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Walking to the Tri-City Mall in Mesa


Walk with me. Let's go to the Tri-City Mall in Mesa. It's 1982 and we're starting from my little apartment in Tempe, on Wildermuth, near Price and Apache.

I know we're not supposed to do this, but let's walk along the railroad tracks. I don't really need to buy anything, I'm just walking. I like the road less travelled, and I walk along the railroad tracks all of the time, usually with my neighbor's dogs. I've never seen anyone, and even trains are rare. The tracks are absolutely straight, so I can see for miles in both directions, so I'm not worried about getting hit by a train. Yeah, I know it's against the law, but we're young!

There's an open field where the Light Industrial area will be in the 21st Century, so it's an easy walk to the tracks. The dogs are barking but they can't come along this time.

Looking south along the Tempe Canal on the border of Tempe and Mesa in the 1980s. This is the view from Apache Boulevard just east of Price toward the Silos. The area has changed a lot since the 1980s, but the silos are still there. You may have to go around to Broadway to see them.

The tracks run east and west, halfway between Apache and Broadway, and cross at the bridge over the canal. As we walk east, we go past a farm, where I've visited with the dogs many times. Across the canal bridge is still open fields, and there are bees, but don't worry, they stay close to their houses, and they won't bother you. I always stop and look at the silos.

When we get to the road (which is Dobson), we'll need to turn left, and leave the railroad tracks. There's a Denny's there (which is now a LoanMax) so we can stop in, sit at the counter, and eat something. Yeah, we forgot to eat anything before we left, and we've been walking, so now we're hungry. Can you lend me a couple of bucks?

We're now in Mesa (actually we were when we crossed the canal), so it's not Apache anymore, it's Main. Tri-City Mall is now kitty-corner across Main and Dobson, so we're almost there. There's nothing much I need, besides I'm a starving student without any money to spend, but I remember how much I enjoyed hanging around Southdale when I was in High School in Minneapolis, so let's just hang around. Maybe we'll see some girls, but of course we'll be too shy to talk to them!

This has been fun, but I'm ready to head back. I'm sure the dogs are wondering where I've been!


Image at the top of this post: Tri-City Mall in the 1960s, from a postcard. The third city was Scottsdale, which is just north, across the Salt River.

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