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August 25, 2021


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Five at the Ramada
Already downing Martinis?
And your large cranium appears to be 21.
Definitely a lot of smarts in there.
And LJB ears.
Never a desire to be a politician?
Thanks for the pics.
I recall most.
Including the entance to Bob's
John Sellers gave me a pipes ticket right outside the entrance. And of course Woody's El Nido. Somewhere you have a photo of my 59 Chev 4 on the floor, parked out front.

As always, thank you.

Cal, perhaps this one...


Macayos of course terrible food.
Wasnt the same as Woody's El Nido fare.
And I'm an expert.
I have had "Mexican" food cooked on a wood fire in an adobe structure with dirt floors. And outside also.
But usually around 5pm you could catch up with Lou Levine at the Macayos bar.
I know a few "Spaniards" that stuck with Macayos until it wasn't. Why i dont know.

When Jon was growing up, Phoenix was no longer a village but becoming a town. A nice town. With my almost 86 year old native lady I drive the areas from Mountain View Road in the Slope to South Mountain and 35 Avenue to 44th street now and cry.

Octane, a reminder I'm sure you dont need but anyway, dont do the Woke in the Highliter

Cal, those days are behind me I'm afraid, like so many other things. Too many changes. My old hangout was razed for the light rail (WBIYB) years ago.

I'll keep looking for the 59 with the glass packs though.

Great pics as always, speaking of Mapstone, need a new one or two. :P

Thanks, Jamie. Not sure I can find a publisher as an older white male. Wrong make, wrong model these days.

The reference in the last caption reminded me of a exceedingly entertaining book, "Sting Ray Afternoons." Although is was more about my younger brothers' childhood (they had Sting Ray bikes,) it still resonated with nostalgia for all that's been lost in towns across America.

Old white guy detectives are out?
Maybe Mapstones Daughter is the new History professor and crime fighting Detective. With an office in the upstairs of the Train Depot.

Ah, ah, & ah!

 Jon, yet another overwhelmingly wonderful post! Keep them coming. Your preceding one was also a winner, though all I could think to say in response to it and the simultaneous news of Colorado River water cuts was, “Zoners, beware — here comes The Water Knife!”

 Ah, the “Mapstone house” — not quite as Iʼd envisioned it, but not too far off. It does look as if it could stop a few bullets. I seem to recall WPA-era manhole covers along Third Avenue down there; still around?

 Ah, Alden B. Dowʼs 1953 Central Library, just about my favorite hangout in the city, where I spent untold hours in the 1960s & ʼ70s. Some 40+ years later, I still see, hear, and smell the place vividly. It was such a flawlessly humane environ­ment: airy, well-lit, spacious, interesting layout. I haunted mostly the Science (especially Space Exploration), Science Fiction, Literary Criticism, and General Fiction sections. What, Jon, is your opinion of the stairway leading up to the main entrance? The dimensions and proportions of those stairs were the finest Iʼve ever encountered; in fact, Iʼll declare for the record they were perfect. I donʼt know whether you or anyone else recalls that little design detail, but itʼs true! I assume they were not retained in the new, “improved” design. If so, that in itself renders the demolition of the old library a crime against Art, which is the case anyhow. Know where one can find more photos, ideally in color, of the interior? There donʼt seem to be nearly enough of them on the Web, as far as I can tell — nor for that matter ones of the exterior.

 Ah, the Bobʼs Big Boy on Central, home to some of my fondest Phoenix memories! The branch at Chris-Town (19th and Bethany), and later the Bobʼs Jr. at MetroCenter, also got a lot of my business. My standard order: one strawberry milkshake, one serving of onion rings, one Double Decker — well done, no cheese, no lettuce, heavy Bobʼs sauce, plus pickles, and extra extra sautéed onions on the side. (When the burger arrived, Iʼd spend about five minutes arranging the pickles properly, applying the onions, anointing it with Lea & Perrins, A-1, and Heinz 57 Sauce, and finishing with a sprinkling of Bobʼs Seasoning Salt. And then, salivary glands at full tilt, Iʼd gobble it down in six bites in half that time, devoting the rest of the meal to very leisurely munching my o-rings and sipping my shake as others in the party took their sweet time consuming their orders, inspiring muddled observations about the tale of the tortoise and the hare.) Yes, this was long before my vegan era, when I was the quintessential picky eater and the waitressesʼ nightmare. Actually, I may still be the latter ... or both. Jon, if during your time at Bobʼs you recall hearing the receptionist/cashier call out some improbable phrase summoning “Apocalypse, party of four!” or “Wisemen, party of three!” or “Opposition, party of two!” or “Independence, party of one!”, you and I were very likely under the same roof together. (I believe once it was “Nozzleprodder, party of five!” There was a long list of these.) I trust you did not neglect to pick up your copy of the latest exciting issue of Adventures of the Big Boy on the way in or out. (#76 & #86 were personal favorites.)

 Ah, that fine little bridge in Encanto Park! I seem to recall paddleboating under it on a few occasions on my circuits around the pond. (Being a klutz and not a swimmer, I strongly preferred paddleboat to canoe.)

 The Palms — gone, along with the Sombrero, alas. So weʼll go no more a lip-syncing, so late into the night....

 NASA Facts films — sounds fun. Did you have a projector for viewing them? In the ʼ60s I was subscribed to NASA Tech Briefs and accumulated a big stack of cool, bleeding-edge space stuff like this. You Will Go to the Moon!

 Ah, Park Central “Shopping City”, another entertaining place for a ʼ60s kid and another Phoenix icon ill served by renovations. Helsingʼs Coffee Shop offered some quality Goodie Style (though for grub, Miracle Mile), and no visit was complete without stops in both the Waldenbooks and the B. Dalton. (I much preferred Chris-Town, however. The Sun Worshiper was nifty but it couldnʼt hold a candle to the Court of Birds, not to mention the Court of Fountains, the Woolworthʼs and of course the organ grinder & pal.)

 Sorry to hear about your Sting-Ray! Rest assured that wasnʼt me, by the way: for one thing, weʼre not of the same age. However, my own beloved Sting-Ray (which looked uncannily like this one) got stolen in 1979, so I feel your pain! Perhaps the same wretch, some serial Sting-Ray bandit, nabbed both our bikes.

 Next time, a few things you didnʼt mention that Iʼd see and do in 1960s/70s Phoenix were my time machine not kaput....

 (This doesnʼt count as “next time”, by the way.)

 Whatʼs this about your challenge in finding a publisher for new Mapstone Mysteries‽ I find it outrageous to think any competent publisher would turn you down, especially for reasons of auctorial demographics of the sort you cite. Something must be done about this.

Check out the mystery reviews in the New York Times: Every book is by a woman or person of color. The exceptions: Superstars like Connolly or Winslow, and Scandinavian or British authors.

Every day my look at Lit Hub seems to show females dominate the literary scene.
I asked a female author friend about such and she said, "men dont read."

For my sixth birthday, I saw "Mary Poppins" at the Palm in 1964.

Im 56 i hopped the fence at the
Northern Drive In theater to watch
The Bad Seed.
Of course hopping the fence generally was an adrenline exercise in out running out of shape private security guards. And hiding from MCSO deputies in water filled irrigation ditches.

Around that same time i went to the Indian Drive In, in the trunk of a car.
Seems like the Movie was the
The Searchers with John Wayne.

Now I feel burned about growing up in ahwatukee.

Brings back lots of memories for me as well. I grew up about 5 years earlier; went to Grand Avenue and Heard Schools. Did go to a STEM summer-school at Kenilworth shortly after Sputnik. Lots of memories of Encanto Park; the lagoon and the bandshell. Even Bert Easley's Fun Shop!

Bert was treated bad by local zealots. Daughter recently closed it down.
Bruce you related to Ron?
Five C's Ahwatukee should have remained desert. And now to the south the indeginous folks have gone the way of the white man.
I recall that besides a small ranch and a few houses the south side of South Mountain was a Caterpillar proving grounds.

1948 Indian Drive In theatre

ccccc: Ahwatukee.
I was wrong it was
In 1946, the International Harvester Company rented land from a United States Army tank testing facility located west of today's Lakewood community, for use as truck and heavy equipment proving grounds.[6] The proving grounds eventually grew to over 4,000 acres.

Caterpillar was in the Whitetanks.

Very cool. I didn't grow up here but some of these views were the same when I arrived.

Thanks for the photo essay, Jon! We moved here in '59, spent a year in Maryvale and then moved into the 20th St. and Bethany Home area. The photos bring back the Phoenix that was a nice small town when we moved here. It has certainly changed since! Seems to me that there may be an untapped source from your youth here as far as story material goes. I'm going to guess that there is probably a story or two in there somewhere!

Cal, I'm almost certainly not related to any other Danielsons in Phoenix. My folks moved to Phoenix just after WW2 ended for my Father's fragile health. Worked OK, he lived another 35 years!

Thanks Bruce
I went to Washington High School with
Ron Danielson in 58. He went onto the feds and then became Chandler Police department Police Chief.

My world as well. I remember being at the train station to see my dad arrive after the Berlin airlift, even though I was only 2. The pink library was where I first met my wife in 1970. Phoenix was a pretty good place to grow up. Eventually it didn't suit someone who aspired to work in universities.

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