Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is advertising-free, and is supported by my subscribers on Patreon. 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. If you're a subscriber, thank you! You make this happen!
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.
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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Posted by Brad Hall