I screwed up a newspaper interview and drove out of town by myself, for the weekend, in my big new old Cougar, confused and embarrased, obsessing about what I could have said.
The interview was about an old Valley
National Bank branch in Tempe that's going to come down. It's
a geodesic dome. I'd already tangled with the young girl photographer
from the Arizona Republic who had me squinting into the broiling hot
summer sun, Good God. Then the girl reporter from the Arizona Republic
asked me a number of questions over a patchy cell phone connection,
ending with, "Why is it important to save this building?"
I gave an answer that included the phrase 'social reality.' She said,
"That's kind of psycho-speak. Say it like you're explaining it
to a child."
So on the way to Globe, towards the past, still trying to think of a good answer to a simple question. I had a room reserved at the El Rey Motel in Globe, from 1938. This doesn't count as nostalgia on my part because I'm shooting backwards in time past my own native generation of Holiday Inns. This nostalgia doesn't fit my year. This is back to Rock-City-original-Grand-Canyon vintage.
In 1938 motels were just evolving from motor courts with separate units. The El Rey kind of splits the difference. The rooms are interrupted with carports, very narrow carports, and after I successfully nosed my big new old Cougar into the spot, filling it completely, then I had to back out and try it with the next carport over (I'd chosen somebody else's), another successful tight squeeze, and then I wanted a cigarette.
Somebody cares about this property. It's obvious. The woman at the front desk was quite friendly, the place was as crisp as you could expect for a 70-year old building meant to last 10 or 15 years, and I recommend it for a stay, although not to everybody. My room, room 31, between 12 and 14, was about the size of a big refrigerator. I didn't bother crawling under the sheets or trying out the shower, with its cute colorful tile, but I re-arrange the furniture, and move a massive 70's-style rec-room lamp to a precarious spot so I could plug in a laptop.
(more to come)
Copyright 2006 - 2010 Walt Lockley. All