Much of the Kingman I knew as a kid is as dead as tail fins, zoot suits and the honest dollar. It was swept away by neglect, changing times, and the boom times that spawned immigration from anywhere that wasn’t Arizona.
The old adage you can’t go home again is a true one. The reason is a simple one, everything changes including me.
That leaves but two choices. You can walk backward looking toward what was and lament over what will never be again. There are a number of problems with passing your limited number of years on planet earth in this manner. You have no future, you live in a very dark place as the sun has set there and you only see what was and not what might be.
I choose the second option – visit the past to ensure myself these are the best and worst of times, look toward the future with excitement for things to come, and never forget to take time to enjoy the things that are truly important.
For those who know where to look there are still delightful little islands of unchanged solitude where the view from on high has changed little in the past half century or so. One of these is an area known as White Cliffs located about a half mile north of the historic district of Kingman and Route 66.
To the north of this rocky pedestal the ruts of the old road that linked the mines at Stockton Hill with the rail siding in Kingman are clearly seen below. To the southwest is old Kingman with its unequaled skyline.
In the 1960s the Job Corp transformed the historic area that stands in the shadow of this rocky monolith into a wonderful park with tables and a fountain. I don’t think the good folks of Kingman realized at that time what a gem this was and so with the exception of an occasional whimper it was left to the vandals with predictable results.
Two vestiges remain, the bridge across the wash and the observation point on the bluff high above. This past Sunday, as storm clouds moved in from the west transforming the sky into a sea of pewter, my dear wife and I decided to seek the beauty and solitude of this delightful urban island.
We were well rewarded for our efforts. The view, as always, was breathtaking and the solitude was only broken by the faint hum of traffic on I40 to the north, the wind whistling through the crevasses of our citadel on high, and the chirp of quail.
Is there a better way to while away a Sunday afternoon? A delightful walk to invigorate, stunning views and solitude to reflect on the majesty of God’s creation, and the company of my friend and companion of twenty five years. I am truly a blessed man.