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Trip to Phoenix

March 16, 2011

My grandmother was a storyteller.

One of her best stories was about a trip she, her husband, and my dad made from Rifle, Colorado to Phoenix, Arizona in  November 1926.   I recorded her telling this story in the late 1970s.  Recently, I converted the audiocassette using Audacity, so I’m posting the story in three parts.

The main people she mentions in the story are “Joe’s dad” (Gene Crook), herself (Leona), and her son Joe (my dad).  They were headed to Phoenix to visit/temporarily live with Gene’s sister Sue Eschelbach and her family.

I used to think that they’d crossed the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry.   Grandma herself may have told me that, or perhaps in a different version of the story, she talked about crossing Lee’s Ferry on the return trip.   However, based on the few places she mentions on the trip,  they must have crossed over the Colorado between Needles and Kingman, Arizona  (of course, I wish I’d asked at the time).

The trip took them several weeks, in part because they had to stop and buy a new vehicle on the way.

The story reveals a lot about transportation in the 1920s western United States.  Although she reveled in telling about the journey, I think this trip might be one of the reasons that my grandmother generally preferred to stay home for the remaining decades of her life.

Gene, Joe, and Leona at Helper, Utah in November, 1926

The first part of the story talks about the trip from Rifle through Helper, Utah (where they spent Thanksgiving) to Needles, California.    Click on the link below to hear the story.

Trip to Phoenix

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