Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

How to be a Phoenix History Detective (PhD)


If you're interested in being a PhD (Phoenix History Detective), don't worry - it's easy. You don't even have to live in Phoenix, although that would be nice. A magnifying glass is optional, but the attitude of a detective is required.

A PhD is a degree that you give to yourself as soon as you start wondering about Phoenix history. And it's not about reading books, although they're helpful, it's about looking at stuff.

For me, to give credit where credit is due, it started with a show on PBS that I used to watch called "the History Detectives". They were given assignments to figure stuff out, maybe whether a particular diary was authentic, or something. I liked their attitude, they were bloodhounds, on the trail. Of course they always solved the mystery, and to me that was the dullest part. At a certain point they'd report back at what they'd found, and maybe if something was valuable, and their adventure was over. For a lot of people that was the best part, but I liked the detecting, the thrill of the chase. So I started doing it, in Phoenix.

There's a lot of history detecting to be done in Phoenix! And it starts with not believing something just because it's "what everyone knows". There's so much misinformation out there, which I call "common misconceptions"! And I have no interest in proving anyone wrong, or right, I just want to detect.

I started writing down my journeys here in this blog and was delighted to find that there were other people like me, that I started calling Phoenix History Detectives, or PhDs. Yes, I know it's kinda goofy, but that's the point. I'm not drawing a salary from the Smithsonian, I'm just looking at stuff. And with my short attention span, it's great that I find new stuff all of the time.

Phoenix history adventuring is a team effort. I like sharing, and I know that my PhDs do, too. And once a mystery is solved, a dozen more pop up. So I see no end to this, and as my health is great and longevity runs in the family, I see myself doing this, both in cyberspace and IRL (In Real Life) for a very long time. I suppose someday I'll look back and wonder how I did it before flying cars, for example.

If you've read this, far, I hereby grant you the honorary degree of Phoenix History Detective (PhD). And remember, be suspicious, and find evidence, no matter what you have to do. But be careful out there!

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