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.

Living in Glendale, Arizona

Glendale, Arizona, like so many suburban cities, blends seamlessly into Phoenix, Peoria, and all of the other cities that it touches. In fact, it's funny to me to think that the city of Peoria starts in the middle of 67th Avenue, just west of where I live. Nothing looks any different from one side of the street to the other, but you can see the Peoria Police cars turn left, and the Glendale Police cars turn right. There are gas stations and fast-food places on both sides of 67th Avenue, so if you can't see the difference between Glendale and Peoria, I really can't blame you.

To understand the history of Glendale and Peoria, you have to look at Grand Avenue. It was built in 1888 by W. J. Murphy, with private funds, all the way from Van Buren up to what today is downtown Peoria, at 83rd Avenue. The tiny town of Glendale was at Grand at 59th Avenue. And if you squint your eyes and use your imagination, time traveling, you can see that there was a considerable distance between Phoenix, Glendale, and Peoria.

I've lived in Glendale since 1993, and have watched it grow up around me. When first moved into this neighborhood, which is The Sahuaro Ranch neighborhood, there was the Main Glendale Library, the historic Sahuaro Ranch, Glendale Community College, and a few assorted neighborhoods, but not much more. It was so long ago that there was a stigma attached to any neighborhood that was on "the west side", but the new neighborhood of Arrowhead Ranch, which is just north of me, changed all of that. Instead of "westside", I considered my neighborhood "Arrowhead adjacent".

At the risk of sounding like the Chamber of Commerce, Glendale really is a great place to live. I was attracted to this area by how modern the streets were. I have memories of old streets, like east Bell Road, being just a mess, with cars going every which way. In Glendale, the streets were created with medians and turn lanes. And landscaping. And I was amazed the first time I saw The Sahuaro Ranch, and have walked around it many, many times. There's peacocks there, really. And the Main Library was right there, too, which was good for a nerdy guy like me. In 2001 I became an adjunct instructor at Glendale Community College, which, by the way, if you are interested in computer graphics, has the very best computer lab to be found on any campus in Arizona, including ASU. Yeah, the sign still says, "High Tech Center", but don't let the 1980s lettering fool you.

If you visit Glendale, by all means stop at the Starbucks, and get a sandwich at the Subway. But take the time to time-travel a bit. I recommend the Sahuaro Ranch. And watch for peacocks!

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