« Permanent war | Main | Holiday books »

December 06, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jon, I know this is pretty inconsequential, but I'm pretty sure the Beatles never played Phoenix. I had always thought they had played Tucson, but since I never suffered from Beatlemania I didn't go. However, I can't find any evidence that they did play Tucson, just googling around.

This retrospective tugs at my heart, Jon. I asked for and received a transfer to Phoenix in the late 60's after the company doc said the air would be better for me. From then on through the early 80's we lived in blissful ignorance of what was to come.

But giving credit where it is due, we tip our hat to Bashas', who has endured and still runs a chain where the employees (called "members" like of a family) actually give a damn. Eddie, we're told, still throws bad produce at the department head wherever he finds it. He's survived bankruptcy and his kids now have responsible jobs in the company.

So, we lament the long-departed icons and salute this one notable survivor. Eddie never sold . . proving that occasionally, character and resolve do win out over the almighty dollar.

and Eddie appreciates the Arts

Great job, Mr. Talton, you've really brought all the threads together here.

One aspect I'd like to see covered in greater detail: to what extent did the demise of downtown stem from the loss of residents and residential housing in the area, rather than the other way around; and what policies might have stemmed the tide of suburban migration?

Mr. Talton wrote:

"The John Birch Society was strong in Arizona, largely imported by the conservative migration from the Midwest. The Republican leaders thought they were kooks, but also very committed and hardworking. Thus was born the forerunner of the Kookocracy that would take over the old Arizona GOP."

If you believe Bill Buckley's recollections of a meeting with Goldwater to discuss the topic, the John Birch Society featured strongly among Arizona movers and shakers:

* * *
Moving on, Baroody brought up the John Birch Society. It was quickly obvious that this was the subject Goldwater wished counsel on.

Kirk, unimpeded by his little professorial stutter, greeted the subject with fervor. It was his opinion, he said emphatically, that Robert Welch was a man disconnected from reality. How could anyone reason, as Welch had done in The Politician, that President Eisenhower had been a secret agent of the Communists? This mischievous unreality was a great weight on the back of responsible conservative political thinking. The John Birch Society should be renounced by Goldwater and by everyone else—Kirk turned his eyes on me—with any influence on the conservative movement.

But that, Goldwater said, is the problem. Consider this, he exaggerated: “Every other person in Phoenix is a member of the John Birch Society. Russell, I’m not talking about Commie-haunted apple pickers or cactus drunks, I’m talking about the highest cast of men of affairs. Any of you know who Frank Cullen Brophy is?”

I raised my hand. “I spent a lot of time with him. He was going to contribute capital to help found National Review. He didn’t.” Brophy was a prominent Arizona banker.

* * *

It is crazy to know that at one time, even though Phoenix was a mid-sized city with approx. 107k people, that the urban density was nearly twice of what it is today. Phoenix at one time had 6,247 people per square mile...would have done wonders for the city if it was able to maintain that density and a smaller footprint.

Great article! No mention of the filming of the iconic horror movie, Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". In figured that deserves mentioning in regards to the sixties in Phoenix. If I'm not mistaken, the Valley National Bank sign is spinning in the opening scene of the movie.

Great article! No mention of the filming of the iconic horror movie, Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". I figured that deserves mentioning in regards to the sixties in Phoenix. If I'm not mistaken, the Valley National Bank sign is spinning in the opening scene of the movie.

It doesn't look like the Beatles ever played Phoenix.



I think he meant "Hubcap & The Wheels."


The sixties and a flash forward to History:2012
New Times outs: Tom Horne or Tom the Horny. I wonder how the Rouge columnist will write about the 2000's and fit this story into the historical time frame. I am not sure whats worse 30 Kooks in the state legislature or a AG that should be in prison, again.

My mistake they let him skate last time.

They hung the last Tom Horn for his work for the Cattle Barons.

Jon thanks for this article. As you and I have discussed before this is the Arizona we know. You go back 4 generations. I got here in 50 but even then I was an avid reader and I delivered the Arizona Republic newspaper until 1968.
Glad to see you reminded us that the racist Supreme Court Justice Leader William Rehnquist helped with vote suppression in south Phoenix. I remember these events.
I knew a lot of folks that considered John Birch a hero. My recall is that many were fundamental LDS. Between Ayn Rand and Jon Birch it was heady conspiratorial times in Arizona. Not much has changed. For example, I talked to my friend Stacie Champion today about her recent fight at the state capitol with the Kookocracy on the following.
I have a problem seeing Goldwater as portrayed by the LBJ campaign but factoring in experience and ruthlessness there is no doubt in my mind that LBJ was the best qualified for the job.
As you know I hopeless watched Ernesto Miranda bleeding to death on the dirt floor of the Amapola bar and I guess you know one suspect is still outstanding and still comes and goes between Phoenix and Mexico?
Good Samaritan Hospital: From 1962 until it was tore down The SW corner of 12th street and McDowell was my doctors office housing four doctors a lab and separate entrances for contaminated and the uncontaminated. Of the four doctors only one is still living and volunteers at Boswell in Sun City.
The Fox and Paramount were great theatres; current theatres are small and cramped with no balconies or great curtains. The Sunnyslope pool at 100 E Olive (now Dunlap) went away with the construction of JC Lincoln. And eventually Doc Halls North Mountain hospitals complete with large monkeys faded into the dust. My police trainer shot and killed one of the animals. Gone is the Walbash Trailer court where in the early 50’s, I sold doughnut holes to tubercular’s living in small trailers breathing better in the dry unpolluted air.
I will stop here before I tear up on with old man reminiscing chit.
Foot note: The demise of what we refer to as North, Central and South America began about 1400 with the illegal immigration of horses.

I'm also pretty sure that the Beatles never played Phoenix - we had the Grateful Dead and the Talking Heads, and the occasional ex-Beatle. I remember Paul playing ASU in the 70s, or was it the 80s? Rehnquist slickly denied his voter suppression work in his confirmation hearings, and then slickly added "Even if I did it wasn't illegal at the time." Not illegal, but unethical and slimy. It wasn't the worst place in the world to grow up - I always felt basically safe there. Still, I'm happy that we went exile and raised our kid in New York. It's the real world.

Cal, great comment! Rogue fine article!

Both bring back fine memories of a promising city that was sidetracked and run into the ground by the Kooks.

Looks like the developers have convinced Mesa to build many more homes for retirees east of Mesa and probably tied in with Williams Field? Wonder how they will vote?

There goes your desert, Cal. Where are you and your horse gonna set up camp?

Smoke in Our Hair
By Ofelia Zepeda

The scent of burning wood holds
the strongest memory.
Mesquite, cedar, piñon, juniper,
all are distinct.
Mesquite is dry desert air and mild winter.
Cedar and piñon are colder places.
Winter air in our hair is pulled away,
and scent of smoke settles in its place.
We walk around the rest of the day
with the aroma resting on our shoulders.
The sweet smell holds the strongest memory.
We stand around the fire.
The sound of the crackle of wood and spark
is ephemeral.
Smoke, like memories, permeates our hair,
our clothing, our layers of skin.
The smoke travels deep
to the seat of memory.
We walk away from the fire;
no matter how far we walk,
we carry this scent with us.
New York City, France, Germany—
we catch the scent of burning wood;
we are brought home.

Ofelia Zepeda, “Smoke in Our Hair” from Where Clouds Are Formed. Copyright © 2008 by Ofelia Zepeda.

It's a no burn day, Suzanne.

I cant see S Mt from Central and Thomas for the crap in the air

AzReb, ;)
cal, so true, so true.

Next coffee is in Organ Pipe.

Excuse me but its a slow nite.
Chris in Denver: your answer.
Suzanne: an old Sloper tribe poem.

The Sixties?

I am hunter gatherer
A high plains drifter
I move into the wind
Seeking game
At nite I crawl into the cavity of buffalo skin.

Actually I drove up Central to Bob’s Big Boy for a burger and shake
As the nite cools I seek a woman to make my second skin.
I settle on a cotton blanket and a pint of Jim Beam
And dream of electric virgins.

Hey Cal, what are you smoking (or drinking)? Let me know, because when I retire from the fire department, I wanna try some of that stuff.

No need to smoke or drink or watch TV.
Just staying home on Friday night and reading Jon's blog stirs the creative juices.

Or try TED

OT, but wanted to share a couple of insightful Lincoln reviews that e-dog posted elsewhere, to be read in tandem (one critiques the other):

Lincoln Against the Radicals
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

11215 Slopers tribe? Good poets!

Kilpatrick’s counterpoint ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ reminded me, at first, of someone slashing into a sheet with a dull knife, hoping to strike flesh. Unfortunately, he landed a shear, “The vulgar Marxist reading of the Civil War is wrong: slavery could have survived indefinitely, just as it had originally flourished in the market revolution.” See: http://www.slaverybyanothername.com/ and it goes on …..

of course is what you call folks from Sunnyslope AZ.
I is one

Petro thanks for the Lincoln links,
I saw the movie, will have to think on it.

Mr. Talton...

I noticed you mentioned El Paso. Have you been following the fate of its stacks?


El Paso Stacks
Looks like a Job for the Monkey Wrench Gang and a seeding of native desert plants.

reminded me, at first, of someone slashing into a sheet with a dull knife, hoping to strike flesh
Good god - now there's an allegory.

El Paso is very sad. I was there for a conference downtown in (I think) 2006. The downtown had all these great old buildings, intact blocks. Nothing in them. Not even a downtown coffee shop. No preservation ethic. Such potential but no appetite for it. I'm sure the tear-downs will begin apace.

As for Lincoln, it went on too long. There's one magic scene where the movie should have ended. Unfortunately, it continued from there.

maybe when chapo retires he can become a downtown El Paso barista

Preserving smokestacks? Realy people? Really??

And you wonder why you granola-munchers aren't taken seriously.

If they ever make a cinematic adaptation of Mapstone or Powers, I've found the perfect song to be playing on the jukebox when he enters some smoky bar on an investigation: Bettye LaVette, Everything Is Broken.


That is the perfect Mapstone background music.

Betty LaVette! Never heard her before, but I like it.

Preserving smokestacks? It is El Paso, the armpit of the USA.

Does anyone know at which theater Hitchcock's "Psycho" first opened in 1960?

Yes, I was there with my brother. We got up and walked out before the movie ended. It was downtown Phoenix on a side street running east and west. I will ask my brother the name of that street.

Wonderful article. I grew up in Phoenix. lived there until 1970. I actually worked at Johnny's Records from 1967-70 and took the photo you posted. I have many downtown photos from the 60's. I was photo student. Nice to see this one again. Great memories. Thanks

Gasoline 32.9 and 34.9 per gallon, no wonder we were able to drive the large cars. Mine was a 1960 Oldsmobile :)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz