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July 30, 2020


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1968. My daughter was born at Good Sam and i got a job at Phoenix PD.
Good article Jon.

I enjoyed this column very much, particularly this part:

"Vietnam. Project Apollo. The 1968 presidential race. North Korea's seizure of the USS Pueblo. Assassinations. Urban riots. Student protests that weakened Charles de Gaulle in France. The gold crisis. Inflation (food prices up 14.2% over the previous four years in Maricopa County). Hippies. Most of these events seemed far away, especially my oasis idyll in central Phoenix."

It seems that you are not the only person who felt that way. Your commentary made me remember some of the lyrics to a great song, which echoes your sentiments:

"When I was ten my father held me
On his shoulders above the crowd
To see a train draped in mourning
Pass slowly through our town
His widow kneeled with all their children
At the sacred burial ground
And the TV glowed that long hot summer
With all the cities burning down

And the stones in the road
Flew out beneath our bicycle tires
Worlds removed from all those fires
As we raced each other home."

-Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Stones in the Road"

Now, I haven't fact-checked Chapin Carpenter's statement about 1968 having a long, hot summer. However, I imagine that it was nothing like the summer of 2020 in Phoenix, which just set a record for the most days in a year during which the temperature did not drop below 90 degrees. Phoenix is also on track to shatter the previous record for most days in a year with a high of 110 or above.

I think I know what Today's Prayer for Phoenix should be.

People quit coming.
People leave forever
The planet heals
The human inflections
Ok im not e.e.c.

Nor Elmer Gantry

For 7190 and others interested in an article
I posted it on the last blog. comment 99
999 in police code is "Officer Down"

Looking at Chris-Town, you can see the prosperity of the period. As awful as the mid-to-late sixties were, unemployment was low and poverty was declining. Maybe it was a function of my youth, but for all the tumult, I don't recall feeling pessimistic about America. Today, I feel nothing but pessimism. Much of that is the Trump effect, to be sure, but it's also about a nation that today no longer has a dominant center. In that breach some noxious fumes are rising. The anxiety and anger are palpable almost everywhere.

In 1968, you could have a low-paying job and still afford a house. Commutes were easy, college tuition low, and sex was everywhere. Who could we blame for all this?

What we gave up in community we gained back in a go-go culture that valorized the new and sensational. In the '70s we saw the damage this was doing to our cities that were trying to reinvent themselves as something alien to most of our species. Instead of shops and restaurants, we apparently craved huge parking garages, convention hotels, and modernist skyscrapers. Phoenix was a city on the make and played that game depressingly well.

One mistake in Rogue's history: Barry Goldwater was not in Congress in 1968. He was busy running for the Carl Hayden seat against Hayden's aide Roy Elson. He won easily by playing the fear card - crime! - as if a US Senator were in actuality a police chief. In this respect, nothing has changed. It's 2020 and the hobgoblins of change are still haunting the sleep of Real Americans.

Thanks for the catch, Soleri. Fixed. Barry was also writing a syndicated newspaper column carried by the Phoenix Gazette.

Notably, in 1968 the Arizona Republic DIDN'T endorse a Republican for President! Their editorial said either Humphrey or Nixon would be a good choice, but NOT George Wallace.

The Republic also didn't endorse Barry in 1964.

The Republic probably didn't endorse him because they "knew" him too well.
I watch the current despicable political ads on TV today and think about the one LBJ ran against Barry in 64 with the Bomb. It was roundly condemned then. It was really very tame compared to now.
68 was a different year in Phoenix. It was the year that a lot of people found out that there were lots of "people of color" in their fair city. Some of them still haven't gotten over it yet.

Always remember "This too shall pass away".

Jon, this is off topic, but I'm curious about your thoughts on the future of train service in Tempe.

In 2012, you correctly predicted that the building that burned down on Prescott's Whiskey Row would not be rebuilt/replaced with a new building (It is now "open space" for parties, weddings, etc.).

Do you think that the collapsed railroad bridge in Tempe will be repaired/rebuilt? Why or why not?


Union Pacific says it will rebuild the bridge.

Although the old SP Northern Main Line no longer carries multiple passenger trains and freight trains daily carrying the bounty of the Salt River Valley, the line is important. It hauls inbound autos, lumber, and chemicals among other products. And outbound scrap.

(The western half of the line from Arlington to Welton is out of service, since the state refused to help fund the SP's effort to improve the track and roadbed quality. This left Phoenix as the largest city in North America without intercity passenger rail).

Metro Phoenix should have both Amtrak and commuter trains.

Slightly OT, check this link if you want to see the destruction in Tucson from "urban renewal" in the 1960s. It's not merely the loss of buildings but the connective tissue of a city.


Yep Tucson developers in action.
Continuance of European destructiveness.
A good visit is the Misson South of Tucson
Where the Spaniards spent years "saving" the Yaqui and Tohono O’odham
Phoenician born Alfredo Vea wrote a good novel, La Maravilla set in Phoenix

Back in the day when my PI business flourished. I always added an extra PI and car to the surveillance as Tucson streets appear to have been laid out by a drunken conquistador.

La Maravilla set in Phoenix is a mixture of Yaqui and Catholic religions. What i call myths and superstitions.

Consultant - You hire him to tell you what time it is. He borrows your watch, tells you the time, charges you a fee and keeps the watch.

Has anyone heard a similar, humorous description for a "developer?

Jon, thanks for sharing your thoughts about the future of the railroad bridge at Tempe Town Lake. I hope they do fix or replace it.

Side note on Putin and Trump from Rogue Front Pages. I know why. $$$$$.
Trump and Kushner have been owned by the Oligarchs for many years. Is there any doubt that Putin and the fanitical religious Billy Barr will do what ever it takes to insure Trump remaining president.
There will be more blood on the Capitol steps if necessary to keep Trump 4 more years. But i was born and remain a pessimist.

Kevin i hope they rebuild the bridge and keep the trains running through Tempe. Its one of few things left of what was once a nice village. Tempe 2020 is the city of ugly Caravan and State Farm and like structures dominating the skyline. But it would not surprise me if Tempe pols try and get it re routed. So the coeds will not be rudely awakend by obnoxious clickety clack. If you have an opportunity i recommend the 1950's Harkins Theater. My first father in law was Red Harkins first projectionist. Sometimes my friend and i are the only occupants. And across the street is Old Town book store ran by friendly folks likely in their 90's. And now their daughter and granddaughter. Its a narrow dusty storage of some great ole tomes.


Yes, I saw a few movies at Harkins' Valley Art theater on Mill Avenue back when I lived down there.

When I was in high school, some older friends took me there to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show. There were thespians (of a sort) at the front of the auditorium, acting out everything as it was simultaneously occurring on the big screen. I mean everything--and probably even a few things that were not happening on the screen. At one point, someone threw a tomato, hitting me in the head and splattering all over my Hard Rock Cafe pullover.

And that is the story of how I lost my innocence.

Great story
Epigones at play back in your day.
Where are they now.
Back around the first of the year i was on Mill avenue and it was filthy with litter. I commented to my friend. She said some cities wash their streets.
Mill Avenue needed a good hosing that day.
Its been a long time (58) since i shared a dorm under the old stadium with football halfback Clay Freney from Globe, AZ. At 80 I've lost the name of the old stadium.

Goodwin stadium. They tore it down for more parking space.

Thanks Helen

Epigones. I had to look that up in the dictionary! Thanks for the vocabulary lesson, Cal.

Cal, I googled your old college roommate, Clay Freney. Sorry for his passing. I see that he was married for 57 years. Do you know if he played football after college, or what his career was?

Were the ASU dorms racially integrated in 1958?

I'll be in Clay's hometown later this week and next for the filming of a Western movie called The Woman Who Robbed the Stagecoach. I'm playing the husband of the legendary outlaw, Pearl Hart.

Kevin, In 58 I shared quarters with Clay and a Black guy named Calvin who was at ASU on a wrestling scholarship. They went onto to college and I left at the suggestion I might try manual labor.

If you’re going to be in Globe/Miami/Claypool you should try and connect with Globes oldest Resident Carmen. She is 106 and has been in Globe since she was 4. She has a really sharp mind and is locally famous for her involvement in the area. She was born in Douglas of Spaniard immigrant parents. The Blanco family is well known in Arizona mining towns. Carmen is my lady friends aunt.

You are playing Hart not Cal Bywater?

Have you played the part of Mary Katherine Haroney’s pal?

The area has changed since I used to visit there in the mid to late 50’s. Another day.
My email is [email protected]

In case uall haven't noticed its so
"hot you have to prime yourself to spit."
Clifford Irving.

Thanks for posting the link to the Hamill, Jon. Fifty-two years down the line and very little has changed, and Hamill called it with prescient accuracy.

Peter Hamill's 1988 article on Gabriel Garcia Marquez was posted today in Vanity Fair.
Hamill had a great run.

I was there that day at Christown when Bobby was there. I was standing literally at the foot of the platform as he was speaking. I could reach out and touch him. (I actually did...) at this point, he was the next president of the United States. Then they shot him...

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