Last Friday night, around 6 p.m., my wife and I were heading back to our place north of town when we spotted a puppy sprinting north right down the middle of the Beeline, from about Forest Road all the way past Home Depot. This little dog was impossible to catch, but it was not for lack of effort on the part of a half dozen or so drivers. We got him headed back south and then he decided to turn right onto Airport Road. His entourage followed him way past the airport where he finally disappeared into the woods and down toward some houses where we lost track of him.
One of the nice things about this effort was the diversity of the group trying to help, all of whom stuck with it for the duration (nearly 40 minutes). There was the 20-something "kid" with the baseball cap on backwards, a 30-something woman in her SUV, a Qwest guy in his truck with yellow lights flashing, and an old guy in his 60s with his much younger-looking wife. (I know for sure how old that last guy was because he was me.)
My wife and I spent a lot of years in the Valley until we finally figured out how we could get out of there and move to Payson full time. It's very hard for me to imagine what I witnessed in Payson last Friday ever happening in the Valley. One day in Phoenix, about three years ago, I was almost back home after work when I saw a neighbor of mine chasing his dog down the street. I stopped my car and tried to help, but he looked at me as if to say, "What are you doing, buddy? What's your angle here?"
In Phoenix, you're lucky if your neighbors will even wave at you.
About a week ago, the callousness of the big city hit closer to home when my wife's brother was out for his morning walk in Scottsdale. It was his third day of retirement. As he crossed Indian School in a crosswalk with the green light and walk sign "protecting" him, a lady in a red car making a left turn broadsided him. He has some broken bones and will eventually recover, but here's the unbelievable part -- the lady just sped away.
Life is much different here in Payson. We love it here; you couldn't pay us enough to move back to the Valley.
Paul Dewey, Payson
Editor's note: This letter was shortened to fit within the Roundup's 400-word limit for letters to the editor.