This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Moving from Minneapolis to Phoenix


It's November, and even though it's been a long time since I moved away from Minneapolis, as a teenager, I still stop and marvel at how wonderful it is here at this time of year.

Now, don't get me wrong - Minneapolis is a wonderful place and I enjoyed growing up there. Well, most of the time. But not the winter. I hated the cold. I had thin blood I guess, and couldn't get warm from November until May. I had a lot of friends who enjoyed winter sports, who played hockey, skied, etc., but I didn't. So I started planning on moving to a sunny climate when I was in high school.

As I recall, I talked about going to Australia because I'd seen pictures of the desert there, which looked nice. But someone told me that you had to be a doctor, or something, to be allowed to move there, so I never looked into it. But it was all the same to me when I decided to move to Phoenix.

I bought a car when I was eighteen, figured out how to read a map, and headed west. But really there was more to it than that. I had been working for a company that hired college kids at minimum wage to do physical inventory. It was called the Washington Inventory Service, and they had offices all over the country. And then one day in Minneapolis I asked my boss if he would transfer me. He asked to where, I said to Phoenix, he picked up the phone, and told me to go report in there.

I arrived in August, with a car that had no air conditioning. I had practically gotten heat stroke driving across the country. And when I got to Phoenix, I looked in the paper (that's what you did back then), found an apartment (the Saguaro Apartments, as pictured above), and reported in for work. I had the previous paycheck waiting for me there.

So if you see me in November, holding my face up to the sun here in Glendale, just remember that I'm thinking of Minnesota. And I'm glad I'm not there.