Is this why they think Arizona is packed with loonies?


Tom Garrett 4 years, 3 months ago

Have you noticed the way they talk about Arizona in the news these days? They treat us like a bunch of loonies. I resent that, but every once in a while lately I run across something that makes me wonder.

Like this.

We just had a horrendous killing spree up in Colorado, right? Some fruit loop dressed up like Batman's Joker and opened fire in a crowded theater. That being the case, what is the least likely thing you would do in public?

Would one thing be to dress up some 16-year-old in a blue sheet, cover his face, hand him a fake, but real looking, grenade launcher, put him on the streets of Phoenix, and tell him to point the grenade launcher at cars as they went by--all to test the speed of the police response to another nut?

And would you then film the whole thing and put it on You Tube with a title like this? "Dark Knight Shooting Response, Rocket Launcher Police Test."

If you did that what would you expect to see happen?

Would this surprise you?

• Being arrested.

• Being held in county jail on $5,000 bond. •

• Facing up to 45 months in prison?

That's what happened to Michael David Turley, 39, who was arrested last Monday.

He says he wanted to find out how safe he really is. Want to bet he finds out when they toss in state prison with that crew in there?

The report I read said that the "attorney for Turley could not be immediately reached for comment."

Neither would I be if I were the guy's attorney. I'd show up in court with a blue sheet over my head so no one would know I was the nut defending the other nut.


Tom Garrett 4 years, 3 months ago

Really. I wonder what this guy thought was going to happen when he did that? Is there anyone on the planet who wouldn't expect to be arrested for it?

Is there?


Bernice Winandy 4 years, 3 months ago

Wild and exotic things. I will never forget the March 17th that my husband and I were hiking North Mountain. As we huffed and puffed we looked up and what should are eyes behold? A green dyed horse rearing up and being ridden by a green clad rider waving her hat at huffer and puffers!!! Only in Arizona. Made a memorable St. Patrick's Day. And the rider made a statement!


John Lemon 4 years, 3 months ago

The evil and foul perpetrator is a self-styled maker of movies. I think that may answer some questions that I had. Obviously, he is a Californian of the Hollywood ilk and somehow became lost while traveling to San Bernardino. Poor man.


Tom Garrett 4 years, 3 months ago


So that's it.

Thanks, John. I wasn't privy to that information. Another "fame seeker." Oh, well. Maybe he'll become famous in prison.

Thanks again.


Kim Chittick 4 years, 3 months ago

I grow so weary of people being labeled and categorized because of where they may have come from.

Mr. Lemon, you say "Obviously, he is a Californian of the Hollywood ilk". Do you know that for a fact? Was it in the story? Are you intimating that ALL Californians are "evil and foul"? And if he is indeed from California, does that make him worse than, say someone from Boston, or Connecticut, or Texas, or New York?

So the assumption must be that the wackjob who killed several people in a movie theatre in Colorado must have been from California as well. Oh, and the nutjob who opened fire at a politcal event at a grocery store in Tucson killing and injuring several? Yup, he must have been from California too.

Yup, you all guessed it...I was born and raised in California. I moved to Payson to care for my retired parents, and was fortunate enough to meet the man of my dreams here, so I have never left.

Allow me to share some salient facts about this nasty, evil California girl:

Within one month of moving here, I was volunteering my time at the Payson Chamber of Commerce. When Payson had a booth at a recreation show at the Phoenix Convention Center and needed someone to "man" the booth for a four hour shift, did any of the "old time" native Payson die hards volunteer to drive their own vehicle, pay for the gas themselves, spend four hours gladhanding every person who approached the booth to grab a free piece of chocolate out of the bowl, and then tote all of the miscellanea out of the Convention Center and back up the hill? Nope!!! Oh and did I mention that one of the oh so delightful Paysonites offered to give me the "easiest" way to get to the Convention Center from Payson. She was sooo helpful, she sent me down 87 to Shea, aaaaallll the way to 17 south to 10 east, on a Saturday!!! 2 hours and 30 minutes!!! What a kind and generous person, huh???

As an inveterate reader, within the first 3 months of moving here, I spent more than $200 at a local used bookstore. I was in said store at least a couple of times a week. That is until I was in the store one afternoon browsing and overheard the owner and several of his die hard Payson cronies griping about the g.d. Californians and how they were ruining their precious town. I walked over to the men, dropped my armload of 10-12 books on the floor and told the business owner that since my California money was so tainted, I guessed that he didn't want or need my business any longer. Poor man...he is no longer in business.


Kim Chittick 4 years, 3 months ago

Oh, I have many more experiences that I could share about how hateful the local Payson people were about us being from California. But, I love Payson and I refuse to let a few nasty bitter unhappy people make me regret my decision to stay here.

However, I will not sit back and passively accept gross generalizations and misguided assumptions. I have said many times, if someone is an idiot, it is because they are an idiot, NOT because they are...from a certain place, or are a certain ethnicity, or religion, or career, or any other description that can be come up with.

Finally ,we are ALL from someplace. Sure, there are some native Arizonan's, but many of us are from someplace else. Be it California, or Texas, or Canada, or Boston, or Connecticut, or Schenectady. Can't we PLEASE stop generalizing and throwing stones??!!


Pat Randall 4 years, 3 months ago

Kim, Please don't be bitter. Some of us old time families love people from Calif. and other places. Our families all came from somewhere else too. What we don't like are the ones that move here from somewhere else then want to change Payson into where they came from. One of my grandfathers came here in 1898 from Washington, a great-great- grandfather in 1872 to Tonto Basin, one great grandfather from Texas to Gisela before 1904. Don't know when he came but he drowned in Tonto Creek in 1904. I am about as pioneer family as anyone can be. Welcome to Payson.


Kim Chittick 4 years, 3 months ago

Aaaaw thank you Pat. I realize that as I have been here for 18+ years, things have certainly changed and people are more welcoming now. I also recognize that 15-20 years ago, there was a major influx of Californians into Arizona, and Payson specifically.

Despite what my post sounded like, I am not bitter. I LOVE Payson, and would not leave for almost anything. I just get so tired of the snide comments abut Californians. Believe me, I have heard them all.

As you pointed out, most of us came from somewhere else. If not us then the generation immediately before us.

Something that most people don't think, or care, about is that California is probably the melting pot of the world. Those of us who were born and raised there had to put up with tourists and people from all over most of the time. A true Southern Californian would never dream of trying to go to Disneyland, or Knotts Berry Farm, or Magic Mountain in the summer. And the beach?? Get there early if you want a decent spot. Eating out? If you don't make reservations, plan on a wait. Driving anywhere? Highways are a nightmare, as there are so many people from other states and countries who are not familiar with California roadways.

But the myth and the image of California has achieved almost mystical proportions to the rest of the world. And has also become the butt of many jokes and generalizations like the one that Mr. Lemon made. I do not know if it is a fact that the person who perpetrated that little movie making scam in Phoenix is indeed from California, however, I would be willing to bet that if he was, he isn't a native. And I get tired of the assumption that if there is a froot loop out there, then they must be from California. I know for a fact that Arizona, and even Payson specifically, has it's fair share of native born nutjobs. Crazies are not confined to California.

I guess what really bugs me, is that people seem to think that it is always open season on Californians. When, if you substituted the word "Californian" for almost any other know, a specific ethnicity, or religion, or sex, people would be outraged at the bigotry. Such as: That person in Phoenix who did that crazy movie making scam? It must have been a woman, because we all know that all women are crazy. Doesn't play so well, huh? Granted, some women are crazy. As are SOME Californians, and SOME Arizonan's, and SOME Texans, etc. etc., etc.

Maybe I should just go back to bed and get up on the other side!!! I just dislike being rubbed the wrong way.


Tom Garrett 4 years, 3 months ago

"I moved to Payson to care for my retired parents, and was fortunate enough to meet the man of my dreams here, so I have never left."

Greathearted thing to do!


Do not feel bad about exploding. You had every right to do it, and many of us needed to hear it. I think I've been as guilty of picking on California as anyone on this forum. I'll try to watch it.

I think a little explanation is in order. What people, most of them anyway, get riled about where California is concerned is not the state, and certainly not the people because people are people, but the far left leaning politics. That's where the "nutjob" impression comes from--the totally out of touch with reality legislation we so often see over there. It is often mentioned in political speeches over here, as well as in comments on AZ TV and articles in AZ papers. I can see where that would rattle the cage of people from a deeply conservative state like this.

I don't know why it is that California has leaned so incredibly far on some issues. Perhaps it is in part be because it has been a destination state for young people ever since it was formed, and people who pull up stakes and move while they are young tend to be more activist. You know me; I'm not middle of the road (don't like the expression), but I am an eclectic, someone who just looks at each issue and makes up his mind on it based on fairness and logic. But the viewpoint of the California Legislature is so out of touch with reality on some things that I often wonder where they get the science from to back up their assumptions. Anyway, it's CA politics that riles up the people here in this very conservative state, not people.

Since you like to read, and are from CA, have I got a book for you! I mentioned it a few weeks ago, but only in passing. Remember Irving Stone? The Agony and the Ecstasy et al? Before he became quite so famous he wrote a book titled "Men To Match My Mountains." Stone was always a biographer, and it's a book about the settling of CA, UT, CO, and NV (nope, no AZ) which tells the story, as the title suggests, in terms of the people who did the settling. I swear you will love it. Thick book. Lots of things we don't know.


Tom Garrett 4 years, 3 months ago

I should add that the other thing that has been riling people in Arizona for a long time has nothing to do with politics or people, but with economics, and that's often where people get very angry, money being what it is. I watched this happen down in the Valley. Didn't bother me because--well, I don't know why it didn't bother me, but it didn't. Four times I saw someone eased out of a house buy by someone from CA--just plain outbid. The reason is simple. Higher wages in CA, and the fact that it's a destination state, create higher housing costs. That translates into having a lot of money to spend if you sell over there, which is good, but it also translates into some real estate speculation, and that used to turn some people I knew down there inside out with anger.

I saw the prices over in CA while I was stationed there in 1961/62. At the same time that a nice house in CT was going for $6,000, the cheapest thing I could find in the Fairfield area was a 3 bedroom on blocks for $16,800 (couldn't buy it). When I got myself transferred to UT, I looked at (but didn't buy) a magnificent four bedroom, three story stone and redwood home high above Salt lake Valley, with a view you would not believe, balconies, and a sandstone terrace for $21,000. I didn't buy it, by the way, because I could not have afforded to rent one of its bathrooms on my military pay. :-) But it was fun looking at it.

Anyway, you are dead right. We should watch the way we paint with a broad brush, flinging insults at good people, and damning the good with the bad. It's a error we all make, I'm afraid, and I apologize for the insensitivity so many of is have shown toward your native state.

As for John's comment. John is a fair-minded and thoughtful person, and his response was obviously reflecting a deep rooted anger. I suspect I know where he was coming from when he used the term "Hollywood ilk." I wouldn't want to speak for John, that would be wrong, but his comment dredges up an image of people like Michael Moore and his %$#@! "documentaries."

That's the way life is, I guess. You should have seen the reaction to me in Louisiana in 1973 until they found out that not all New Yorker damnyankees are the same. It really felt good when I got invitations to join the Lions and the Rotary. I even got an offer to stay right at the university and teach. So hang in there. Give it another ten or fifteen years and you'll be a part of this place. :-)


Kim Chittick 4 years, 3 months ago

Thanks to Tom and Pat for the support! And truly I am less angry than frustrated with Mr. that is not even true. I do understand the comments that Mr. Lemon made. Everything that you have said Tom, I agree with. Those of us conservative Republicans cringe at the very mention of the name Jerry Brown! And when you put "Governor" in front of that name...eeeekk!!

I would have to say that each state has some type of negative connotation associated with it. California happens to be where all the nutjobs are, or come from. The funny thing is, Californian's think that Arizona is full of illegal Hispanics, and cactus and sand. Until they actually see Payson for themselves, my California people do not believe that there is anyplace in Arizona other than Flagstaff which gets snow. My daughter's friends won't come with her to visit because "Arizona is full of scorpions and rattlesnakes".

As for the housing inequity, it works both ways. When my parents were looking for a home here, they found one that they really liked in the paper. It had a listed asking price that was well within reason. They asked their realtor to show them the home. They loved it and made an offer. However, the seller had learned from their realtor that the potential buyers were from California, and all of a sudden the asking price increased by $25,000.00!! Needless to say, my parents ended up building their home.

I have been here for more than 18 years and have not let anybody scare me away yet. I just do my thing, love my home, and get involved, volunteer, and give back.


John Lemon 4 years, 3 months ago

People. people, people! Get a grip on yourselves. My remarks were made in jest . I am a graduate of Anaheim High School and Cal. State Fullerton. I lived in Orange County and Santa Barbara County until I retired.My high school career began at Newport Harbor and I did most of the things kids near the beach did. As to my remarks, I thought they were written in a manner that would reflect a humorous intent. Perhaps I need to put "smiley faces" at the end of sentences or add "just kidding". I feel like the stand-up comedian that was just jeered and booed by the audience. You could always ask me if I was serious??


Kim Chittick 4 years, 3 months ago

Sorry John, as I have learned in other writings, sarcasm does not come through in writing. I apologize if I sounded strident. Kind of ironic, as I too, went to Cal State Fullerton. Graduated from Brea Olinda. Lived my entire life until my mid 30's in Orange County.

You could tell from my experiences when I moved here in the early 90's, which were just the tip of the iceberg, what the sentiment towards Californians was. So, I freely admit that I am just a tad defensive. Especially so, since, even though I would not go back to live there on a bet, my daughter still lives there, as does my brother's family.



John Lemon 4 years, 3 months ago

Kim; Strident does not cover it. Explosive, bitter and anger cover better. If I recall (and I do) you let loose on me once before. I suggest that before you do so, question me as to my meaning or intent. Two things more: as a Californian I have enough bona fides to make remarks about the state that are nice, or not nice. Finally, the whole post was a sarcastic joke and I thought that the wording would be clue enough. I guess not. Enough said.


Tom Garrett 4 years, 3 months ago

"Arizona is full of scorpions and rattlesnakes"

Only in the legislature.

"However, the seller had learned from their realtor that the potential buyers were from California, and all of a sudden the asking price increased by $25,000.00!!"

I could believe that.

"I thought they were written in a manner that would reflect a humorous intent."

Interesting. I can see where what you said could be taken either way. Humor by exaggeration. We use it all the time, don't we?

"You could always ask me if I was serious??"

I don't know, John. Can you imagine what it would be like if people were always saying, "Are you serious?" We'd have more arguments here than you could believe. :-)


Nice to see.

Actually, I have a confession a humorous confession to make. Well, I think it's humorous, but then I have a warped sense of humor.

I know I'm taking a chance admitting this, but I've always felt that the truth is the truth. If you go back through my posts over the years, or read the columns I've written, it won't take long to detect a fact: I do not like California.

I spent some time there in 1958 and came away with an intense dislike of some of the things I saw and experienced while in the Sacramento/Frisco area. I won't go into them, but they turned me off so badly that when I was coming back from overseas in 1961, and had to fill out a forecast sheet, I didn't do the usual, which is to ask for an Air Base, a state, and a region of the nation (you were guaranteed that you would get one of those three if they were different).

All I put down was, "I hereby volunteer for any base, state, region or nation, in the United States or overseas, except for Travis AFB, California." I specifically named Travis because it and the area in which it was located were the epitome of what I wanted to avoid, and because I was in the Military Airlift Command, and coming home from Asia, so the headquarters which would handle my transfer was Travis (which was Western Transport Air Force HQ).

Unfortunately, it was the time when data was first being entered into computer banks and the way some dopey clerk entered it my forecast came out the exact opposite of what I had asked for, so when I got my orders they were for....

Can you guess...?


Tom Garrett 4 years, 3 months ago

It's a good thing I have a sense of humor because when I got to TRAVIS I went to Personnel, tracked down the exact person who had handled my forecast sheet (they are signed off on and I had his initials and the date), and could have put him in deep doodoo. But I didn't. We just had a long talk, he and I. :-)

I stayed there the minimum number of months required for a transfer.

So you see, despite the fact that any state is no doubt beautiful in its own way, and that people everywhere are just people, there are always going to be people--even fair-minded people--who do not like some place. That's just the way things are.

I was once riding with a co-worker (we shared driving). We were headed up a little hill leading to a t-intersection in Paradise Valley. I looked ahead at the hillside across the intersection and said, "I always like coming this way. Look at that beautiful hill!"

He reacted like he'd been sting by a bee. "Beautiful! It's all brown! Nothing but rocks, cactus, and weeds!"

I'm from green, green Connecticut; he's an Arizonan. Figure that out. :-)

One man's trash is another man's treasure.


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