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Arizona Oddities explores the quirks, quips, tales and turning points that have shaped the state’s cultural identity. A small team of Arizona buffs and established storytellers contribute to the blog regularly, and we hope it unfolds as a record of the collective Arizona experience.

We invite you to join the conversation and share comments about the oddities you encounter.

Andrea Aker

Andrea AkerAndrea Aker is the publisher and editor of Arizona Oddities. She is also the founder of Scottsdale-based Aker Ink Public Relations. Prior to founding Aker Ink, Andrea worked in both print and broadcast journalism. Her work has been published throughout the state, including The Arizona Republic and The Arizona Daily Star.

An Arizona native, Andrea is an avid outdoorswoman and recreation hunter, actively seeking out new, quirky and cool things to do in Arizona.

Sam Lowe

Sam-headshotSam Lowe has been writing about Arizona’s quirks, oddities and curiosities for more than 40 years, first as a columnist for The Phoenix Gazette and The Arizona Republic, now as a freelance writer. He has written five books about the state, including “Arizona Curiosities” and “You Know You’re in Arizona When…” He has visited every town in the state at least once, and written about many of them in articles that have appeared in Arizona Highways, Arizona Highroads, Sedona Magazine, Mature Life Features, The Columbus Dispatch, International Travel and Tourist News, RV Journal and Transition Travel Abroad. He is also the Senior Travel Expert for Best Western International’s travel web site and is currently writing a sixth book about Arizona, entitled “Arizona Myths and Mysteries.”

Marshall Trimble

Marshall-headshotMarshall Trimble is the state’s official historian. He began his career as a folk singer in the 1960s, and now appears on stage, radio and TV as a storyteller of Arizona and the West. He has performed his cowboy songs, poems and stories before audiences ranging from large national conventions to trail-ride campfires in such scenic places as Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly.

Trimble has written numerous books that explore Arizona’s rich history and cultural identity, including the Arizona Trilogy, a collection of Trimble’s favorite Arizona history stories and short tales:

  • Arizona Adventure
  • In Old Arizona
  • Arizoniana
  • Marshall Trimble’s Official Arizona Trivia

Excerpts from this series as well as Marshall Trimble’s Arizona Trivia appear in Arizona Oddities. Learn more about Marshall’s books.

Marshall Shore

Marshall ShoreMarshall Shore is Arizona’s Hip Historian. He has a passion for uncovering the weird, the wonderful, and the obscure treasures from our past: the semi-forgotten people, places and events that have made us who we are today. Marshall holds a Masters of Library Science from Indiana University and has worked as a librarian at the New York Public library, Brooklyn Public library, City of Phoenix and Maricopa County Library District. Learn more about Marshall.

Clay Thompson

Clay-headshotA long-time columnist for The Arizona Republic and, Clay Thompson has made a living out of answering the strangest questions in the newsroom and snarking on some of the people who ask them. His Valley 101 column offers a humorous and highly informative look at life in Arizona and the Valley of the Sun. He’s covered it from every angle: science, history, the human body, food, animals, plants and much more.

Some of his most memorable insights have been compiled into a Valley 101 series:

  • Valley 101: A Slightly Skewed Guide to Living in the Valley
  • Valley 101: Great Big Book of Life
  • Enormously Big Official Valley 101 Cookbook

Excerpts from these books appear on Arizona Oddities, courtesy of the The Arizona Republic. To learn more about Clay, visit his blog on and get the books.

American Traveler Press, based in Phoenix, is the publisher of the Arizona Trilogy and the Valley 101 book series.