Some people who have read my comments here and elsewhere seem to think that I hate Wickenburg. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I love Wickenburg. I love the small-town atmosphere. I love seeing cowboys — real ones — around town. I love being able to leave my car doors unlocked when I park outside the post office or supermarket or library.
I love being surrounded by desert hills, full of trails for my horses or jeep or ATV. I love seeing cows wandering around in the river bed. I love climbing Vulture Peak, where I can look out over the whole town from one place and take everything in in complete silence.
I love looking out my bedroom window and not looking into my neighbor’s house or the side of his garage. I love watching the moon rise and set. I love the color of the sky most days — an incredible deep blue you can only find in the desert. I love the clarity of the air which most people don’t notice unless they’ve seen the brown cloud of pollution that blankets Phoenix almost every day.
I love having only three traffic lights in the whole town — although I admit I liked it better last year when there were only two. I love getting to work in less than 10 minutes and getting a parking space right out front.
I love not hearing car horns and sirens and car alarms. I love hearing coyotes howl, owls hoot, and the sound of my rooster crowing before dawn. I love seeing the deer in my backyard, even though they only come to eat the buds off my rose bushes. I love watching tarantulas crossing the road at dusk, although I’m not quite as pleased when I find them in my house. I even love the rattlesnake that lived under my chicken coop — it was the first year I didn’t have mice in the shed.
I’ve been a lot of places all over this country and have spent quite a bit of time at some of them. I know what else is out there, but when it came time to find a place to live, we chose Wickenburg. Because of the work I do for a living, I can live literally anywhere in the country. But I’m here. What does that say about my feelings for Wickenburg?
You might wonder, then, why I don’t fill these pages with glowing praise for the town. It’s because I see what’s happening to Wickenburg and sometimes I just don’t like it. Unlimited growth, an economy based on seasonal visitors who don’t always support the town’s businesses, private interests from outside of town getting opportunities that probably wouldn’t be afforded to locals. I see the things I like about Wickenburg slipping away. I feel a need to point out these problems so everyone can see them and do their part to make a difference. I’m passionate about Wickenburg and that shows in the way I write and the things I say.
So the next time you read an article here that points out something about Wickenburg that isn’t particularly positive, think hard before getting angry. Is there truth to what I’ve written? Do you agree? Do you love Wickenburg enough to do something about it?
If you do, you’ll help preserve what’s good about Wickenburg and make it an even better place to live.