This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The end of the Old West

From the point of view of many stories and movies about the Old West, the bad guys were the people who were out to destroy it - the bankers, lawyers, judges, politicians. They were always figuring out a way to buy up ranches cheap, control the water supply, build more buildings, and just generally get rich. And the townspeople hated them, usually banded behind an old-time gunslinger, who "took the law into his own hands". The reality was exactly the opposite, and is to this day.

I live in Phoenix, Arizona. And if you want to know what the image of an "Old West" town like Phoenix was 100 years ago, just take a look at any bad neighborhood now. The Old West was a place where people didn't respect the law. It was a place of poverty and squalor, a place where no one was going to get rich any time soon, except maybe with crime.

The police here in Glendale still wear bullet-proof vests. The bad guys are still out there. I live in a nice neighborhood where the biggest concern is whether the Home Owner's Association will give you a notice for leaving your garbage cans out past Wednesday, but there are still a lot of areas, especially south of here, where the Old West continues.

The vast majority of the townspeople were in support of law and order. They wanted a safe place to live with their families. They wanted to live in a good neighborhood. It was true then and it's true now.
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