Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

The Superstition Mountains of Ted DeGrazia

If you lived in Phoenix in the 1960s or '70s, or if your parents did, or your grandparents, you've seen Ted DeGrazia's artwork. He was heavily promoted by Arizona Highways, and his artwork was printed on plates, prints, just about everything. Even nowadays you will see a lot of Ted DeGrazia artwork at thrift stores, garage sales, etc. And I have to admit that I've been one of those people who had always just considered his artwork to be just part of the background of some of places that I visited, like my parent's retirement community. If you grew up in Phoenix, you know what I mean. But my journey to really understand Arizona, and especially Phoenix, had me looking at his artwork again with fresh eyes.

This past weekend I spent visiting friends who live at the base of the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction. I have known them for many years, and whenever I visit I just spend most of my time looking at the view of the mountain, which is spectacular. And in the guest room was a book, printed in 1972, that was all about Ted DeGrazia's Superstition Mountains. And, after all of these years, this was the first time that I actually looked at his artwork, and read his words.

My research on the Superstition Mountains (or the Superstition Mountain, as DeGrazia says) has led me to stories of everything from ghosts to extra-terrestrials. There are many stories in there, stories of Gold Mines and Apaches. And as I read the book, and mostly looked at the pictures, I was able to visit Ted DeGrazia's Superstition Mountains.

I collect old photos of Phoenix, and am interested in Phoenix history, and tend to steer away from imaginative things like ghost stories, and spirits and such. But there is more to the story of Phoenix that just the facts, it's part of the West of the Imagination.

The Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction, Arizona

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