and Barry and I bowled on a team at a place called 300 Bowl for a season. I don't remember much past that neighborhood. I had another friend, (Thad Maston), who lived on Catalina, I believe just south of 49th and Glendale. His Father was my accordion teacher. He drove an old, late 1940's Dodge or Plymouth. HA!

I left Phoenix in '64, and only returned once, during a 'road trip' w/ my new wife in '75 to visit Barry. It was an overnight stint, and although at times afterwards, (mid-'80's, early '90's), I entertained the idea of revisiting, never went back. Recently, I GoogleMaped my old street and the surrounding neighborhood, and coupled w/ many of the comments here - glad I never did. I'd like to remember Phoenix as it was...

Lew King Rangers on Saturday,Wimpys
Hamburgers and the penny arcade by Wimpys.
The challenge of walking from Central&
Glendale to the Fox downtown with your
buddies and after we all had fast cars,the
joy of parking on side of N.Central Av.with
10 or so pals and their cool cars to sit
in the grass and watch for new cars and to
be left alone by the Sheriff's patrol.

My sister was diagnosed w/ bronchial asthma, so we moved from the Little Italy section of Cleveland, Ohio to Phoenix, (3712 W. Palmaire Dr., just west of W.35th & Glendale), in June of 1960. I attended Washington Elementary, (4th grade), and Palo Verde Elementary, (5th, 6th, 7th grades). I rode bikes w/ my friends all over Maricopa County, went to the Bethany Home Rd. theater w/ friends, bowled at the old '300 Bowl' bowling center, and remember 'shopping centers' back then, w/ A.J. Bayless grocery stores and Montgomery Wards. My father was a bricklayer, and helped build the small shopping strip of stores, (4 at the time), at the corner of 35th & Glendale during those years. Skaggs drugs store was the anchor, and it was the hangout where I would buy my AMT model cars to build. Chris Town Mall was just built, as was the original Sun City. I also remember places like Gym & Swim, Encanto Park, and the Wrigley Mansion. My friend's father worked at the only Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge dealership in Phoenix. We moved back to Cleveland in June of '64, and after reading several accounts here, it's obvious I lived in Phoenix in some of its best years. I still have an old grade-school chum who lives in Scottsdale. But I'm SO glad we didn't stay in Phoenix.

Phoenix is properly described by you. In 1952, I arrived as a seven-year-old youngster. I went to Grace Court School and University Park Swan. From the moment I stepped off the Greyhound bus from Milwaukee, I fell in love with the Valley. Your writings brought back so many happy memories. Many thanks!

Looking to find a picture of 730 East Culver in Phx. Or a picture of the houses in that area. My kids great grandparents were there in the early 1900's. The house was torn down to build a large park.

My Phoenix, to a T. Born here at the old St. Joe's, late 30s, my mother and family came here in 1909, my father in 1924. I was a teenager in those fifties and to understand that, my son in the 4th grade came home from school, MOM, you were a TEENAGER in the FIFITES?"... they had discussed that era in school. I was proud to say I was a teen at the best time ever.

Such a thrill to read about the Phoenix I came to at age of five in 1950!! My father was a “produce man” and even though his fields of lettuce and produce “shed” was along Baseline and what is now Dobson, we lived just south of Bethany Home Road on 12th Avenue. Our neighborhood were all custom built homes. We all attended Grandview School, spent many hours playing in the fields where Chris Town would be built and loved going to the Saturday movies downtown where a ticket was 25 cents!!!
So many wonderful memories of early Phoenix, High School, cruising Central, ice cream at Carnation and my mother working for Porters Western Store downtown. We would visit the Penney’s next door to ride the first escalator in town!
I continued with ASU, teaching 32 years and enjoyed Real Estate even now. Thank you so much Jon for writing about the Phoenix I loved and know so well.

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