Don’t get me wrong. Even though I have lived here for a long time, and am not a true native Arizonan, I am nonetheless happy to be here.
But I’m not quite sure about this 100-year thing. The day after the centennial are we going to be any wiser about our state’s future? Any dumber? Will our state be any more beautiful or not? Will we still be enriched or be diminished newcomers or snowbirds of whatever stripe?
Beats me, but it should be interesting to see how things turn out.
By Clay Thompson
Read Clay’s top 10 posts to date on Arizona Oddities:
- Why Do People Paint Citrus Trees White? – Citrus trees have relatively thin bark. Left to their own, they grow more like a shrub than a tree, with shoots growing up at the base and covering the trunk.Without that shading, they need the protection of paint.
- How to Keep Scorpions Away from Your Home – There are about 35 species of scorpions in Arizona, but only five or six in the Phoenix area, including our personal favorite, the giant hairy scorpion.
- What Kind of Plant is a Tumbleweed? – Tumbleweeds really are a specific plant, the mature form of the Russian thistle, Salsola iberica.We think of them as being a real symbol of the West: wide-open spaces and the Sons of the Pioneers and all that.
- Original Bethany Home Was Original 1900s Tuberculosis Sanitarium – Tuberculosis used to be a big business in Arizona. Around the turn of the century—you know, it just occurred to us that we can’t say that anymore without saying which century — tuberculosis patients routinely were sent to Arizona to be cured by the clean, dry air. Sometimes this worked and sometimes it didn’t.
- Why Don’t Palm Trees Blow Down in the Wind? – This is the deal: Palm trees are monocots as opposed to other trees, such as paloverdes or oaks, which are dicots.
- The Stories Behind Scottsdale’s McCormick, Gainey Ranch – Not all of these spreads were exactly hardscrabble kinds of places. McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, before it turned into a residential development, was the home of Fowler and Anne McCormick.
- Why Doesn’t Arizona Have Daylight-Savings Time? – Daylight-saving time is an issue that sums up everything you really need to know about Arizona, namely that we are a contrary people and that it’s really, really hot here.
- Is Sun Tea Safe? – Brewing sun tea is simplicity itself. You stick some tea bags in a glass jar, put a lid on it and leave it out in the sun to brew. Then you bring it inside and exhaust the household’s entire supply of ice cubes to cool it to the point that it’s drinkable. Que refresente!
- Why Does Downtown Phoenix Seem to Have Two Downtowns? – The result is today we have a downtown downtown and downtown uptown, although we know of people who think of anything south of Northern Avenue as being practically the inner city.
- Why Does New Mexico Have a Stronger Hispanic Heritage than Arizona? – It starts in 1540 with Coronado, who wandered around the Southwest and up into Kansas for a couple of years looking for the fabled cities of gold, which, of course, he did not find. So he went home, where, according to legend, he found out his wife had been fooling around with another guy while he was out traipsing around, and eventually he died.
Celebrating the Centennial (sort of) with a Message from Clay Thompson