Little Spring

Don’t judge people by what you read or hear about them from afar.  Wait to form your opinions until you have met them face-to-face.

This lesson is good to teach children.  I’m learning it as an adult.

Historians disagree about how the place came to be named.  Some say it came from native place names such Aleh-zon, Ali-Shonak or Al Shon.  Most agree that it means “little spring.”

Arizona became the 48th state in 1912.  It was the last one in the continental United States.  As such, it has always maintained a certain territorial feel and attitude.  Although modern roads permit you to cross the state in a day, Arizona’s geography remains rugged and wild.

In many ways, Arizona has chosen at times to remain outside of convention:  Martin Luther King Day; gun control laws; immigration measures.

From afar, it is easy to form an opinion of people.  Fortunately or unfortunately, stereotyping is rarely accurate.

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My trip to Arizona last week was wonderful.  I met dozens of new people.  I liked them all.

I did not agree with everyone.  But, everyone made me feel welcome.

The only ugly opinions I heard expressed there came from someone from…elsewhere.

Forget Joe Arpaio and his narrowness.  Think of Sandra Day O’Connor and Cesar Chavez.

Forget Jan Brewer and her shameless pandering to our basest fears.

For that matter, forget John McCain and his two-faced views on everything.

Certainly forget Jared Loughner and his evil insanity.

Concentrate on Zane Grey, Frank Lloyd Wright, Erma Bombeck, Susan Sontag, Steve Allen, Lynda Carter, Ted Danson, Barbara Eden, Pat Tillman, Steven Spielberg, Alice Cooper, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Mingus, Stevie Nicks, Buck Owens, Linda Ronstadt, Jordin Sparks, Tanya Tucker, Geronimo and Gabby Giffords.

Think of red rocks, saguaro cacti, the healing power of Sedona, the majesty of the Mojave, the Valley of the Sun and the indescribable vastness and profundity of the Grand Canyon.

Mexicans and Anglos and Zunis and Apaches and African Americans and Navajos.

Pueblos and casas and condos and adobes.

Roadrunner and coyote.

I love this place.

— The Major

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Melania on March 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I once had the pleasure of serving Justice O’Connor while workign in a restaurant in AZ. She was pleasant, respectful and a fine tipper. Living htere for 8 years was a challenge politically, as I’m not in the majority there, however, it’s beautiful and there are some great people there! And it seems the political climate is changing. OH…and no daylight savings time! I’ll be going on Thursday!

    Reply

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