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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
For Linda on Arizona by tucsonmike on 5 July 2007 4:08am
Hey Linda,
I found a link that was from the online version of our paper, AZStarnet. It is kids and whether they would stay in Tucson in ten years.


Re: For Linda on Arizona by geordiegirl on 5 July 2007 1:00pm
That's so touching, Mike (this time the link actually came up for me). So many young people so proud of their town! Once you said you were glad you didn't live in Phoenix, Tucson sounds a pretty good place to be. You stick around!
Re: For Linda on Arizona by tucsonmike on 6 July 2007 5:04am
Notice something though. The Mexican kids are more likely to stay and they cite family reasons. Most of them are from just barely over the border, a few hours away by bus. They are coming to a land that is really theirs to them.

What I have found is the brighter Anglo kids tend to want out.

Most Mexicans are satisfied as long as family needs are taken care of. They may only vote in local elections. Some have the attitude of "Mi jefe tendrá cuidado de mí," or my boss will take care of me. Things get done through a personal relationship.

For example, I might be able to get my friend Cetiva to volunteer at the railroad museum. What will interest her is doing things in English and Spanish for kids. She could care less about trains herself. It is what is there for my kids and other kids I care about.

John Cleese and his therapist Robin Skynner in their second book Life and How to Survive It talk about the United States. You could fail in Georgia, move to Arizona and be a major success, leaving your old life behind. Many once here, move around the West.

Jena, the owner of Jimmys recently told me about some of this. You will get some, especially single women who drift to Tucson with scenarios such as "My husband was beating me up at home in Louisiana, and Tucson was the place where either her money ran out or it was a place no one from her previous life would look for her.
Among the wealthy in the Catalina Foothills, many are older folks, who came for the lifestyle. They do not need to hold jobs here.

Phoenix tends to attract more people on the make Type A personalities and people who want to be in state government.

There have been several immigration "booms" only the largest one is now.
1880-The railroad came to Tucson.
1920-1941-The Veterans Administration set up its hospital for veterans gassed in World War I. (Doc Holliday came here with Wyatt Earp because of TB). Then more sanitariums came as well as dude ranches for tourists.
1941-1950-World War II. Growth of Davis Monthan Air Force base and Fort Huachuaca near the border. (Fort Huachauca was built in the 19th Century to fight Apaches). Defense plants came here then air conditioning was invented. People stationed here and vacationers decide to move here (still not in huge numbers)
Now it is retirees, still people with health problems but also people who fall in love with the scenery.
Re: For Linda on Arizona by geordiegirl on 6 July 2007 3:47pm
That's a lovely potted history of Arizona, Mike. I was talking to my friend Ric (born in Mexico) last week & i hadn't realised the border of US/Latin America had been so porous: I guess all borders were at one time. No wonder kids recognise both continents! And I guess some kids will always want to stretch their wings and who knows, might come back. You seem to have a nice mix of everyone & i bet they're all made welcome.
Wyatt Earp and other iconic figures are still (sadly) known to me largely from American TV series of the 1950s, no doubt many false impressions given there!
I cannot 'visualise' Arizona as I can Colorado (probably not accuretely, now) My favourite childrens books were the What Katy Did series and in
the last one Susan Coolidge marries off Katy's younger sisters & the story is set in Colorado, and the book really is a love letter to that state. She writes such beautiful descriptions of canyons, wild flowers, etc. I still re-read that one a lot. She put in English characters (probably as a sop to her burgeoning English readership) & sets a bit of it in Devon - not quite accurate, so maybe the Colorado descriptions aren't. But, so beautifully written. What was your favourite American childrens' book?
Re: For Linda on Arizona by tucsonmike on 7 July 2007 3:26am
Linda, ask your friend Ric where in Mexico he is from.
Until 30 years ago, crossing the border was extremely easy. When Wyatt Earp was in Tombstone, his rivals the Clantons, regularly smuggled cattle back and forth to Mexico. Back then, unless you saw the stone marker for border, you could go miles and not realize you had crossed.
Norteno culture, right on the other side of the border is not all that different from us. That culture goes deep into Mexico. There are many different, Mexican cultures, as Ric can probably tell you.
Wyatt Earp. In reality, he played both sides of the law.
My favorite children's book? The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss.

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