Ocotillo Water Tower

Ocotillo Water Tower
Photo by Elise Hird

Friday, February 8, 2008


This is my official notification that I am starting a foundation called "Save the History". Either its first mission will be to save the Ocotillo water tower, or it will be in memory of the water tower. We are losing so much of the short little history that Arizona has a state of the United States. There are already many foundations in order to pursue and secure the stability of the the prehistory of this area. I would like to be an instrument for saving things like the old black school that was recently torn down.
When we found out that the complaints about the water tower in Ocotillo were such that it was going to be torn down, my daughter Emma began to ask what she could do to help. At 9 years old, her plan was to sell lemonade to raise the $100,000 or so dollars that it would take to pay for improvements on the tower. Her battlecry was, "Save the water tower, save the history." While her sweet little plan was more than I was doing, I couldn't actually see it amounting to success, nor did I really want it to.
You see, I can't see what is so wrong with the tower the way it is. If it were a public safety hazard, I would say, definitely fix its instability. However, who is to say that the fading red paint is unsightly? I think it is beautiful. It reminds me of a simpler time when children swam in ditches without permission and cotton and corn grew down Alma School road, rather than the sprouting houses and restaurants. This may seem a little strange coming from a member of the family who sold the land in the first place, but of course, I had no control over that.
I'm not a fanatic who thinks that zero population is the answer and that people should crawl back into caves where they belong, but just every once in a while, could we leave a few things the way they are and recognize the beauty that just is? Do we really need to tear all of the old things down and replace them with shiny newness? Are we so afraid that someone might get a glimpse off the golf course and see that we gave away our agricultural roots?
In addition, I have many other places that I have fallen in love with over the 37 years that I have lived in this valley. There is a cozy little spot on Scottsdale rd. that I haven't driven by lately and I wonder if the tiny little white cottages still stand. I still cringe as I drive by the corners where once beautiful homes stood and see the vacancy of whatever stands there now. If you have any desire to help me save the history for those who haven't seen it and who may never get a chance to, let me know.

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