Wednesday in Jerome, AZ

February 16, 2019  •  3 Comments

A MetaphorA MetaphorJerome, Arizona
Hitting you over the head with a metaphor
 

John Steinbeck begins his story of Cannery Row with:
            Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. 

He could have written something similar about Jerome, Arizona.  Emphasizing in particular the sense of nostalgia, with some remembered dreams salted through. 
Jerome has managed to re-invent itself from a played-out copper mining town to a tourist mecca for those seeking ghost tours, arts and crafts, a few wine tastings (Yep!) and a place to soak up some history of the American West.  At its beginnings were the copper mines, empty long ago of any profitable ore, followed by an exodus, partially motivated by multiple fires and a nasty habit of the town sliding down Cleopatra Hill, on which it is built.  I'm not sure how many current residents were born and bred in Jerome but there are enough folks here to keep the tourist trade going, the motel and cafes operating, and to apply a fresh coat of paint when necessary. 
And, despite its ragged, decaying exterior Jerome was an enjoyable place to visit.  I think the biggest surprise was the number of day-trippers the town attracted.  Here it is, an out-of-the-way place, on a Wednesday morning, in the off season, and it's pretty crowded.  Luckily, Jerome is not so gentrified as to have a Starbucks or hipster burger joint, yet it is upscale enough to house a world class kaleidoscope shop.  Really, world class kaleidoscopes, of which I am now a proud owner thanks to Katherine's furtive purchase while I was out taking photos of the local color (some of that color is in the above photo). 
You would hope that Jerome doesn't become another Sedona, La Jolla, or even Steinbeck's Monterey (which he wouldn't recognize today) but there's always that off chance... Let's hope for restraint. 

Jerome, Arizona Jerome, Arizona


Comments

JC(non-registered)
I looked at the map to find the location of Jerome AZ thinking I might stop there one day. To my great surprise, it's near the middle of the state and I actually passed quite near the approach to there about 7 years ago. We were coming in off 17 heading towards Phoenix and took a detour to look for the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town which is nearby. The roads were too rough for the rental car that I had (likely a small family sedan) and the road was reasonably desolate, it was mid afternoon and I didn't want to get a flat and be stuck there why out in the middle of nowhere at night, so we turned back. Did you make it to the nearby the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town?

Also could you post a photo of your "world class kaleidoscope" ? You have got our curiosity so I think we would all enjoy seeing what it looks like.
Cedric Canard(non-registered)
The photo of the buildings made me think of places I've seen in Eastern Europe and Russia. If I had seen that photo without any background information, I don't think I would have guessed America. Which is kind of amusing to me.
That fire hydrant is like a mini work of art isn't it? I hope the fire department has plenty of WD-40 for when they need to open her up ;)
Jerry Foodman(non-registered)
Things change, nothing remains the same. Cultures, towns, languages, customs, etc. Something bothers me about tourism as a means of preservation. Efforts to preserve are noble, but doomed to failure. A hipster coffee house and bookstore in Jerome would be better than a copper mine.

I don't think you should be surprised at day trippers. The world is overrun with tourists looking for places with no tourists.
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