You know you’re an Arizona native when you know that dust devils are not fur balls under the bed. ~Norbert Pope, quoted in You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When…, compiled by Don Dedera, 1993
Welcome to Arizona, where summer spends the winter — and hell spends the summer. ~Local saying, modified from a booster slogan in the 1930s
The Devil was given permission one day,
To select him a land for his own special sway;
So he hunted around for a month or more
And fussed and fumed and terribly swore,
But at last was delighted a country to view
Where the prickly pear and the mesquite grew.
With a survey brief, without further excuse
He took his stand on the banks of the Santa Cruz…
An idea struck him and he swore by his horns
To make a complete vegetation of thorns…
He saw there was one more improvement to make,
He imported the scorpion, tarantula and rattlesnake…
He fixed the heat at one hundred and seven
And banished forever the moisture from heaven,
But remembered as he heard his furnace roar,
That the heat might reach five hundred or more…
And now, no doubt, in some corner of hell
He gloats over the work he has done so well,
And vows that Arizona cannot be beat,
For scorpions, tarantulas, snakes and heat.
For with his own realm it compares so well
He feels assured it surpasses hell.
~Charles O. Brown, “The History of Arizona: How It Was Made, And Who Made It,” c.1876
How time now has altered the devil’s great scheme!
For the olden conditions have gone like a dream.
Rich mines in the mountain, rich farms on the plain,
Fine fruits in the orchard, in the field golden grain;
Where the devil’s waste acres existed one day
The flowers and shade-trees are holding their sway —
And the healthiest, happiest folks on the sphere,
The best of God’s sunshine receive all the year.
~Anonymous, “Arizona — 1905 A.D.” [in response to Charles O. Brown’s c.1876 “The History of Arizona” entitled by this author “Arizona — 4000 B.C.”
As any booster will tell you, Arizona is a helluva state. In fact, for the number of places named after the devil’s playground, Arizona is No. 1. The U.S. Geological Survey lists 60 places in Arizona with hell in their names, more than any other state. Arizona has more circles of hell than Dante ever visited. A tour through Arizona might take you from Hell’s Gate in the Coronado National Forest to Hell’s Hip Pocket near the Horse Mesa Dam in Maricopa County, and on to Hell’s Tank up near the Grand Canyon. Near Payson, you can stroll through Hell’s Half Acre, and Yavapai County offers three Hell canyons to choose from. The really adventurous might want to descend into Booger Canyon, on the Graham-Pinal county line, to visit a place known simply as Hell Hole. ~”Arizona holds record for devilish place names,” Tucson Citizen, 1994 August 11th
The devil plays a dry, scorching tune and its name is Arizona Summer. ~Terri Guillemets, “Devilish heat,” 2013