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Visiting George Loring's store in old-time Phoenix

It's 1888, and we're in Phoenix, Arizona. Let's go visit George Loring's store, which is on the south side of Washington at Cactus Alley, a half block east of Center Street [Central Avenue].

There's no air conditioning in Phoenix, but luckily there are a LOT of trees. Let's walk in the shade. My dad has sent me to Loring's place to buy a newspaper, but I think I'll look around while I'm there, maybe talk to George.

Here's the place. He calls it "Loring's Bazar". What? No, I have no idea why he spells it that way. I've been told the correct spelling is "bazaar", but maybe he can't spell so good, or maybe the sign painter charged for each letter?

What's that noise? Even though it's early in the morning I can hear loud laughter at the Palace Saloon next door. Yes, those were gunshots, but don't worry, they usually just shoot through the roof there. I hear that they have some mighty fine whiskey there, and I'd like to try it some day instead of that rot-gut that I steal from my dad every once in a while.

The rugged face of Phoenix pioneer George Loring

There's George Loring. I'm going to walk over and say hi to him. No, I'm not going to ask him why he misspelled "Bazaar". He looks like a pretty tough hombre, and I understand he's from Boston. I'm not sure where that is, but I imagine that everyone from there is pretty tough!

Give me a penny, I want to buy that paper for my dad. I wonder if George will throw in a peppermint stick? And while we're here, let's look around, they have a lot of interesting things here. Maybe if we stay here long enough we'll see the Wells Fargo stage! I've always hoped that some day, if I was good enough at expressing myself, I'd be on the stage.

It's nice and cool in the building, because it's made out of adobe. Nowadays a lot of buildings are being made from bricks, now that the railroad is here, but I like adobe. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't like that modern stuff.

OK, let's go home. It was fun visiting Loring's Bazar, and I suppose we can come back tomorrow, I don't have anything else planned. It's starting to get warm, so let's go walk under the cottonwood trees, and kick up some dust.

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