- Author: Kasia Michalik
- Category: History
- Issue: Dec 2011
A former state legislator has written a book chronicling Scottsdale’s transformation from hick town to hip city.
Almost 70 years ago, a 12-year-old boy by the name of Paul R. Messinger moved to Scottsdale with his parents. He went to school and worked on a 20-acre family-owned dairy and poultry ranch on the corner of Indian School and Miller roads, dreaming of one day starting a business of his own.
“Back then, we grew up in an era when we felt that we could do anything,” Messinger says.
The young man’s can-do spirit led to lifetime of adventure and public service. Years after milking his last cow, Messinger bought the land where he toiled as a lad and made it the headquarters of his business, Messinger Mortuaries. He also worked as a newspaper columnist, served as a community leader and City Councilman, and rose to prominence as a state legislator.
Scottsdale Memories: The Reminiscences of Paul R. Messinger is a compilation of 50 stories that Messinger wrote for the Scottsdale Republic between 2004 and 2009 in a bi-weekly column. Each story reflects on the author’s childhood days when land was $10 an acre and Levi’s were the unwritten dress code for high school boys.
Alongside wife Cora, whom he married in 1950, Messinger shows no signs of slowing down. At age 82, he continues to put in 60-hour work weeks at the mortuary, and has continued pursuing new goals and Valley-based betterment projects.
“Right now I’m working on a concept and funding for a Scottsdale Museum of the West,” Messinger says. “I would be bored if I retired and I don’t plan on doing that anytime soon.”