Letter | This is not my grandfather’s Kingman
In the last week, Kingman made national news. The city portrayed on TV is not the bustling place I am proud to call home. As your state representative, I fight for policies that benefit our cities and counties every day. I will stand up against out of state hacks trying to ruin our reputation and this is why I feel passionate about Kingman.
I drove across the country in my 1970 Chevy truck, listening to the sounds of Mariah Carey on my Sony Walkman. My car radio was infested with static and commercials. It took a few days, and I knew I was home when I smelled the wet rain on the greasewood. My final destination, Kingman, was just 140 miles away.
It was 1993 and I experienced Sleepless in Seattle for the first time and watched the cast of Cheers say goodbye. I was disappointed when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl. The highlight for me was the halftime show with Michael Jackson. One of the most historic events that year other than my graduation from 8 years of higher education was apartheid finally coming to an end in South Africa.
I bought a humble two room dental office on Northern Avenue. I started July 1, and for the next few months, I often had to cancel patients when the power went due to the monsoon season. I was one of two women dentists to hang a shingle in Mohave County. I lost patients due to the gender prejudice, but on the other side of the coin I gained patients for the same reason.
My practice flourished and so did Kingman. The Kingman from the past has evolved beyond having three banking options, one gym and one female dentist with electricity going out.
Kingman of today is vibrant, cultured and business friendly. The little sleepy town on Route 66 has awakened. We still embrace the past of the old western hero, Andy Devine, Route 66 and our mining, ranching history. Kingman has expanded its options to be a destination rather than a stopover on the way to somewhere.
We have a diverse forward-thinking community. Although with any community, you are going to find many thoughts as to what progress looks like, Kingman welcomes visitors from all over the world. Please come visit the Beale Street experience or First Friday. Hike or bike the trails around our fine city or boat on three large lakes within an hour’s drive. We have the closest lodging for the Grand Canyon West, as well as camping and cabins available in the scenic Hualapai Mountains. This does not even take in account the numerous events we have for car enthusiasts relating to Route 66.
I moved to Kingman over 25 years ago to raise my daughters in a solid, midsize community with strong family values as well as a business friendly environment. The community as a whole is warm and embracing, and I am proud of our progress and look forward to the Kingman of the future.