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Mike Padgett, Journalist, with more than 30 years experience in newspapers, mostly in Arizona. Received many writing awards. Currently focusing on literary journalism. Media experience includes:
• www.ArizonaNotebook.com: 2008 – present. Founder, writer and photographer.
• The Phoenix Business Journal: 1998-2006. Senior reporter.
• The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.: 1997. General assignment reporter.
• The Phoenix Gazette, Phoenix, Ariz.: 1987-1997. General assignment, features.
• The Mesa Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.: 1978-1987. Police, fire, courts and features beats.
In 1983, a horse named Crow was my ride to the top of the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. My friend was riding his other horse, Ringo.
My friend offered the ride to give me a mountaintop view of the desert from horseback. We followed a narrow game trail to the top of the mountain and back. In a few places, our horses slipped and sat down on the loose gravel and rock.
Over the years, I’ve looked back at that ride as a glimpse into the future. It occurred to me when I was flying in a helicopter over central Arizona, from Casa Grande to Chino Valley. I was writing about freeway construction, urban sprawl and the state’s water supplies. It was during those flights in helicopters, and once in a two-seater kit airplane, that I remembered seeing the future from the back of a palomino broomtail named Crow.
For more than 40 years, I have watched Phoenix and its suburbs march across the desert. The growth can be compared to an approaching storm or the first rays of a new dawn, depending on one’s perspective.
I arrived in central Arizona in 1968. I was transferred from the NATO base in Iceland to the public information office at Luke Air Force Base west of Glendale. After graduation from Arizona State University, I worked as a reporter for the Mesa Tribune, The Phoenix Gazette and The Phoenix Business Journal. I wrote about the light rail system, the expansion of the freeway network and the perennial efforts to redevelop the downtowns of Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix.
Since my decision to take early retirement in 2006, my Best Friend and I have been traveling. We have visited Australia twice, Ireland, England, France, Turkey, Washington DC several times, Southern Arizona’s Whetstone Mountains, the Grand Canyon, and several states. Arizona ranges from scorching deserts and evergreen forests to take-your-breath-away canyons.
This state is resilient and fascinating. On this blog, I plan to tell you about our travels in Arizona and elsewhere. I also will write about new projects in the state’s high-growth regions. I’ll be chatting with architects, contractors, city planners, developers, business owners, and homeowners. All have stories to share.
I also hope to catch up with a few long-time residents whose links with Arizona’s history can help sharpen the business community’s collective focus for the future.
There are no maps showing the boundaries of this electronic media frontier, so your input and your ideas are welcome. Thank you.
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