Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21, The Alston House and Election Posters

A few months back I saw an article in the Arizona Republic about The Alston House. Dr. Lucius Alston was the first black doctor to practice medicine in what was then the very segregated town of Mesa. We're talking the 1920's through, oh let's say maybe sometime in the 1960's. The segregation practiced in Mesa was of the gentlemens' agreement sort, nothing overt, just keeping Them over there and Us over here by way of real estate practices. Check out this article called "The Struggle for Civil Rights in Arizona" by The Honorable Elizabeth Finn. Anyway, Dr. Alston and his wife Velma, a nurse, treated black, Hispanic and Indian patients. It is right and fitting that the home they made in what is now central Mesa should be preserved and their legacy remembered.

There is a barbed wire topped chain link fence surrounding the property. I do not know when it is scheduled to be open to the public.

Pima Street has small, mostly quite modest homes. Some very well kept, some not so much and then there is this one, directly across the street from the Alston House. 

Brazos Abiertos church is just across the corner. If my Spanish is correct, the name translates to "Open Arms". That's reinforced by "Todos Bienvenidos"

Here's a home on Lewis Street, just a short block east of Pima.

And here's another.

Just north and across the street from The Alston House is Washington Park. I believe it is named after Booker T. Washington.

You know I can't resist a door and a bike.

And now for the next round of Election Posters

My actual chore today before work was to go to Home Depot and get a bunch of paint swatches. But right on the corner of Broadway and Val Vista where HD sits was a nice collection of election signage. I had to grab a few shots.

Oh, wait a sec. As I was driving to Home Depot I happened to see a familiar sight along South Gilbert Road.
You may have heard of Russell Pearce, even if you've never been in Arizona. He was the chief sponsor of Senate Bill 1070, which has gotten us so much press lately. The first link there takes you to the actual bill. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it. And no, I did not embellish Mr. Pearce's upper lip. That was already there.

The Democratic candidate for governor is Terry Goddard, current Attorney General and long time presence on the Arizona political scene. His campaign is emphasizing bringing jobs to Arizona, which has, I if I recall, the second worst unemployment in the nation along with one of the highest rates of home foreclosure. He is given very little chance against the incumbent Jan Brewer, who gained fame for signing SB1070 into law. She has also become well known for a prolonged "senior moment" during the one and only debate she agreed to participate in and for making up scary stories about decapitations along our border with Mexico. Her official image is one appropriated from another Great American Icon, Rosy the Riveter.

She doesn't need to put up posters in Mesa. My guess is she will take the city by a very wide margin.
My other political prognostication this morning is that Kit Filbey's day job need have no fear of being pushed to the background any time soon. If I'm wrong you'll hear about it here.

Now this is important. The Chicago Cubs have held their spring training in Mesa for decades. Sooner or later you knew they would make some sort of "request" of the already cash strapped city in order to keep bringing their players and fans to Mesa. The Cubs themselves are the big boosters of this campaign; check out their Keep the Cubs website. A local blogger (gee, another one about Mesa?) has devoted a fair amount of space to this issue at Mesa Spring Training Stadium.

As always, thanks for visiting Mesa 2010. Remember, this is really just a very thinly disguised way to get more people to check out my novel, Boomerang. But since much of the action in the book takes place right here in my little corner of the world (along with plenty of fun in Australia, San Francisco, Washington DC and even Martha's Vineyard) it all ties in quite nicely! Please check out the link to Boomerang's Home on the Web.

Thanks and so long from Mesa!



Tracy said...

Interesting! I had never heard of the Alston house before.

Alan Hutcheson said...


This is the sort of thing I'm hoping to find more of in doing this photo blog. Bits and pieces of Mesa's history along with what's current. I look for inspiration wherever I can, but for the most part it is a matter of where I can get to in the amount of time I have combined with "is it walkable?" Huge chunks of this city do not invite pedestrian activity.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures of the Alston House! I just learned of it and was looking for more information.

Alan Hutcheson said...

Hi, Anonymous (I like a lot of your music, by the way, especially the early polyphony).

Glad to be of help. I wish I had been able to search out more places like the Alston House before this Mesa 2010 project ran out of steam.