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The gentle quiet of Sun City, Arizona


Although I usually go history adventuring in my imagination, yesterday I did it IRL (In Real Life), to Sun City, Arizona, where there is an amazingly gentle quiet. And I had mixed feelings about it, which I'd like to share with you.

By the way, Sun City is a retirement community that was created by Del Webb in the early 1960s. It's just west of where I live, but in so many ways it has always seemed like a "different world" to me. And of course I knew nothing about it.

Sun City, Arizona in the 1960s. You're looking south over Grand Avenue at 107th Avenue.

I was visiting a friend who had been arranging to sell the home where his parents had lived in Sun City. And I chose to sit out in the front, where there is a little seating area, to watch the world go by. And like I say, I found things that I liked, and things that made me sad. Sit with me.

The loudest noise was the gentle tinkle of the wind chimes. There were a lot of them, and I took a photo of one, just to represent them. They're very common with the Sun City crowd, and are the sort of thing that you would normally just walk right past. But I was listening, and looking.

It wasn't until I got up to take the picture that I realized that these particular wind chimes were lighthouses. And in the house is an incredible collection of ceramic lighthouses, which the woman of the house collected. In fact, the house just vibrates with things that tell a story of a long life lived in Sun City, including not just row after row of collectibles, but things that spoke of entertainment, and visitors.

In the time we sat there, a few cars went by, a few people on bicycles, a few people walking, but not much. And the quiet, and the lack of any "flurry of activity" seemed to make everything more precious. There can be too much quiet, you know, so a little bit of life, a slam of a car door across the street, becomes comforting. At least that's how I felt.

The house was still decorated for Christmas, and was in the perfect state of houses that are being shown for sale. No one lives there anymore. My friend and I had a "Moscow Mule", which was the favorite drink of his dad. And as we sat there in the gentle quiet, I could hear the sounds of the people who had lived there, in my imagination, not just in an "Elephant Graveyard", but enjoying their life in their golden years. And the next generation will move in, and the story will continue.

Thank you for enjoying the gentle quiet of Sun City with me.

The fixings for a "Moscow Mule", Sun City, Arizona.


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