Thursday, December 15, 2011
Went to Camp Verde, Arizona, the other day…it was closed. This one liner concept by W. C. Fields is exactly what is happening to Main Street Camp Verde.
Even after the city spent tax revenues to bring our small town into the 21st century, business is not good and many stores are empty.
This blog is not about taxes, budgets, town government (or lack of) or politics. It is about the loss of many historic towns and townships in our country to recession and other factors. Camp Verde is the oldest settlement in the Verde Valley.
Fort Verde still stands as a testament to the old west spirit which is also going by the wayside in favor of strip malls and restaurants along the I-17 corridor between Phoenix and Flagstaff.
Few nowadays would even know where Camp Verde is, let alone give a rat’s ass about its future. But, for those of us who live here and know the history, Camp Verde is a paradise because it is small and small means less crime, noise, traffic and the like. I know what you’re thinking; this town sounds like a place for old folks who like to watch cactus grow. Guess again numb nuts. This town is a great place for us old folks to saddle up our Harleys and head out for a wide open country ride on a sunny day. Today is not one of those sunny days, and that is why I am sitting here writing a blog instead of riding.
We like the idea of seeing the occasional cowboy riding his horse down Main Street, and the old fashion parades for special occasions are no different than the ones I used to see when I was a kid way back in the wagon train days.
It’s also comforting to have the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office a few blocks away from where we live to help keep the peace. There is a mystique about the town marshals; they are like the Texas Rangers and have a long historical significance.
I would bet that there are some folks reading this blog who are experiencing the same thing in their small towns. It’s sad and frustrating to watch the decline of the small American town. I know that writing and complaining about it won’t change anything, but at least it helps to get it off my chest. Maybe the reason we don’t live any longer than we do is because we can’t handle too much change. If we lived a very long time, we would just have to suffer from broken hearts and be miserable until the end of our days.
Hey, I just heard tomorrow is going to be sunny and warm on the radio. I’m calling my riding buds and budettes and we can saddle up early and hit the road. The roar of our bikes will soon help us forget our problems as we head for the horizon with the wind in our hair or what’s left of it. Life is good!
I’m just saying,