Note Book

The way you know you’re getting near a town in eastern Arizona is that trees start showing up. One here, one there. Not big trees, but any tree counts as something of an anomaly among the barbed wire, stunted cactus and crusted dust some mistakenly call dirt. You notice them. Then, the way they multiply. And after the trees, a house or two. Basementless one-story places with everything that can’t fit inside spread out around them. The sign on the outskirts of Safford dates the town to early in the last century. That far back? Hard to imagine. But it almost doesn’t matter. Time in Safford is not the same as time in New York. Or L.A. Even Tucson. It barely seems to exist on Main Street, where at 10 a.m. on a Saturday the sound of a slamming car door echoes jarringly into the silence and the only retail establishments with any life in them – not counting Clonts Fine Jewelry, of c
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