... and Beyond our little World.
I actually remember coming into Phoenix the very first time - August 23d, 1953. On US-60, which was along Van Buren then - and staying the first night in one of the many 'motor courts' on the East side of town. Those were very cool and should have survived the passing of time. Places like Motel 6 killed them off. I think there are a few left out in Mesa?
How about students that just stick in your mind? I remember when PT Coe was opened - lonng ago. I distinctly remember watching as Patty Wright walked away on the day they moved the students (in '56 I believe). Why? Not a clue. BUT. I was standing in line at the Red-Dog-a-Go-Go in 1970, (you remember this place I'm sure) waiting to get in and turned to talk to the young woman behind me. I realized it was her - and certainly not seven years old anymore. I knew it was her immediately. Freaked her out - and still remember her name at that time - Patty Covarrubias - 39 years ago now! I think she went to West High - and I'd really like to know what she's doing these days. (Found her!) Freak her out again! Same for Peggy Bernard (August 12th 2009 was her 40th Anniversary - Congratulations!), Suzanne Villamez, Anita Munyon (now Hunt), Paula Cantrell, and Sheila Schmidt (UofA law graduate - here in Phoenix) from West High. Then there was Pam Wingo from Alhambra - think she is a dentist now - ran into her waiting tables during a Summer break from school, at the Bob's at 43d Ave and Indian School.
Did you spend much time downtown? Remember the (now old) Courthouse? It housed not only the courts, but the jail and the police department. Too bad we need all that we have now. All refurbished now too - beautiful building. Now Court Administration and more for the Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County.
Do you remember the State Capitol building - before the House and Senate buildings? Much bigger place now, especially since the addition of the nine-story building adjacent to the rear of the old capital.
How about when Gammage was built at ASU? A great theater. For 2009 - ASU is now ... 69,500 students! and they expect to hit 100,000 within five years! And ASU 'Downtown' is quickly spreading to fill the area from Van Buren to Roosevelt - 3d St to 3d Ave. There are to be four new campuses, spread widely, for students to take their first two years of classes without driving to the main campus. ASU West is firmly established too. We can't forget there is now a UofA Medical School at the corner of 7th St and Van Buren in a part of the old Phoenix Union grounds.
Does anyone remember the area where Phoenix International Raceway is now? It was completely deserted way back when. Dad would go out and fix pumps and generators for many of the desert dwellers. I remember going through the river bed, walking next to the truck, putting rocks under the tires to get across when there was water. Hard to believe the crowds that are there now - and that 115th Ave. is about six lanes wide near the raceway. I wonder if there is still a place in the desert for those who would choose to live there? Some were probably right about where the lake is in Estrella Mountain Ranch now. ?
There is a monument on top of a hill at the East end of PIR - the beginning point of the survey for Arizona. The Gila & Salt River Base & Meridian. The North line of the Gadsden Purchase runs along the Gila River across Arizona. Consider how close we are to Baja Arizona and what the purchase might have been if the message had gotten there to buy the land straight across at the Southern end of the territory - giving Arizona a real coastline at the Baja Peninsula. Rocky Point in Arizona?
I remember potluck picnics on South Mountain Park grounds. Anyone from other states ever go to the Ohio, Michigan, Iowa . . . state picnics? Must be an old thing. And hikes from Butler to the Boy Scout Pueblo, clear at the bottom end of 7th Street, too. We walked the entire way often. And Tommy Woolridge's Dad 'Shorty' making 'Hobo' stew all day long. ('lazy man's stew' - not!) Best stew I've ever had.
Does anyone remember the Pink Sidewalk (it ran kinda North from the Wrigley Mansion on the Biltmore Estates to a water facility back then. Now only a little of it exists North of Lincoln Drive - on private property. Be careful, I know you all.) Most of the grounds of the Biltmore have been redeveloped. How about Merriwether's or the 'Mews'? (which ones - 7th St or 40th St or . . . ?). And several other little oddities around town. Remind me of the names and locations of any you remember and I'll put together a map with all of them on it - and what may have become of them too.
I remember many of the visitors to our house in those days. Real cowboys (who didn't wear cowboy boots when not working - wingtips were popular. Didn't drive pickup trucks - but sedans and convertibles when they could afford them. And didn't wear what we think of as 'western' shirts - but plain white western-style shirts when going to town). The house always got a variety of visitors - lotsa cops and deputies (Dad repaired guns for them), and we made 'Sam Browne' style belts and holster sets for some - in a basketweave western style. My job was to do the lacing on them. Racers too - Dad would do machine work in our shop as he could - but did some work on Indianapolis racers and Bonneville cars too. And he did a lot of work on the earliest Bell helicopters right there at our house.
Arnie Page (a few years older, lived down Polk from me, next door to the Britnells, and across from the Tadanos - Barbara, and the Taylors - Dayna Faye). He took me to Carl Hayden one day for 'Show-n-Tell' nooo, for some reason I can't remember. I walked into a USO in Vietnam to exchange some paperback books one day, we frequently signed a 'guest' book then, and there was his name. Just missed him by a couple of days.
I was hitchhiking near Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam once - and Mary Hautz's (66) big brother was the one who stopped to pick me up! My, my, how small is the world. A one-hour chance meeting 10,000 miles from home. It was fully ten years later, in 1979 that we ran into one another again - fifteen seconds (I looked completely different, to say the least). He looked over and just said Hi, as if we'd seen one another every day.
Was gonna write something here with military memories - but that is a whole different story - and will get its' own section later. One strange thing - Vernon Hull (66) and I joined up separately, ended up at the same basic training camp at Fort Ord, California, and in the same intelligence school at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, went to Vietnam separately, and ended up in the same unit, the 404th Radio Research Detachment, in the 173d Airborne. We both stayed there pretty much our entire time in the service. Jason Kaye (66) joined the Marines and was fortunate to be a survivor of the seige of Khe Sanh. Dave Brosemann (66) was also in the Marines. Jesse Luevano (66) went into the Air Force and was in Phan Rang while I was over there. Many many other veterans in our class - not all as fortunate.
40 years later and I'm completely dependent on the VA's umm, generosity. Agent Orange, what a wonderful thing.