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Getting shot by a farmer in the 1960s in Glendale, Arizona

No, I was never shot at by a farmer. This story is based on a few stray comments that I heard someone say when I asked if he remembered the neighborhood where I live, near Sahuaro Ranch, in Glendale, Arizona, and what it was like before all of the houses were built there, starting in the 1970s, and mostly in the 1980s. It was farmland. The gentleman that I talked to was a kid who saw it, and he recalled being shot at by a farmer for trespassing. Don't worry, it was just rock salt, but from what I understand, it taught that kid a lesson!

Time-travel with me back to the 1960s in Glendale, Arizona, right around 59th Avenue and Peoria. In addition to the Sahuaro Ranch, which was a working farm up until the 1980s, there were a lot of farms around. And apparently kids like to go snoop around. I have no idea what the kids were doing, just being kids I'd say, but they were trespassing, and there was one farmer in particular who didn't like it. He loaded his shotgun with rock salt (I just looked it up, and I still really have no idea what it is) and shot at the trespassers. One of the kids (the gentleman that I had spoken to) apparently got a hit in the seat of his pants, and while it's not lethal, it hurts like crazy. He never forgot, and he never trespassed on that farmer's land, either!

The greater Phoenix area has been so transformed in a single lifetime that it's hard to imagine my suburban neighborhood being farmland, with farmers shooting at trespassers with rock salt. But it really happened, at least once, and probably many times, and it wasn't that long ago. When I walk out into my backyard I wonder if there's some rock salt down there, and maybe a little bit of someone's torn pants. Probably.


Image at the top of this post: Flying over the Sahuaro Ranch in 1968, Glendale, Arizona. The buildings towards the bottom of the photo are Glendale Community College, which had been built in 1965. Surrounding it were farms.

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