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

Phoenix, Arizona in the Happy Days - the 1990s


Back in the 1970s, I watched a TV show that was called "Happy Days". It was an idealized view of the world of the 1950s, and it seemed so very far away from the modern world. It tied into nostalgia that people were feeling for a time long ago.

And a few days ago I realized that Happy Days were set only twenty years previous to the time of the show. And I did the math - and that meant that the Happy Days now would be the 1990s. It sounded ridiculous to me - the world doesn't seem all that different from the 1990s. Does it?

For me, the '90s were all about dedicating my life to golf. I had played precious little in California, which was too crowded and too expensive, so when I moved back to Phoenix in '89, that's just about all I wanted to do. I recall vaguely having a job, and doing other stuff, but my mind was always on golf.

The foursome in the picture there, Mike Binder, John Boucher, Scott "James" Bond, and myself, at the Foothills Golf Course, which is just south of Chandler Boulevard and west of 24th Street, wasn't typical of the courses that I played. And that's because I wasn't paying for the round. One of the perks of working for Bank One was being invited to play golf by the sales reps that did the printing for the collateral of the Marketing Department. And although I wasn't really all that important to the company, I was the one who was always up for golf, so I played a lot of golf. The best courses I played when the Bank One Advertising Manager couldn't go, and my terrible golf stunk up some of the best courses in the Phoenix area in the '90s.

The 1990s were happy days for me. I had returned to Phoenix in '89 just to visit, and when I got there I wondered why I had ever left? I drove out from LA just to visit old friends in Phoenix, and in an idle moment I decided to see how much rent was for apartments. I stopped at one and was astonished. And then I heard, "...and if you want to be on the golf course..." I signed a lease that day, lost my deposit on my place back in California, and decided to never roam again. I got the job at Valley Bank, which became Bank One, and Phoenix was good to me. In 1996 I started teaching Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Phoenix, but I don't recall any of that interrupted my main goal in life, which was golf.

Happy Days!


Image at the top of this post: at the Foothills Golf Course in 1995, 2201 E Clubhouse Dr, Phoenix, Arizona.

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