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 progressive spirit of Phoenix

There are a lot of ways to describe the growth of Phoenix, Arizona. The term I like to use is *unrealistically optimistic*. I mean, who would be crazy enough to imagine a great city in the middle of the desert? And, since *crazy enough* just doesn't sound good, Phoenix decided on the term *Progressive".

The logo there was for Valley National Bank, which was headquartered in Phoenix. It said *Progressing with Arizona*. And if you're a history buff, you know that the Progressive Movement began with President Theodore Roosevelt. His *unrealistic optimism* helped build Roosevelt Dam, which has always been the lifeblood of Phoenix. And even though his Progressive Party, sometimes called the *Bull Moose* party, ultimately failed, it's legacy lived on, especially in places like Phoenix, through men like Dwight Heard (yeah, the Heard Museum guy).

Theodore Roosevelt in 1911 at the dedication of the Roosevelt Dam.
Unrealistically optimistic, and progressive.
I moved to Phoenix when I was 19, and it still amazes me. I've seen it grow, falter, and try again. And as long as I can remember, there have been road construction signs. I have often thought that the official color of Phoenix should be orange, and it's official slogan should be *under construction*. And it is. That's Progressivism.
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