I’ve been “out Wickenburg way” for a tad bit over two months now, and when I share that info it usually gets followed up with “how are you liking it?”
My reply has been, “I’m really liking it here.”
And that’s true, I really am. It’s because there is so much to Wickenburg.
The first thing that grabbed me about Wickenburg is the Historic Downtown district. When I took my first walk around downtown, it was otherworldly. If you have ever seen the film “The Truman Show,” it felt like I was plumped down in the middle of Seahaven.
Then, there’s the wonderful Wickenburg High School campus, and when you talk about “Friday Night Lights” and one of the better places in the world to watch high school football (I’ve watched it in New Jersey, Arizona, Virginia, Northern California, Nevada, and Southern California) WHS ranks among the best.
I went to my first team-roping here, and I was pleasantly surprised by the fun atmosphere. I was a little sad when I had to leave.
After attending a couple of Town Council meetings, I am extremely appreciative that there is a lighted board with each of the councilmembers’ names that illustrate how they voted on particular items. That sure beats counting nodding heads.
And there’s one thing I’m not going to lie about, I do enjoy the proximity of Wickenburg to the valley. It’s about an hour to downtown Phoenix, which means it’s an hour to a Suns game. If you haven’t noticed yet, they’re actually pretty good this year.
What I really, really like about Wickenburg is that there is a lot of caring. The places and things in and around Town are cherished. Wickenburg people are concerned about the trail system from Vulture Mine to Sophie’s Flat.
A new senior center is close to opening up; there is a decent community center that serves as a gathering place, and a wonderful Town library that isn’t run by a county.
When speaking of places, it just wouldn’t do to leave out the Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts. I was fortunate enough to part of the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Institute that took a behind-the-scenes tour. The Webb Center is amazing and should be the last place those who call Wickenburg home take for granted. I’m lined up to see three shows this season, and I’m anxious to see a show there.
More than places, though, Wickenburg residents care about people. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out Wickenburg leads the country in volunteerism on a per capita basis.
Volunteers are all over Wickenburg, whether at the Wise Owl Senior Center, driving those in need around via Freedom Express, working the library, the Webb Center, or the trail system. It’s impressive what people are doing for each other here.
I was taken aback a little when I started hearing and feeling the grumblings of an us-versus-them mentality rearing its ugly head regarding those who live in Wickenburg Ranch. Since I moved to Wickenburg more than two months ago, it’s been easily understood they are Wickenburg residents.
They pay taxes, volunteer at our schools, senior center and library. They even sit on our Town Council.
What I do know for certain is that I don’t feel an anti-Wickenburg Ranch vibe. There was one letter to the editor that lumped the folks who live out there in one big pot because the leader of what seems to be an anti-Town government group lives in Wickenburg Ranch. In response to that, Wickenburg Ranch residents wrote letters and called The Sun imploring other residents not to include them as being anti-Town because one person or group doesn’t speak for the entirety of Wickenburg Ranch.
A letter like that doesn’t stand for the entire population of town folks who don’t live out at the Ranch. The residents who don’t live in Wickenburg Ranch don’t think badly of those who do.
My journeys between town and Wickenburg Ranch have led me to conclude there is no us-versus-them in Wickenburg.
The only thing I have found are Wickenburg residents who are caring for each other.