Thursday, May 07, 2015


¶lim¶The Wild West


Forget every truth you hold to be self-evident: Arizona in the 1870s and 1880s was practically a Bizarro world version of our modern state. Back then, calling a man a “cowboy” wasn’t a compliment but fighting words. Mexico impatiently urged the United States to seal the porous border and stop Americans from stealing their property. And white males who disliked the federal government came to Arizona to get away from Republicans.

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From Drink to Clink

On May 24, 1917, the Prescott Journal Miner reported the arrest of Henry Schuerman, under the headline “Wine of Home Make Gets 3 in Bad,” as follows:

“This is the tale of the harrowing fate of 100 gallons of good homemade wine.

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Vine Before Its Time

Arizona’s modern love affair with wine is barely 30 years old, but their courtship dates back to the 16th century.

Stephen Schwartz waited years to drink the label-less bottle of wine he’s holding in his hands. When the time finally comes, he’s almost too afraid to open it. “How do you taste a wine like this?” he asks. “You certainly don’t ask your wine-loving friends over. To tell you the truth, I

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Celluloid Sendoff

Cudia City is remembered as much for the Hollywood glamour it bestowed on the fledgling desert city as the Westerns produced there. Located at the northwest corner of Camelback Road and 40th Street, the replica frontier town was a well-trafficked film and TV production spot from 1939 until it was redeveloped in the 1960s. 

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Spaghetti Western

Situated on a Wild West movie set, Cudia Restaurant attracted Hollywood stars and foreign dignitaries – but none outshone its host, Italian nobleman Salvatore Cudia.

If a restaurant is a reflection of the talents and charisma of its owner, Salvatore P.B. Cudia set a high bar for fine dining in Phoenix for almost two decades. Already an accomplished sculptor, painter, photographer, musician, inventor, voice coach, and movie director, Cudia was also fluent in six languages by the time he entered the Valley’s hospitality

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Road to Ruins

Centuries-old Indian cliff dwellings offer a secret link to the Valley’s pre-Columbian past. And they’re only a four-mile backcountry hike away.

The eastward sprawl of modern Phoenix ends at the foot of the hot, red Superstitions, where our streets and sidewalks dare not climb. Ancient suburbanites were not so easily deterred. Fleeing the bustle of their society’s business district, now mostly submerged below the waters of

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From Russia, With Milk

Members of an Amish-like religious sect from Russia made Glendale their home 100 years ago.

Obscure religious groups for $500, please, Alex. The answer is: “Members of this class of Russian sectarians, known for drinking milk on Orthodox fasting days, settled in Glendale, Arizona, in the early 20th century.”
If you didn’t answer “Molokans” – excuse me, “Who were the Molokans?” – don’t feel bad. According to Andrei Conovaloff, the group’s dogged local historian, many Molokan descendants wouldn’t get the question right, either. A hundred years after a small influx of Molokans – maybe a thousand or so, at its peak – settled in the West Valley to farm, almost all that remains of the community is the boarded-up hovel that served as their church. “I’m guessing there may be as many as a thousand descendants in Arizona today who know they’re of Russian descent, and who may or may not know the term Molokan,” says Conovaloff, 63. “And if they do, it’s probably as a misnomer.”

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