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

An old-timer's rant in old-time Phoenix

One thing that old-timers really like to do is rant. This is natural, as they know what is what, and have been around a while. They know how things should be, and are outraged when they're not. Let's time travel back to Phoenix after the turn of the century (let's say 1907) and I'll do an old-timer's rant.

"First of all, what's with all of the bicycles? They're everywhere, zooming past you, hardly watching where they're going. Maniacs! Some of those darned things don't even have any brakes, and they just have to keep going until they run into something, like my horse.

Speaking of which, what's with all of the horses? A few years ago there was a reasonable amount, now they're everywhere, making messes, and stinking up the town. And those young folk don't know the first thing about caring for horses - look at that mare tied up over there. Disgraceful!

And don't get me started on those &!#@ horseless carriages! There oughta be a law - those darn things are so noisy, and smelly, and always backfiring. Spooked my horse yesterday while I was having a few at the Central Hotel, and I had to spend half the day looking for her. The next time I see a horseless carriage, well, there's no telling what I'll do!

And electricity! That's the most foolish thing I've ever seen. What's wrong with candles? Do we need to light up Phoenix at night as if it were the middle of the day? Decent folk should be home when it gets dark, not carryin' on by electrical light! Those darned electrical poles and wires are everywhere nowadays - darned foolish things, and dangerous, too. Kilt a horse the other day, I heard. Not sure if that's true. I'll bet the Adams Hotel will burn down one day!

It didn't used to be like this. When I was a young 'un, things were so much better. Kids found their own fun, and showed respect to their elders. There was no electricity, and no horseless carriages, and no bicycles. I miss the old days!"

Image at the top of this post: Washington in 1907, just west of Central Avenue, which used to be called Center.

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