This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Being the Greatest Generation of Phoenix, Arizona


As someone who is interested in history, I'm particularly fascinated by the 1950s. That was the time of the Greatest Generation, a term that was coined by Tom Brokaw in his book of the same name. The generation after that one, which includes me, is usually called "the Baby Boom", that is, the people who were born after World War II up through the mid-1960s. Nowadays you usually just hear the term "Boomers" for my generation, and we are an indication of the amazing burst of life that happened after 1945, which begins one of the most successful eras in the history of the United States, the 1950s. Yeah, the 1950s began in the late 1940s and ended in the early 1960s.

Let's time-travel back to Phoenix, Arizona in the early 1950s. We're young men recently released from the service, and looking around. We're the Greatest Generation.

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The nightmare is over. It's as if the world was holding it's breath since December 7th, 1941. Our parents may have fought the war to end all wars, but we finished it. And hopefully the world will never go to war again. But I really don't want to think about that, I want to look to the future. Here we are, safe and sound, in a time and place that we hardly dared imagine that we would ever see. Yeah, I know that I'm missing an arm, but that's no big deal, a lot of guys got it a lot worse than me. I just need one arm to turn a wrench, and I've been doing it for a long time now. And look at all of the cars! There's gonna be a lot of work fixing them, and that's what I want to do.

The housing shortage in Phoenix is still pretty awful, but I can see that it's getting better. It seems like every day I drive around Phoenix I see whole new neighborhoods. You're a carpenter, so you'll have plenty of work, I'm sure.

For so many years we didn't dare to dream. It's as if the whole world just came to a stop, and it was all about the war. Now everything is new and beautiful. Just look at that car going by! Can you image? A few years ago you hardly ever saw chrome on a car. And that's what I want! A car with a LOT of chrome! Oh yeah, and I also want a new house, with a big shed next to it, where I work on cars when I'm not at work, working on cars. And I'll have everything I never dreamed that I would have, a life, a home, a family, and even a dog. I think I'll get a wiener dog!

Image at the top of the post: 1330 E. Sheridan in 1953, Phoenix, Arizona. Name of wiener dog unknown.