Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

Giving the gift of Phoenix history

I'm a believer in giving gifts. I haven't done a lot of it in my life, but it's always been important to me that when I give a gift, it's given "without let or hindrance", freely, to be used however the receiver desires. Absolutely no strings.

The gift I've been giving away in cyberspace for several years is digital images, like the one at the top of this post. I'm delighted when people like them, and I do it because I can. Collecting old photos is my hobby, and I can give them away without losing anything myself - they're not paper, they're digital. I don't do it for money, because frankly there isn't enough money in the world for the amount of work I put into it. I do it because I enjoy the collection, and the gift is just the icing on the cake for me.

Of course, not everyone agrees with what I'm doing. There are a lot of people who resent how someone might use a gift, whether it's displayed correctly, whether they give the gift to someone else (re-gifting), or whether it turns into something that makes money. I don't care. I don't have the energy to follow where my gifts go. If you print out a photo and hang it up in your bathroom, I won't be offended. If you make tee-shirts and sell them, I won't expect a commission, if you display it somewhere and charge admission, that's fine. It's yours to with as you please. And for people who disagree with me, and hold on tightly, I usually ask if they will share. Unfortunately, many of these people are so dedicated to making sure that nothing of theirs is ever used in a way that they would disapprove of, they destroy it.

And there are many ways of destroying precious pieces of Phoenix history. The most common way is to put things in boxes and forget about them, until some day they'll just be part of the landfill. They could be locked up in boxes and stored safely away. I often refer to the last scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when I picture things being boxed up and put on shelves. If you've seen that movie, you know what I mean.

I would like to continue giving away digital images, and I see no reason to stop, or even slow down. I'm a graphic designer, a Photoshop guy, and I'm comfortable in cyberspace, and with social media. And yes, structurally all of these things are designed for commercial purposes. But I've found a way to use it to give gifts, and it makes me feel good. And maybe that good feeling is my selfish reward? I suppose so. If that's the case, it's a good deal.

If you see anything here that you like, please use it, without let or hindrance. I know that even as I write this, a lot of precious history of Phoenix is being lost forever, so I'll do what I can, and I hope that you will reshare.

Image at the top of this post: Footbridge over the Arizona Canal in 1902, Camelback Mountain in the background.

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