"Farewell Payson, As We Used To Know It"

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May I comment at some length on two guest comment columns that appeared in the Payson Roundup.

On May 4, Mr. Miller of Miami, Fla. reminisced about the many times that he visited Payson while attending the American Graduate School in International Management in Phoenix in the 1960s. Up the beautiful old Beeline with its single lanes and fabulous views of the Mazatzals and the Mogollon Rim and the bucolic little Town of Payson. And, having returned after 30 some years, what did he find?

The Beeline looks just like any other interstate highway and the little village now looks like any other interstate town. The cookie cutter syndrome; large lighted billboards greet you as you approach town, ubiquitous fast food joints, banal shopping centers, modern sterile service stations and the usual traffic congestion. And the multitude of retirees and their upscale homes.

And what has progress dealt us? Mr. Miller closed by comparing today's Miami, Fla., with what it was when he was much younger. Now, wall-to-wall people and the usual problems associated with a plethora of individuals.

At the other end of the spectrum, we find a Mr. Max C. Richards of Young who, in his letter to the editor May 11, decried Mr. Miller's comments about the urbanification of Payson and what was being lost as a consequence. Ah, Mr. Richards, you do not have to look very far to see the consequences of a tremendous influx of people to the Valley of the Sun. Both Miami, Fla. and Phoenix used to be considered the ultimate spot for your home, but no longer.

Mr. Richard's comments about Mr. Miller's age of 56 and his (own) age of 63 (were made) apparently to justify his position in regard to unrestricted growth. Ah, Mr. Richards, at age 85 I have seen a goodly portion of the United States and am quite familiar with some far-off climes such as Iran and Irian Jaya. And I think I can make a very telling point in regard to what happens to a beautiful part of the world, when too many people decide that is where they want to reside. I refer to Southern California in the 1930s, a paradise on earth. And, now look at it. Farewell Payson, as we used to know it.

C.H. Henlin, Payson

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