Does Anyone Remember Phoenix of the 1960s?

duluthdiapers

Cloth Diapers, Moms, and the 1950s
Hi,
I was born in 1959 in Phoenix and raised there, but honestly, I don't even know my hometown anymore.


So many Phoenix treasures are gone... Wallace and Ladmo, KPHO channel 5, Legend City, Nelson's Pool.... all gone except in my memories.

Anyone else remember Phoenix, Arizona from the 1950s and 1960s? :unsure:
 

duluthdiapers

Cloth Diapers, Moms, and the 1950s
Original Poster
My parents move to Phx in 1965. I have lived here, except for 7 yrs in Flagstaff.
The changes have been amazing. I've seen the city "Life Cycles".
Ummm..... "amazing" is one word to describe it, however, I generally use other words to describe the "changes."

Perhaps worst of all; I remember a city that was very safe, no shootings, stabbings, muggings, etc.
It wasn't prefect in the 1960s, but we could walk the streets at night without fear.

The real symbol of the death of Phoenix is the 24/7, open air drug market now at 19th ave and Camelback Rd. (there are others) and at this major intersection, gang members sell crack, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc. openly, in broad daylight. Phoenix police with arrest 15 to 20 gang members at this location, and the next day different gang members take their place and continue selling drugs openly.

Phoenix is really more like LA now, and I never wanted to live in LA. :unsure:
 

Patio Life

Well-known member
True, but watching my hometown die is painful.
Phoenix didn't die, it grew. There are now 4+ million people who live in the Phoenix Metro area. No more small towns separated by cotton fields. This is the 5th or 6th largest metro area in the country. There are the same problems and pleasures as any large city.
 

Patio Life

Well-known member
In the late 60s and through the 70s the area around the Capital Buildings and Encanto Park were drug central. South Phoenix had gangs and lots of drive by shootings in the 70s. The mob was here in force in the 60s, spill over from Vegas. Remember when Don Bowls was blown up for investigating the mob and the Phoenix Suns basketball team?

We all loved Wallace and Ladmo.
 

duluthdiapers

Cloth Diapers, Moms, and the 1950s
Original Poster
In the late 60s and through the 70s the area around the Capital Buildings and Encanto Park were drug central. South Phoenix had gangs and lots of drive by shootings in the 70s. The mob was here in force in the 60s, spill over from Vegas. Remember when Don Bowls was blown up for investigating the mob and the Phoenix Suns basketball team?

We all loved Wallace and Ladmo.
Humm.... I guess I lived in a "different Phoenix". :unsure:

Yes, I remember Don Bolles.....

But the people who placed a bomb under his car never attacked me or my family. They never kicked in our door are robbed us. They never raped my grandmother when she was in a nursing home in Glendale. They never pulled a gun on me when I was working in Parking Enforcement in downtown. The people who did all of these crimes that my family and I experienced were "other people" who were NOT native Phoenicians. Many of these other people were from Chicago, Oakland, Compton, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Mexico, with extensive criminal histories, and no connection to the valley; to the city I loved and was born and raised in.

Drug use in Encanto Park in the 60s and 70s?

We went there all the time in the 1960s. My mom would take us to the main library on McDowell and then we would hit Encanto Park or Nelson's Pool. Maybe, maybe, some hippies smoking pot, but nothing even close to the open air drug market that now operates 24/7 at the major intersection of 19th Ave. and Camelback Rd. in central Phoenix. Gangs from Oakland, (LA Crips) all wearing blue bandanas are the ones openly selling crack and crystal meth in broad daylight. (These are not the people I grew up with in the 1960s and 1970s.)

South Phoenix?

I don't remember ever reading about multiple people being shot to death in "drive by shootings" in the newspapers back then. Drive by shootings didn't really begin until the 1980s with the arrival of millions of Non-Arizonans who were not native to Arizona. And frankly, South Phoenix was another planet: we never, ever, even went close to that place. It was a sewer then, its a sewer now.

I finally had had enough in 2014, when we had a house near 44th st. and Indian School Rd. near Camelback mountain and near Scottsdale: NOT the "ghetto" or "barrio" of Glendale. On my street, within a span of about 6 months, there were 3 home invasions where masked men with guns kicked in the doors and robbed the families, and before we moved, my brother, (who lived with us at the time) was pulling out of our driveway at 4:00 PM in the afternoon, and a "transient" (police said he was homeless, and also had an extensive criminal history) put a gun to my brother's head and said, "Give me you f***ing car" and carjacked my brother and later crashed his car a few miles away. My brother wasn't hurt, but that is when I said enough is enough.

Now, I live in a small town in Minnesota where everyone looks like me, and crime, especially violent crime is unknown. Yes, I miss Phoenix, I miss the beautiful winters, but in order to be safe in Phoenix nowadays, you must live so far out like extreme North Scottsdale or Anthem, or Sun City where you have MCSO posse members keeping a watch, or a highly secure "gated community." People who say, "crime is everywhere, you can't escape it" are 100% wrong: you can escape it. There are still places in America, that still look like the America I grew up in. (Like Minnesota) Places where you don't worry about your safety: places where everyone looks like you have shares your same values. :unsure:
 
Last edited:

Bonnie

Well-known member
Location
Texas Coast
@duluthdiapers .. As all the large cities grow and get more diverse, they take on a new personality over time... It's happening everywhere.
New residents bring about change, and the old lifestyles are history.
We all remember how places were when we were growing up ... those places can now live on in our memories. :)
 

MarkinPhx

Well-known member
Location
Phoenix
Born at Good Sam in 1961 and still here. I think there were about 500,000 living in the metro area at the time. You left out Legend City ;)
 

Top