Old-timers sitting on a corner in Phoenix, Arizona in 1911
If I'm learning anything about Phoenix history, it's that it's best seen through the eyes of people who are watching it. I really don't care for history books, I like looking through magazines and newspapers of the era. And yet I know that those printed words can't possibly tell me what the average person on the street was thinking. And I would be especially interested in the words of people about the age I am now, which although I still consider myself "middle aged" (I plan on living to 120 at least), were the real voices of reason. So if you don't mind, I'd like to be a couple of Phoenix old-timers, sitting on a corner, just talking about things.
Well how-de-do! It's another beautiful day in Phoenix! Just breath that fresh air! Let's move away from those horses, and set a spell.
I just don't know what this town is coming to! Those horseless carriages are everywhere, kicking up dust, making a racket, scaring the horses. They ought to pass a law against them, they're going to ruin Phoenix! Say, there's a nice one going by, I wouldn't mind owning something like that. I believe that's a Pope-Toledo! I understand that they never backfire...
What are you laughing at? I always jump like that when I hear gunfire. I figured maybe it was Garfias, gunning for me. Who are you calling an old fool? Yeah, I guess he did die in '96. Well, could have been Noah Broadway, I can't keep all of them sheriffs straight. What? He's been gone since '86. No one tells me anything. I hear that Sheriff Carl Hayden is a pretty good shot, too. You'd better watch yourself.
What do I think of the Roosevelt Dam? A bunch of dern foolishness if you ask me. Bureau of Reclamation? You mean Bureau of Wreck-lamation! Those dams will break and we'll all be drowned, just like in Johnstown. You mark my word!
Hand me that bottle, I'm feeling mighty parched. I hear tell that they plan on paving the streets. What a mess that'll be! I suppose once they start tearing up the roads, there's be no end of it. And it'll just make it hotter here, like those darn fool brick buildings. Back when the buildings were adobe, it kept the whole town cooler. And that concrete Adams Hotel is even worse. Never should have built it, it'll probably burn down just like the old one did, mark my word!
What? Oh, all right, I guess so. We've been sitting here for a couple of hours, might as well go home and get some work done. I'll see you tomorrow, here's your empty bottle back.
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Posted by Brad Hall