Quotes about Arizona’s Personality, Culture, Peoples, Local Legends, & History

Arizona is young and daring. She is not tied to precedent, to convention, to other states’ ways of doing things… She is bent on making her own ways, and in her own way. Her mistakes will be her own, and her triumphs likewise. ~George Wharton James, Arizona, the Wonderland, 1917

Indians, Mexicans, pioneers, engineers, cowpunchers, ranchers, miners, tourists; ruins that crumbled when Rome was young, mighty dams not yet complete; forests, deserts, mountains, mesas; mines, farms, orchards. These are Arizona, land of contrasts and contradictions, never to be fully understood by the most understanding, always to be loved by those who know the state. ~Arizona: A State Guide, compiled by Workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Arizona, 1940

You know you’re an Arizona native, when you have more than ten years’ of Arizona Highways, a four-wheel-drive, comfortable jeans, a chili addiction, turquoise jewelry, fluency in Spanglish, at least four Hopi kachina dolls, aversion to Daylight Saving Time, a “lizard crossing” driveway sign, a Navajo rug on the wall, and lawn furniture of welded horseshoes. ~Don Dedera, You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When…, 1993 [a little altered –tg]

Can we give a true picture by describing a typical, or average, Arizonan? No, for there is no such person… When one speaks of an Arizonan, does he mean one of the 46,000 Indians whose ancestors were here first? Does he mean one of the 145,000 Mexicans, who may be descended from seventeenth century invaders or have crossed the international line only yesterday as an immigrant? Does he mean a grizzled pioneer… or those who have come in the last decade from every other state in the Union and from almost every country on the face of the earth? ~Arizona: A State Guide, compiled by Workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Arizona, 1940

You know you live in Phoenix when you are willing to park three blocks away because you actually found shade from a palm tree imported 300 miles from California and nurtured with water piped 250 miles from Nevada. ~Author unknown

You know you’re an Arizona native, when you have to look up “mass transit” in the dictionary. ~Paul Johnson, quoted in You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When…, compiled by Don Dedera, 1993

What Arizona means to me?
Perhaps just a Palo Verde tree;
A star filled night, a sun warmed day,
A dusty Indian child at play.
A desert bloom, a snow capped peak,
Roaring river, dry stone creek.
~Lester Ward Ruffner, “What Arizona Means To Me?,” in Arizona Highways, November 1971

You know you’re an Arizona native, when you were so excited about getting to be on The Wallace and Ladmo show that you threw up in your grandma’s car, but it’s OK, ’cause you won the Ladmo bag! ~Bonnie Helene Irvine, quoted in You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When…, compiled by Don Dedera, 1993

What most people don’t understand is that UFOs are on a cosmic tourist route. That’s why they’re always seen in Arizona, Scotland, and New Mexico. Another thing to consider is that all three of those destinations are good places to play golf. So there’s possibly some connection between aliens and golf. ~Alice Cooper, interview with Cal Fussman, 2008 August 2nd, for Esquire’s January 2009 eighth annual Meaning of Life issue

You know you’re an Arizona native, when you think Taco Bell is the local phone company. ~Emma Louise Philabaum, quoted in You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When…, compiled by Don Dedera, 1993