Questionable Facts I lived in Tempe, Arizona from the early '60s on and I sure don't remember there ever being a "Phoenix University" at that time. (Not to be confused with the University of Phoenix, which came much later.) Some of the other descriptions don't sound like the Phoenix I remember at that time. Is this just literary liberty. What time did Ms. Walls actually live in Phoenix?
Otherwise, a fascinating book.
asked by MAB on April 23, 2006
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Showing 1-10 of 58 answers
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I loved this book, but just when I thought I should quell my suspicions of embellishment, I came to the Christmas scene with midnight mass on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve (!) (and the part about not being able to buy liquor that day, which made it less likely just a meaningless slip up) and wondered again. I decided to just enjoy the book and not worry about it, especially because I have a close family member who grew up in poverty and shares some of the attitude this author admirably imparts of understanding without lack of holding responsible.
J. Preseau answered on June 9, 2006

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When you go to mass at midnight on Christmas Eve, it is then Christmas Day. At midnight, the next day starts. And how does not being able to buy liquor on Christmas make you doubt the validity of the book?
S. Cuarto answered on October 15, 2007

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Um...Midnight Mass IS on Christmas day. 12:00AM. And I grew up in the South, and people could not even buy liquor before 2 PM on Sundays. That might have changed, but don't knock things you don't know anything about. I know people will probably label this post as not adding to the discussion. but I had a visceral reaction to this post and had to say something.
Kara answered on February 8, 2008

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I live in SC. Cannot buy liquor after midnight on Saturday. Bars close. Town locks up. Sunday, no liquor no where. Not even in a restaurant. Mother's Day brunch - no champagne. A bunch of wet noodles and closet drinkers.
happyscshopper answered on July 2, 2008

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I don't think children are allowed in casinos in Las Vegas either.
Deborah A. McCAfferty answered on September 15, 2008

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Kids can walk through any casino in Las Vegas. Almost every one of them requires you to walk through the game area in order to get to the elevators to the rooms. However, kids cannot stop and play any of the games. They must keep moving. If kids stop, even while their parents drop in a quarter in a slot, it won't be very long until someone from security reminds the parents to keep moving. There are kids walking through casinos constantly during the day time.
S. Cuarto answered on September 15, 2008

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I see! Well I wasn't allowed in a casino when I was there as a child many years ago. I guess times have changed. Author said she and her brother were playing hide and seek amidst the slots and that did not sound quite right.
Deborah A. McCAfferty answered on September 16, 2008

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One part of the book that made me wonder was after she had described the fact that they "never" had regular meals and then a few episodes after that she starts-out with something that happened at "dinner" one evening.
I had to stop right there and ask myself how someone who didn't have regular meals could casually mention something that happened at "dinner". (something that would have been strange for them, not an everyday occurrence).
I was like, "Dinner?! They had dinner? That in itself should have been worth describing, what consisted-of "dinner"?? Or what a "normal" dinner would have been for the family.
Amazon Atlantic City Bibliography answered on May 10, 2009

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I, too, grew up in Arizona (Phoenix) and wonder if she meant "Phoenix College" which is located at 15th Avenue and Thomas Rd, not too far from North 3rd Street. And because this was from her early memories of childhood, I didn't think not knowing the correct names mattered as much as her reality of the memories.

I also thought it was fascinating.
Amazon Customer answered on June 1, 2009

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I, too, grew up in Arizona, so I wondered if she meant "Phoenix College" which is at 12th Avenue and Thomas Rd, not too far from North Third Street. This is from her early childhood, so I figured the memories were more important than the actual names. The Civic Center is on 3rd Street, so I think she had her facts straight, as she remembered them at that age.

I also thought the book fascinating, as it brought back memories of growing up in Arizona, with a free-thinking, artist father, who fortunately did not drink and/or move us to West Virginia!
Amazon Customer answered on June 1, 2009
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