Antoine Leroux: An Old West Hero You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Cowboy

Excerpt from Arizoniana by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. Heroes of the Old West came about gaining public recognition in a variety of ways. Some, like Buffalo Bill Cody, came about it by self-promotion. Custer's greatest glory came after his death at the Little Big Horn. Jim Bridger was glorified in the dime novels of Ned Buntline. The prolific journals … [Read more...]

One Big Sportsy Birdie in Glendale

Birdie at Max's Sports Grill

GLENDALE -- If there's any doubt that Max's Sports Bar and Restaurant is actually a sports bar, the suspicions are allayed immediately after entering the establishment and meeting the Jocko Bird. It is a fierce-looking creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a beer-bellied athlete who wears football, baseball, golf, hockey, bowling, basketball and lacrosse … [Read more...]

Free Eats on Sunless Days in Yuma

Sunshine Guarantee

YUMA  -- This city is so proud of its sunshine that it has always been willing to be on it. According to the Guinness World Record book, Yuma is the sunniest place on earth, with bright skies prevailing an average of 4,055 hours out of a possible 4,456 hours every year. That's 91 percent of the time. Or 350 days per year. More than a century ago, Yuma hotels backed up the … [Read more...]

Why Does the Valley Have a Canal System, and How Does it Work?

Valley Canal System

Excerpt from Valley 101: A Slightly Skewed Guide to Living in Arizona, a collection of Clay Thompson’s columns for The Arizona Republic. (Originally published July 11, 1999.) Q: What are the canals for, and how do they work? A: Bibbity, bobbity boo. Next question, please. Oh, all right, we’ll tell you: Farms and gravity. Really. The miles and miles of canals … [Read more...]

The Cactus Derby: Arizona’s Early Roadways Attract Legendary Daredevils

Cactus Derby

Excerpt from Arizoniana by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. Back in those halcyon days, when getting someplace was an adventure, daring drivers ran road races across the Arizona desert to promote the building of better highways. It's hard to believe but as recently as 1929 Arizona had less than 300 miles of paved highways. In 1908 promoters began staging … [Read more...]