Local Name, National Acclaim

Story featuring Make-A-Wish

By Kim Hanna

Do you know what happened after a man named Frank met a boy named Chris in a place called Scottsdale, Arizona over 30 years ago?  The Make-A-Wish Foundation was born—the largest nonprofit wish granting organization in the world!

Frank Shankwitz had a long career with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) as a motorcycle officer and detective.  He recalls that before the Chips television show became popular, kids were afraid of law enforcement officers. But after the TV show gained popularity, he found kids saying “Hey, Ponch, Hey, John!”….Read more


From Wooden Wheels to Iron Horses

By Roger Naylor, commissioned by Verde Canyon Railroad

Even though Jerome, Arizona would become known as the “Billion Dollar Camp,” reflecting its prodigious copper output, lack of a railroad almost doomed mining operations from the outset.

When word went out of a rich copper discovery in the wild country of Arizona, prominent Eastern financiers dispatched mining expert Dr. James A. Douglas, Sr.. He was to evaluate the quality and marketability of the ore being dug in the mountainside camp. Douglas arrived in 1880…Read more


There Ain’t No Saguaros in Texas

By Trudy Thompson Rice

Arizona kids learn it early:  there ain’t no saguaros in Texas.  The Rev. Horton Heat finally made it official in 2009, when he recorded a song with the same name.

Winston Carter, now 24, grew up in Texas and Oklahoma between summertime visits to Phoenix.  He remembers the family tradition: the competition heated up as the van drove south on I-17.  Who would spot the first saguaro…Read more


The Mother Road across Arizona

By Jan Miller

The year was 1985. Plenty of people came to Williams, Ariz., to watch as highway crews poured the last segment of concrete that would soon mark the end of one era and the beginning of another. Though the old era would live on in people’s hearts and souls; and many would work tirelessly to keep its heritage alive by collecting and sharing old photos and postcards, writing books and starting museums, and later, web sites. It was even to be immortalized in its own TV show…Read more

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