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

What the children of today will think of Phoenix in twenty years


When I first started learning about old Phoenix, I discovered that there had always been "good old days". And those were the days that former kids remembered when they became adults. Good old days happen every twenty to thirty years, and have been doing so since the first time an adult looked back on their childhood.

Recently one of my PhDs (Phoenix History Detectives) wondered if people would look back to now in twenty or thirty years as "the good old days". And of course I believe they will. Twenty years from now children will look back fondly at a time when everything was a simpler, when families really cared about each other, when children really knew how to play.

And now that I know that, I'm OK with people always criticizing right now, and pining away for the good old days. But it does make me wonder what Phoenix will be like in twenty years.

As someone who's lived in Phoenix for many decades, the first thing I think of will be things that I just can't seem to get used to, but will seem like they will have been there "forever", like the Light Rail. In twenty years the Light Rail will be so comprehensive that it will be a trivia question to ask if it actually went all of the way to Glendale (which it doesn't yet!). It will go to the Hassayampa, and the Harqualla Vallies. As a Marketing guy, I imagine that there will probably be new names for those areas, maybe stuff that's easier to spell, or pronounce. Who says "Salt River Valley" anymore? It will irritate the Old-Timers, who are children now, and will have memories of the original names! Darned progress!

As someone who is anxious to see self-driving cars and high-speed rail to California, only the Old-Timers will remember their parents having to drive across I-10 for hours and hours, or stand in line at the airport. It will be laughable to the young people, and nostalgic to the Old-Timers. And by the way, I call anyone who remembers twenty to thirty years ago in Phoenix an "Old-Timer"!

I am an optimistic person, and I believe that Phoenix will be a cleaner and safer place to live in twenty years from now. The air will be bluer, and there will be more trees. There will be more places for people to walk, and more accommodations for the elderly and the disabled. It will be an amazing place, and I know that because I know that there are people working on all of that right now. But the Old-Timers will look back fondly, because that's what the good old days are all about.

Image at the top of this post: The eucalyptus trees along the Arizona Canal in 2016, 7th Street and Northern, Phoenix, Arizona. In the good old days.


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