Thursday, April 02, 2015


Roast Hunters

PHM 500x500 FPOBack in 1979, Ric and Judy Brecheisen traveled to Europe and drove around in a Volkswagen bus with their children, stopping at coffeehouses across the continent to try new brews. That flavorful family vacation led to a family-run business when the joe-inspired Brecheisens returned to the Valley and founded Passport Coffee & Tea in Scottsdale in 1983.

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Carl Hayden and the Beardless Boy Bandits

PHM 500x500 FPOBefore he became Arizona’s first congressman, Carl Hayden was a fierce and understated lawman.

On February 14, 1912 – the day President William Howard Taft signed the bill making Arizona the nation’s 48th state – Maricopa County Sheriff Carl Hayden handed over his jail keys to Deputy Jeff Adams. It would prove Hayden’s last official act as the Valley’s top lawman.

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Mystery Ranch

PHMEB25If PHOENIX magazine had been around in the late 1950s to do a statewide Best New Restaurants issue, would Flagstaff’s bygone Ranch House have been a candidate? Let’s peruse the menu (pictured above) to find out.

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Lost Horizons

PHM1114Flash-5-HopkinsAs Tempe celebrates its musical legacy, friends remember the troubled life of late Gin Blossoms guitarist Doug Hopkins.

Local musician Lawrence Zubia tells a story about Doug Hopkins, in which Hopkins hops a slow-moving freight train at Mill Avenue, intending to jump off when it neared his Tempe apartment. But the train picked up speed and Hopkins ended up in Tucson, where he spent the night drinking at a bar in Hotel Congress before taking a bus back to Phoenix.

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Saguaro Show

PHM1014LL01“A saguaro boards a train bound for Chicago...”

It sounds like the opening line of a joke, but it really happened in 1893, when some of Arizona’s native desert plants were shipped to the Windy City. Why? Landscaping for a building touting the territorial bounties of Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

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Over the Counterculture

PHM1014Flash-4-OverCounterFor a brief blitz in the late ‘60s, Arizona produced a slew of influential underground publications.

The table of contents for the July 1968 issue of Phoenix-based bimonthly counterculture digest Orpheus teases such stories as: “Yiggers, Blonkies & Crackers,” “Confessions of a Pornographer,” “Declaration of Cultural Evolution” and “San Francisco’s Hipster Cinema.”

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A Grape Time

grapes, wineArizona has always had a footing in the fruit industry, at one point even having more grapes in the ground than California, according to Peggy Fiandaca, president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association.

The Valley had many farms in the 1950s and used the Grand Avenue railroad to transport fruit crates, such as those that held grapes, from Glendale to Phoenix and Los Angeles.

It was a simpler era, and grape crate labels reflected this with minimalist designs.

Read more: A Grape Time