So who am I?
I am a free-thinker and a Christian, but I defy easy stereotypes.
I was born in 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona. I grew up in and around the Sonora Desert among cactus, mountains, scorpions and lizards. I used to watch my cat eagerly devour lizards and scorpions like delicious treats on Christmas morning. It was a simple pleasure of a simple childhood in the innocence of the 1960s.
My home is no more.
The city of Phoenix sill exists, but it bears no resemblance to the place I remember growing up. We swam in irrigation ditches and canals. And a few times a week in Summer, when it was 110 degrees outside, my mom would pack us up in the car and take us to a public pool called, Nelson’s Pool which was cold, clear, and refreshing.
I remember those days well.
We ate fresh oranges, grapefruits and dates from my Grandmother’s backyard trees, or from Dolan’s Orchard which was nearby. In February, when the orange, lemon, and grapefruit sprouted their blossoms, the air was filled with the sweet, thick sent of their aroma. Phoenix and it’s suburbs had many citrus trees and orchards in those days. But no more.
We lived close to nature back then, and had “Swamp Coolers” (evaporative coolers) instead of air conditioners to cool our homes. The crime and violence that plagued NYC and LA was 10,000 Light Years away from my small town of Phoenix in the early 1960s.
In some ways, it was the idyllic childhood of warm summer dreams; where it was always summer in Phoenix. In fact, if you have never experienced a warm, sunny 75 degree day in February, when the citrus trees are in bloom and the air around Phoenix smells sweet and fresh; like it did in the 1960s, then you have never experienced what I would call, “paradise on Earth.”
That Phoenix, is dead and gone.
Nelson’s Pool was closed and demolished long ago. Dolan’s Orchard and Date Farm was plowed over for new homes. Legend City amusement park is gone. Macayo’s and Jordan’s Mexican Food, both mainstays in Phoenix since the 1940s; all gone. Burger Chef is gone.
La Pinata Mexican Food is perhaps saddest of all. A Phoenix mainstay and “go-to” place for authentic, Sonora style Mexican food since the 1960s is gone. They were on 19th Ave. in central Phoenix since 1969.
I ate there more times than I can count growing up. My Grandmother took me there a lot. The interior was this classy, hip 1960s “Vegas” style dining room. And the food was good, authentic, spicy and very inexpensive. I have a lot of fond memories of La Pinata.
Macayo’s was another Mexican joint that my Grandmother took me to a lot. She called it, “Woody’s” because the guy who began it was nicknamed “Woody” and the full name was “Woody’s Macayo’s.”
It was a Phoenix favorite since 1946.
Sadly, it’s all a memory now.
So what is Ocotillo Road?
Ocotillo Road was my Grandmother’s house address in Glendale. She bought the house in 1952 on Ocotillo Road, in what was once a lush citrus orchard near downtown Glendale. It was basically the only “home” I really had because my parents moved around Phoenix a lot. Most of my fondest memories of my childhood growing up in Phoenix involve my Grandmother and her house in Glendale on Ocotillo Road. Sadly, my Grandmother and her house are both gone. She died in 2015 at the age of 91.
So what do I know?
Not much, really.
I don’t have a corner on the truth market. I am not that learned and I am certainly not infallible. I am human, with all the baggage that comes with that. I give my opinions and views, sometimes with humor, sometimes with sarcasm and cynicism, but I always try to be honest with myself.
In the end; What do I know? I study the Bible, I study History. I pray, I think, I ponder and muse. But in the end, I’m just a human like you trying to figure this all out.
Keep Speaking Out!
Yes, it looks dark. Anti-Christian individuals, groups and worldly corporations are trying to gag us and silence us. But be not discouraged my friend; we have hope. We have our Faith in God and His Word. I (and I hope you) will continue speaking out against the wicked, sinful, ungodly philosophies and ideals that are animating violent groups who wrap themselves in worldly virtue. These ungodly ideas must be challenged and refuted. We must not allow the forces of evil to “win the argument” against holiness and Godliness.
What Christian Leaders Say About Ocotillo Road
“I have never read more hateful, intolerant blog in my life. All he wants to do is quote the Bible. But all of us in the progressive church have moved beyond archaic Bible verses that do no address the real problems: the lack of LGBTQ+ pastors in our inclusive churches.”Laquesha, a black LGBTQ+ pastor
“The writer of this blog is out of step with the times. We Southern Baptists nowadays preach a more tolerant, inclusive Gospel: Not this out-dated Biblical stuff. We preach Diversity and Black Lives Matter in our churches.”Bob, a Southern Baptist Minster
“How can he call himself a Christian and not embrace LGBTQ+ Christians? Everyone knows that Moses was transgender and that King David was gay. This blog is pure reactionary hate and intolerance; especially when he quotes the Apostle Paul.”A lesbian Lutheran pastor