How not to go "power mad" about Phoenix history
I've always been interested in history, and in addition to reading about it in books, I like to ask people questions about what they remembered "back in the day". This has led to me to many wonderful people, who have patiently answered my questions, explained things, and showed me a world that I was too young to have ever seen. I can't thank these people enough, and in this blog I try to repay a bit of it, in what I guess is called "paying it forward", or "linear kindness". I can never pay them back, so I pass it along as graciously as I can.
I was also fortunate to have met several people who became "power mad" when I asked them about history, and what they remembered. I discovered that these were people who had never really been asked anything of any importance, and this was their big chance to become power mad. No, it didn't start with Facebook, although I see a lot of it there, of course.
I sympathize with these people, who have often been shocked to think that they have something that someone else might want from them, just in terms of information. And the pattern tends to always be the same in what I call the "power dance". A straight answer is never given. Often I'm asked to come back later (a big power thing!) or it's given to me as a puzzle, or a riddle, and I'm supposed to guess. You may recognize this sort of frustrating thing done by people on Facebook, who want to stretch out their moment of glory for as long as possible. Sadly, there's nothing to be done with these people, and I regret having to set them aside. The most important lesson I learned from these people was to not be like them.
As I drift into the age that these people were when I first started asking questions of them (a senior citizen), I'm anxious to share. No power struggle, no games. If you ask me a question I'll either answer it, or say I don't know. Anything else would be against my principles. My age hasn't driven me power mad, nor has it made me an "old fool". At least I hope not.
Image at the top of this post: Looking north at the Fleming, and the Title and Trust buildings in 1945, 1st Avenue and Washington, Phoenix, Arizona.
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Posted by Brad Hall