In all likelihood, I'm about to carbon date myself, but I have to concede my life mileage bubble became slightly askew a few weeks ago while participating in a walk on the NAU campus. Utilizing the university's hard-surfaced pathways were not only a few, but a whole fleet, of food delivery robots making their way at a snail's pace toward destinations known only to them.
And while these chow carts moved patiently forward among the many students riding bicycles, motorized scooters and skateboards (or even walking), the high-tech wonders did so with apparently little undergrad interest in their presence.
My old-timer friends and I, however, were near giddy in our initial response to the new-to-us food delivery devices. How do they function (by celestial magic or what)? Can they cross a high traffic road? (Or will a robotic aide-de-camp be needed?) And can they be easily hijacked and robbed of their vittles? (We elderly, potential food felons seemed overly interested in that answer.)
After a short spurt of mirth and some creaky kneel-downs for a closer look underneath the slow-rolling, artificially intelligent contraptions they quickly became routine to us also. So, we concluded our walk by ambling off campus to purchase a bagel at Biff's, where the walls are covered by awesome photos of beloved dogs.
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And while I'm sure a modern food service, computer driven, slow motion trolley will never be able to provide Biff's kind of fresh-made service or fill the premises with the enticing smell of baking bread, I suspect that kind of enjoyable experience will eventually become just another lost compromise with modern progress. Yikes!
And to change the subject, on Monday, February 17, the film "Through The Great Southwest" about the over 800 miles of the Arizona National Scenic Trail as seen through the eyes of Director Darwin Rackshaw will be shown at our Orpheum Theater. This will be the premiere of an exciting new documentary, and the proceeds will benefit the Arizona Trail Association.
Flagstaff is one of the few Arizona towns directly on the trail and the only place with a bypass loop though its mountains. Dale Shewalter, the highly esteemed father of the Arizona Trail, was a fellow Flagstaffian and has a commemorative sign and bench memorial to his memory in Buffalo Park. We are indeed fortunate to have this movie shown first in our city.
And to finish, there have been year-round walks from the Joe Montoya Community and Senior Center since 2004. And along with the restored Francis Short Pond, the Karen Knorowski Wildlife Mosaics and the fabulous outside wall compositions of the Mural Mice, the wonderful gardens of Payton and Carrie Combs have been the most visited locations on our Tuesday morning walks.
Carrie and Payton's beautifully groomed back and front yards have given us many moments of enjoyment. And when we have interrupted their dedicated work on their beautiful gardens, they have always greeted our group with cheerful kindness.
Payton recently passed and we offer our heartfelt condolences to the Combs family for his loss. And may the peace of your wonderful gardens continue to be with you Carrie.