|The Grand Canyon (the real reason David Hicks and Lady Pamela came to see us at all)|
I once lived behind Camelback Mountain and accross the road from the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale in the mid to late 1960´s. I leased a lovely desert house, with a little bridge over a dry (mostly) arroyo running behind, from a nifty lady named Dorothy Sterner who lived in Oklahoma (most of the time). Sometimes , Dorothy, the landlady, popped in and used part of the house, the attached ¨Guest House¨ (really just a added on room with a kitchenette and bath with it´s own entrance), whenever she felt Arizona inclined. Dorothy was fun, no problema.
We were all fun in those days of lots of parties (even one with our very own Spanish Marquis houseguest featured--who made our own brand of ¨Wild, Wild West¨ seem very, very tame). Anyway, I made lots of wonderful friends in those Arizona daze as I worked at Goldwaters Department Store which was a very fancy place HERE to work as a Buyer. I gradually, moment by moment, became very fond of the desertlife and even Arizona (I´d moved there from San Francisco and spent the first year+ going through a sort of young/Gay mans cultural shock as I tried to see flowers when they said the desert was in full bloom in the Spring)! Good thing there were plenty of New York and Los Angeles buying trips to keep me from drying up and blowing away! Yikes, it was boring to a 20something kid from ¨The City!¨
Every year, year after year, in the Summertime the locals would say ¨I don´t remember it ever being this hot!¨ One time the guy who was cleaning my windows (yes, they did that then) at the Gasoline Station wiped off my face with his spong when I rolled down my window to pay! Ole´ It was hot as airborne Chili Peppers all day and night every day and night!
Tomorrow I´ll be returning to Arizona for a visit to the Summertime land of my ¨it´s never been this hot¨ young adulthood. No really, I´ll be saying by tomorrow night, ¨I never remembered it being this hot!¨
No doubt I´ll also be remembering lots of smiling faces and identifying a few special places but it´s edging toward fifty years ago since I lived there...quite a long time ago and I know for sure that Barry Goldwater no longer lives down the road and David Hicks and Lady Pamela Mountbatten, won´t be dropping by (for a ¨design¨ promotion I created at our Scottsdale Store where Lady Pamela told me to ¨go drink some champagne¨ when I was nervously twitching when posing with her for a trade magazine photo). I liked her, my kind of Royal Family. I haven´t forgotten much of the real life ¨Valley of the Sun¨ petina that added so much to my young working life-- happy recollections today--and then of course there will no longer be Miss Kitty from T.V.´s Gunsmoke and the pregnant Svetlana (daughter of Joseph Stalin) coming into the store to be waited upon and served with style (with an extra broad smile) regularly--they are doing their hob-nobbing and shopping elsewhere these days.
My most favorite of all the many memories of Arizona is when ¨tubing¨ down the ¨Verde¨ River on Sunday afternoons and our many BBQ´s afterward (bottoms up)...we were often joined by the lovely, retired executive from ATT&T/NYC, lively, white haired and ever-glad and spirited, Miss Clara Ursula O´Donnell. Clara was great friend who was a tireless member of our ¨running¨ pack (she was in her late 70´s at the time) and we shared many adventures with dear Clara during the four years I lived there---I will pay Clara a little visit at the Saint Francis Cemetery one day soon...I know she will be glad when we have our get-together again...think I´ll take a little bouquet of flowers along to add to the festivities.
Off I go. I´ll check in with you along the way...thanks be to God for another joyous today.
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