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October 02, 2013


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Many who post on this blog no longer live here. You are no longer in the game. You are in the stands, observing. Your observations are appreciated, but they carry little weight. You are no longer in the game.

Wow, Reb. I think it's clear that Jon still gets into the nervous system of the State, however remotely. I'll chalk it up to your disappointment over the latest emigre to the Northwest.

Mr. Talton, I like the treatment of nostalgia here. I have a Spock-like, Krishnamurti-an distaste for sentimentality of this sort, but I also have a human part of me that likes to rest in the "armchair" of nostalgia. I indulge this part of me, happily and without limitation.

But it does come through in your post - it seems your love for the truth trumps your equally real love for (and closeness to) the place and history of Arizona. I aspire to this kind of intelligence myself, in all matters.

They probably call you a "rock thrower" too. It's another favorite insult of the Very Influential™ set.

Hey Reb, It is true that I too am now from away. but i am a second generation Arizonan my daughter is 3rd generation and i have to say that Jon rocks. We once hand the Haydens who cared now when i go to see my father I am lost in the ugliness of the Phoenix, the sadness of what could have been.

Great piece Jon, In my 63 years in the Valley I experienced most those things good and bad that you posted here. Another HOT article.

Speaking of Hot, the folks in Yarnell are all heated up over the incompetent revealing investigation of the Yarnell fire. A definite cover up with some blaming the whole thing on god. Hopefully John Dougherty will be able to pry loose a real story.

Reb, writers like Jon are in the game.
They launch from far away and safe places blistering and deadly attacks.
They are called DRONES.

I was a Hotshot in the 1980's (Mormon Lake IHC). There's a simple reason the report on the Yarnell fire was as vague as it was: it was the crew boss' fault, but locals are so upset the gov't didn't want to throw gas on the fire.
They left a safe zone and traveled through a "chimney" to another safe zone without clearing this move with overhead (who would not have allowed it). They did this without making certain their lookout was still in place. Overhead lost contact with them, which is also the responsibility of the crew boss. They walked into a death zone due to the negligence and incompetence of one man. My crew boss used to say, "If you guys have to pull shelters, it's my fault. I'll make sure that never happens."

BTW - excellent column, Jon. My memories only go back to the early 70's, but the decline in the valley has been precipitous. The only consolation has been the drive to preserve what little is left.

Thanks for the scoop, mark shipley.

Mr. Talton, Phoenix is fortunate to have a native son, such as yourself, with as much talent and interest in all that is Phoenix. We are graced.

Another winning column Rogue! A gratuitous public service to Arizona and other horizons.

Judge Rehnquist was born and raised in Shorewood, Wisconsin formerly known as East Milwaukee located in the severely segregated Milwaukee metropolitan area. Shorewood is an affluent, white power community bordering an African -American ghetto with some of the worst poverty rates in the US. Very easy to understand where Rehnquist developed his racism which he brought to Arizona and directed in his blocking of minority voting. A classic example of a racist from the Midwest.

There's nothing wrong with nostalgia, in proportion, and nothing I've seen here argues a lack of proportion. We all know that Mr. Talton likes trains, and that he misses the Japanese flower gardens and the citrus groves. These occasional reminiscences have their place and I for one enjoy learning about vanished features and seeing photographs of them. They do not make up the bulk of commentary appearing at Rogue Columnist, or anything remotely approaching a surfeit, so they do not constitute obsession, much less obsession to the point of "blindness".

If Mr. Talton has a weakness, it's a sensitivity to criticism that drives him to pen an entirely unnecessary apologia. That said, it's scarcely useless, and listing the many indispensible features and virtues of Rogue Columnist should remind complacent readers (Reb) just what they have to appreciate.

Great article. I miss the grat visionaries that were around AZ. They had ideas not about getting rich, but about improving Arizona. We are left with a legacy of people willing to destroy historic properties instead of trying to preserve them as happened Tuesday on Roosevelt.

Wiki offers the following entertaining etymology:

"The term was coined in 1688 by Johannes Hofer (1669–1752) in his Basel dissertation. Hofer introduced nostalgia or mal du pays "homesickness" for the condition also known as mal du Suisse "Swiss illness" or Schweizerheimweh "Swiss homesickness," because of its frequent occurrence in Swiss mercenaries who in the plains of lowlands of France or Italy were pining for their native mountain landscapes. Symptoms were also thought to include fainting, high fever, indigestion, stomach pain, and death. Military physicians hypothesized that the malady was due to damage to the victims' brain cells and ear drums by the constant clanging of cowbells in the pastures of Switzerland."

Which only shows that military physicians have changed little. Incidentally, I recently saw a documentary on The Military Channel stating that veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome demonstrate characteristic chromosomal damage at levels far above those not deployed.

Apparently, the genetic damage explains the wide variety of symptoms which had previously led military physicians to dismiss the phenomenon as an amalgam of unrelated conditions and hypochondria.

Those showing chromosomal damage include soldiers deployed to areas where potential exposure to nerve agents was unlikely.

The cause remains speculative, but exposure to depleted uranium (used in modern military munitions) has been suggested as one possibility.

P.S. Levels of chromosomal damage were also above a variety of comparison classes including cancer patients who had undergone radiation therapy.

I once had an acquaintance that wanted to photograph all animals and then let them wink out of existence. He could not think of a reason to try and save any animals. We never got around to the preservation of humans and I have no photos of him

Nostalgia aside: And given the mess in DC U might want to check the train wreck on Petro's blog

Reb -- "Many who post on this blog no longer live here. You are no longer in the game. You are in the stands, observing. Your observations are appreciated, but they carry little weight. You are no longer in the game."

I have friends and family in AZ and my parents are buried there. So, I say that I am still in the game. When I visit Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson, the Navajo Nation, and Sierra Vista, there are people there who know me because I lived in those places.

I scratched my name in a cave in Walnut Canyon whose entrance was so small, you had to slither about 50 feet on your belly to get into it -- and I hate being closed in.

You can't get rid of us that easily. Just because the political climate in AZ became so xenophobic and, well, just plain dumb, that you drove people out doesn't mean I'm going to allow the nitwits who stayed to have the last word.

Thank you for your comments and please do return regularly to continue to desecrate our Native treasures.

FYI, on Thursday 54 percent of the unique visitors (or 6,212) came from Arizona. Although Rogue is read in all 50 states and several foreign countries, Arizona represents the biggest source of readers.

As for "being in the game," I do what I can. Remember — I was kicked out. But I still own property in Phoenix and my family roots there go back to the 1890s. So I have skin in the game. Wish I were a 1 percenter with billions so I could affect the change many of us wish for.

Thanks to all for their comments on this column.

Reb -- "Thank you for your comments and please do return regularly to continue to desecrate our Native treasures."

I'm part native American (Shinnecock), so it's art, not desecration. You can take your kids to see it to broaden their cultural horizons.

I'm one of the nitwits who is still in Phoenix and find Rogue's work to far exceed anything else available locally. One of our biggest problems today is that many people don't have any idea that Phoenix could be and once was much more authentic and charming. Nostalgia is a good antidote to that.

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