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August 11, 2020


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This remains one of my favorite Arizona anecdotes, as told by Mr. Myrick. It concerns the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad, from the west, to Tucson in 1880:

"Track laying continued another 21 miles to Casa Grande but, by the middle of May [1879], it was so hot that the men could not handle their tools and again work was temporarily halted. Early the following year, the men picked up their tools, and pushed on to Tucson to arrive on March 17, 1880. A wild celebration took place three days later when the silver spike was driven by Crocker. Telegrams were dispatched to mayors and other prominent officials all over the world telling them that the ancient and honorable city of Tucson had at last been connected by rail with the outside world. In their drunken enthusiasm, the revelers dispatched a wire to the Pope in the Vatican, informing him of the good news and requesting his benediction. During the celebration, the return telegrams were read, including one from His Holiness who sent his blessing but, for his own edification asked, "Where in the hell is Tucson?" This was not appreciated by all at the banquet and the perpetrators, who had intercepted the wire to the Pope and bribed the operator to reply with their own message, wisely remained silent."

I took the train to Chicago when I was 9 with my mother and my sisters. Somewhere along the Mississippi the train became stranded and it was mid summer. With the train stationary and no air moving the cars were stifling. My mother led us to one of the Pullman coaches, put us inside and bolted the door. When one conductor after another stood outside demanding my mother vacate the Pullman she refused, telling them she would move back into coach when the air conditioning was working. Nothing would get her to budge and they weren’t going to manhandle a demanding woman knowing there was a lot of justification in her stance. Eventually the train got underway and we rode the rest of the way to Chicago in our own Pullman accommodation. It wasn’t in the budget but we flew home.

This wasn’t the first time my mother stood her guns when things weren’t as advertised and it could embarrass us kids to be the center of attention. When I got older I admired her fire and insistence on being treated fairly and never as a 2nd class consumer no matter what the occasion.

The bridge was fixed and trains were running last Friday. It took about 10 days. It is supposed to take 4 weeks to fix Rio Salado Street and the park below it.
Priorities you know.

The bridge news is under Phoenix and Arizona links to the left. These are updated daily. Do you guys read them? If not, I can save a lot of time.

Just trying to keep people informed. I read the Republic Daily

Yes, I read them Rogue.

I read the front pages and the Arizona and Phoenix stuff every day.
I need it to keep up as I dont get much local stuff. I dont watch tv or listen to radio. I do get the AZ Mirror and New Times. Thanks for posting Jon. Any news on your next book?

Cal, the publishing industry is in turmoil. But my next book is scheduled to come out next spring.

Thanks Jon.
I'll try hard to be around.

I wonder if anyone, besides me, is concerned by the parallels between America in the 2020's and Germany in the 1930's.
I know it is off topic, but I thought it important.

Rogue — Of late the links on the upper left are my headlines for the day. I find them very informative. Hope you keep it up.

Thanks Rogue, I read the links in upper left.

For Ramjet...


I too check the Front Page and Arizona news links daily.

Thank you for your continued efforts.

What say Rogue about the 18 August KTAR article reporting Amazon adding 500 jobs in Tempe?

Drifter, I say: Why didn't Phoenix try to win them to downtown or Midtown?

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