Skip to comments.Postcard from Scottsdale: In Sarah Palin country
Posted on 02/17/2012 7:02:38 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona Im parked outside the fieldstone and adobe mansion at 29005 North 82nd Street at sunrise, eating my low-fat yogurt from the free breakfast bar at the Quality Inn, and listening to the one-note whistle of the Phainopepla birds high in the Palo Verde trees. The first yellow blossoms of the year are bursting from the Potentillas, and the teddy-bear cholla cacti look fluffy enough to hug.
This is the fashionable north side of Scottsdale, land of sun, sand, saguaros, and surveillance cameras. Up here, an hour out of central Phoenix, the streets have names like Stagecoach Pass and Sunset Trail, and every strip mall is a Marketplace. The real Carefree Highway is only a kilometre yonder.
North 82nd Street itself is a Kalahari of soft, reddish dirt, impressed by paw and hoofprints and the tracks of reptiles Id rather not meet. A curving driveway of pink gravel winds toward number 29005, which is a two-storey fortress protected by a tall iron gate and a copse of POSTED NO TRESPASSING signs. A rusted iron stallion, life-size, guards the opposite corner. Every 15 minutes or so, a Mercedes coupe or a Porsche Carrera convertible whispers by.
I get out of my rented Ford and tiptoe closer to the house. Through the gate, I can see a childrens swing set, a barbecue grill, and a wide balcony that faces north, shaded in summer from the Arizona glare. The doors to the six-car garage arent open. The silence is broken only by distant neighing, and the chaffing of sparrows in the brush.
At Sarah Palins new home in the desert, there is no sign of intelligent life.
Now I begin a spirited debate with my inner correspondent about whether or not to peek into Sarahs mailbox or rummage through her recycling bin. I am just about to lift the lid when an 89-year-old woman riding a 50-year-old Schwinn Tornado bicycle and wearing a white windbreaker that says WESTSIDE FOOD BANK pedals up.
I am the infamous one are the first words out of the ladys mouth. Then she tells me that she lives just across the street on five virgin acres, that she was the first one to build a house on North 82nd Street more than 40 years ago, and that she has lobbied for half her lifetime to have this sere and beautiful plateau protected as wilderness and parkland.
I am the burr under Scottsdales saddle, she says. Theres just so much in the desert thats magic. It has to be saved.
You sound like a Democrat, I offer.
I am a Republican! the 89-year-old woman yelps.
She is one Jane Rau, widow, activist, Director Emeritus of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, and Sarah Palins new neighbour.
She paid $1.6 million for it, Rau says, pointing toward the manse, which is nothing special by North Scottsdale standards. But you never see anything or anybody. I doubt shes ever here. Shes not really a resident of Arizona. Shes a resident of Alaska. Shes just one of our winter people.
What do you think of Sarah Palin? I ask. I cant imagine anyone in this country who wouldnt be ready with an answer.
I think shes done some wonderful things because she says it like it is, Rau replies. She doesnt play around being cute. Its just the facts.
What do we know about Sarah Palins new little Bedouin tent? We know from an online video made by the realtor who sold it to her that it was foreclosed last year for a mere $1.24-million, that it contains 7,900 square feet of child-rearing and caribou-gutting space, and that it has travertine floors, a bar that looks like it belongs in Cheers, an island in the kitchen that is more like a continent, and an electric lift to nowhere.
Peligro no elevator in el shafto, the agent warns, utterly pleased with himself.
There is an outdoor fireplace why? he jibes. Arizona is an outdoor fireplace.
On a chilly winter morning in North Scottsdale, a little added warmth would be a blessing, but the sun will take care of that by noon. Forgive me, Newspaper Award committee: I dont go through anybodys garbage. Jane Rau clicks her chinstrap and rides away through the Crucifixion bushes and the ocotillo plants.
I get back in my Ford. Sarah Palin, I soon learn from the radio, is in Washington, D.C., crowing to conservatives and celebrating her 48th birthday.
YOU CANT FIX STUPID, BUT YOU CAN VOTE IT OUT, says a billboard on North Pima Road.
This Canadian nobody sure has alot of snarky quips in his so-called article.
If you didn’t receive this Fox News blurb today, there’s some neat info about the Palin family in it:
Great to hear everyone is doing great, after all the crap they’ve been subjected to.
And the takeaway that says a lot about why so many of us love this lady!
FOX: As we sit here today, what does the future hold for you?
SARAH: Im keeping all my options open; everythings on the table. I put my life in Gods hands and say, Lord, you know I mess up. I take wrong doors that I think are open that perhaps arent really open, and I learn through the school of hard knocks, but my life is in His hands and I do seek direction from Him in what it is I can do to positively contribute to this country, to our world, and everybody can do that. Everybody can make a difference and contribute, regardless of a title or no title, an office or no office. So, all options are on the table, but certainly running for office in the future is a consideration.
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