Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Love letters to the city you love


I just love my city. I live in Glendale, Arizona, which is a suburb of Phoenix. I've only lived two other places in my life, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, but Phoenix is my home. Palm trees grow, and rents are low... let me tell you all about it! Sit down, I'll be talking quite a bit!

And there you have it. Loving a city means talking about it all of the time, which is what I do IRL (In Real Life) and in cyberspace. And I'm one of the lucky ones who gets to live in a place that they love. Some people aren't so lucky, and they seem to always be thinking of the city that they love. My heart aches for them.

Affection for a city, like any type of love, can be a wonderful thing, or it can be awful. I've known people who seem to think that loving somewhere means hating somewhere else, and that makes me sad. I don't hate Minneapolis, or Los Angeles, or any other place that people love, that just makes no sense to me. I can love without hating.

I have a brother who lives in the Bay Area of San Francisco, and he is head over heels in love. He must be, to pay that much to live there! When we talk on the phone, I ask him to tell me what he's looking at, and it's never a dull description. He may tell me that he's looking at the Bay Bridge, or the Oakland Hills. Love oozes out of every word he says. I like that.

For me, I want to know everything there is to know about the city I love. I want to know its past, present, and future. I call that "history adventuring", and really it's just my way of expressing my love. I can't get enough of it, as friends of mine know. I've seen Camelback Mountain thousands of times, and would love to see it thousands more times!

What I'm discovering in a long life is that love isn't blind, it's just selective. I'm willing to overlook the 100-degree-plus temperatures of Phoenix, and the other things that are just "it is what it is". I'm not willing to accept bad things that can be changed, such as cutting down trees. I'd love to see more trees in the city that I love! Oh yeah, and less red-light-running would be nice.

If you're lucky enough to be living in the city that you love, and it's Phoenix, you understand what I do every day. I write love letters.

Image at the top of this post: Looking north at downtown Phoenix and the Phoenix Mountains from 27th Avenue and Southern in 2018.

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Going to the Swigert Brothers Optical Company in old-time Phoenix


It's 1911 and I think that I need some new glasses. I just noticed an ad for the Swigert Brothers Optical Company, so I think I'll go visit them. I'd appreciate if you'd come along with me. I don't see very well, and I might get lost.


Looks like they're on Adams, across from the new Adams Hotel. Yeah, they've already replaced the old one that burned down last year. These Swigert Brothers look pretty respectable, and I see that they both wear glasses. They've been in business here in Phoenix for eight years, so they've been around since 1903.


The ad says that I'd be cheating myself if I didn't allow them to care for my optical needs. I sure don't want to cheat myself! They say that they fit but one quality of glasses - the best. Sounds like they'd be expensive, but I guess that's how you don't cheat yourself! I would ask my neighbors and friends about them, but no one that I know wears glasses. Maybe I could go ask the old schoolmarm? Or maybe a bank teller?


I like that style in the ad, I think it's called a "Pince-nez" - it just pinches your nose. I wonder how comfortable that is? Let's see, they're open from 9 to 12, and 1 to 5, and other times by appointment. I'd like to go there now. Point me in the right direction, will you?

If you liked this article, and would like to see more, please consider becoming a patron of History Adventuring on Patreon. If you're already a patron, thank you! You make this happen!

Click here to become a Patron!

History adventuring posts are shared there daily. The basic tier is a dollar a month, and the PhD tier, which includes "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos, is five dollars a month, and is discounted for seniors, veterans, and students.