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

History adventuring and the joy of discovery


In a longish life, I've often wondered why people do the stuff they do, and most of it seems to be an endless task of collecting stuff. Some people collect money, some people collect stamps, and it seems as if they're never satisfied. It's always made me wonder if these people were greedy, always wanting more, but now I realize that it's just the nature of the joy of discovery.

Speaking for myself, I just a huge kick out of discovering new things about historic Phoenix. I've been doing it for a long time, and no matter how much I find, I want to find more. I have a collection of Phoenix photos (all digital, of course) of about 10,000 images and often my biggest challenge is to find the stuff that I've already found. I try to use a logical file system that I learned from a fellow graphic designer who also collects old Phoenix photos, and it's wonderful. I can use the "find" command on my computer and usually "put my finger" on an image in seconds. You can't do that with boxes of ten thousand photos!

I know that every answer I find opens up many more questions, but that's fine. I love doing this kinda stuff. Every once in a while I wonder if it's a healthy addiction, and I try to go outside, and get away from my computer, but I find myself coming back to it, with joy.

But I like to do more than just collect photos, and identify them. I like to immerse myself in them, to synthesize the information until I can feel myself there. And that's what this history adventuring thing is all about. Because when I get enough information, I can feel myself in the time and space of old-time Phoenix, I like to go there.

There are so many more journeys to make, and I'm anxious to start on all of them. Call me greedy.

Image at the top of this post: Looking east on Adams towards Central in 1908, Phoenix, Arizona.

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