Navajo County has an interesting history, beautiful and varied scenery and climate, and some of the best people you’ll ever meet. It is my hope that none of that has changed when the time capsule buried this week by county officials is unearthed in 2065.
Holbrook’s history comes alive with stories of the Blevins shootout, the Hashknife outfit, the hanging of George Smiley and the invitation to that event that drew a rebuke from the President.
Early merchants like the Schuster brothers and H.H. Scorse left their marks, as did Judge Sidney Sapp, Lloyd Henning, the Koury family, Charlie Lisitzky, the Whiting brothers, the McGees and many, many more.
Today we have many others who have invested in the community they love through their businesses, including Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co., the Rainbow Rock Shop, Bradco Oil, the Wayside, West End Liquors, Ortega’s Cash Express and R Quik Tax, Route 66 Lumber, Shumway Insurance, Walt’s Hardware, Route 66 Storage, Karges Car Wash, Karges Construction, Mitchell’s Boot Shop, Wilkinson’s, Quik Cuts, Arizona Auto Service, Jennings Realty, the Roxy, Romo’s, Joe and Aggie’s, Farr’s and A&W, The Tribune-News, Welding Services and Supply, House of Originals, Nakai, Hensley’s, Rocks on Route 66, the Winner’s Circle, FHC Family Insurance, Mr. Maestas, Arizona Pawnman, Tom and Suzie’s, El Rancho, Heward’s Super Service and 76, Dairy Queen, Stuart’s Eye Centre, Aliberto’s, Jalapeño Poppers and Bear Cafe, Cameleon, Nichols’ Sportsman, the Empty Pockets, Mandarin Beauty, Elsa’s, Hatch’s, the Mesa, Future Tire, Six D Tire, and many of our motels and RV parks. Add in our area ranchers like the Jeffers and the Reidheads and you have a lot of people who believe in the place they call home, including many who have done so for generations. QK Inc.’s owners don’t live here these days, but they have brought many jobs to Holbrook, and ditto for Tate’s.
You can multiply that incomplete list many times over to find the number who have put their money where their mouths are by investing in their hometowns of Winslow, Joseph City, Snowflake, Taylor, Heber, Overgaard, Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside. That’s one more thing I hope hasn’t changed in 50 years.
I’ve spent 30 years in Navajo County, and feel blessed to have done so. Asking for another 50 would be pushing it at this point, so I’ll just add some personal greetings for the future. I have no children, so no grandchildren or greats to address, but there are many special kids in my life.
To Channing, I know you’re running something on this day in 2065. You’ve got the smarts and determination to do anything you set your mind to.
To Kordale, I’m wondering if you are president yet. You’ve been able to talk to anyone about anything since you put your first words together. You have a special gift with people (and pigs), and I’m sure you’ve made the most of it.
And to Darris, whatever you’re doing these days, I’m proud of you. You’re smart as a whip, have a smile that could disarm anyone and you’re fearless. The sky’s the limit.
Happy 2065, I wish all you Navajo Countians of the future well.
I always have high hopes for the future. I want my children and grandchildren to grow up happy and healthy. I want them to breathe clean air and drink pure water. I hope they find the careers they love and are blessed with a wonderful family. I also hope they will experience the greatest purpose anyone can have in life, to love and serve God.
I hope all of you in 2065, as well as here in 2015, have the same life I wish for my family of the future.
When I look at the newspapers from 50 years ago, I am at first struck by how much has changed. The advertisements depicting new technology for automobiles, television sets and radios seem as antiquated as the attitudes revealed toward women, minorities, smoking and alcohol in those same ads.
A closer look, however, reveals that although the products we consume have changed, technology has advanced, and, as a general rule, we are much more evolved in our thinking about gender roles and minorities, as well as the dangers of activities once promoted as “healthy,” most of the same social problems and even some of the physical ones remain the same.
Fifty years ago, we debated what to do about street inebriates, the homeless, high taxes, healthcare, welfare and inflation. We wondered if the federal government would ever rein in spending, whether we would become involved in another world war and if the economy would be strong enough for the next generation to enjoy the American dream. Locally, we fretted over potholes in the streets, businesses shutting their doors and how to pay for city infrastructure such as water and sewer lines.
I would like to think that in another 50 years we will have solved just one of those problems. But the truth is we probably won’t. So my hope is that we will continue to step forward, incrementally, toward a future where our children will look back and say, “Wow, look how far we’ve come since then!”
Our future isn’t measured in the price of a gallon of gas ($2.33 in Holbrook), a gallon of milk ($1.99 on sale) or a new television (about $499 for a mid-grade 42-inch flat screen), but in what we leave for our children. Like other parents, I hope we leave them with a financially and physically secure nation, great educational opportunities and the ability to pursue their highest dreams. I also hope, however, that we leave them with phones that have signal anytime and anywhere and never run out of battery power, blazing Internet speeds that make them wonder what “buffering” or “download time” means, a transportation system that never leaves them wondering if it’s worth going somewhere, and time-saving innovations like instant dishwashing cupboards (no need to put them away when they’re done), laundry-folding dryers that sort and separate everyone’s clothes, and self-cleaning bathrooms that always smell great, because although we may not solve the pressing social problems of the day, sometimes it’s the little things that bring great joy to life. After all, wouldn’t we feel just a little bit cheated today if we had to go back to landlines and television tuner dials?
I hope this world is better than it is now. I hope it is a world of peace and prosperity. To my children and grandchildren, try to say kind things to others. Pick up your clothes, wash the dishes and hug your kids.
To those of you reading this in 2065, greetings from the past. My hope is that despite the changes in times and technology, some things have not changed, like holding loved ones close and the reward of working the land with your own hands. I hope your tables are full and laughter is frequent. I have known many of your grandparents and great-grandparents, and they are good people who have worked hard so that you can call this home. So look about you and smile, the hard part is already done.
My hope has always been that each of our youth would go out into the world and return with something to help this county grow and prosper. If you look around you now, I hope you see them amongst you.
To my children: Brandon, I’m sure you’ve climbed a mountain or two, gathered the wisdom of sages and have likely written several memoirs. Talaina, you were a successful photographer at 18 so by 2065 I imagine you have taken the world by storm many times over. Joshua, I am certain that your love of life and fun has brought you great happiness and many adventures that even your kids will talk about for generations.
I planted a tree in the backyard of my home last year and I hope it’s still there. It’s my wish that at least one member of my family will take the time in 2065 to sit beneath it with fond memories of a good family, an appreciation of every moment and gratitude to God for all that has been given.
Happy 2065, to all of you and the descendants of those of my family who made this county their home in 2015, including the Kors, Fishers, Slades and Pates.
To my children and theirs, however many there may be, and my lovely wife, I hope I’m reading this with you all. If not, just know that I still love you! I hope you’re enjoying your life in the future!