Cantor: Addressing silence, Scottsdale’s first responders

Posted 11/15/22

First of all, I am alive and almost well.

Now if you know me you will know I am happy in my little rut. For example, I lived in the same house my parents bought when we moved to Scottsdale for 60 years. Lots of memories some wonderful, some sad, some ridiculous, all with lifelong learning experiences.

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Cantor: Addressing silence, Scottsdale’s first responders


First of all, I am alive and almost well.

Now if you know me you will know I am happy in my little rut. For example, I lived in the same house my parents bought when we moved to Scottsdale for 60 years. Lots of memories some wonderful, some sad, some ridiculous, all with lifelong learning experiences.

When I say almost well, I broke my left arm for the second time in early October. The first time was practice the day after Christmas last year. I forgot how heavy my briefcase was and tried to sling it into my son’s car.

The second time I was attacked by the dastardly dustpan. It turned on me as I backed up and I fell on it so it could not escape.

The cast came off last week and the brace went on. I love the brace. It is needed. No pain meds. Just my brace. I have two — one gets dirty, I wash it and the other goes on.

So, for now, I am living in Mesa, close to my oldest son, daughter-in-law and grandsons.

I have an “affordable one bedroom, a very cool layout with a nice patio (not a postage stamp like my neighbors), a full-size washing machine and dryer (takes a queen-size comforter, no sweat; feel free avail yourself in an emergency).” Also, have a work island that can seat six.

The coolest thing is I can now find out what all has been in storage for seven years. I haven’t tackled that just yet. I know there are four sets of fine china, three sets of crystal, and sterling silverware with mother-of-pearl handles.

I could go off on a saga just about those things because they were my responsibility to keep presentable when serving guests from the time I was eight years old.

Keyword affordable. The complex meets all of the federal requirements for affordability: is only three stories, has solar power, has a beautiful pool area, huge community room, a theater, a craft room and a business room that residents can use for meetings.

Check the photo link. It was completely rented out before it was finished and the developer approached Scottsdale about building here, and whoever in the city turned them away because Scottsdale doesn’t need affordable housing.

Several of my neighbors are teachers. We chat...

One last thing... About six weeks after I moved in, on a Saturday night, the fire alarms went off. My hallway on the first floor was evacuated and stayed on the sidewalk.

Some of us were musing, as we gazed up to several folks who stayed in their apartments and were perched on their balconies chatting to folks on the sidewalk, that perhaps we should have suggested they join us on the sidewalk. We are allowed to have pets here and those critters who were awakened abruptly were sounding off too.

That alarm was still going off and we had not a clue why. After about 15 minutes a police car pulled out of the back lot and slowly drove south to Broadway Road and stopped at the corner. We waved to get his attention so we could find out what was going on. He just kept going.

Then another police car came out of the same driveway. And he proceeded south and didn’t stop either (do you know how hard it is to jump up and down and wave your arms, at quarter after two in the morning in July?).

Needless to say, we were a bit peeved. Plus we were now a half hour into this and there had been no fire truck in sight.

Y’all know I have been a strong supporter of our first responders for most of my 37 years on boards and commissions in Scottsdale, so my aging gray matter was in spasm by that time and it was becoming increasingly difficult to stay quiet.

We were now almost 40 minutes into whatever the heck was going on, so I joined Gracie, an old bulldog, sitting on the curb to wait. A few minutes went by and the police cars at the corner of Hawes and Broadway roads slowly pulled out to block the intersection. Way down south on Hawes Road there appeared flashing lights, but no sirens.

At the same time, a car turned into the front roundabout drive and parked.

Hmmm, I told Gracie that somebody was going to need to be doing some fancy talking. Gracie laid down next to me and went to sleep.

The manager was in the car and six fire persons got out and went into the building with no sense of urgency. Gracie and I got up and said “Let’s go!” We walked up the driveway and watched and waited as the manager and firefighters chatted and checked to see if there were any hot spots on walls in the lobby and front office.

Then they all disappeared. We all approached the door that we were accustomed to opening when people approached. It didn’t open. So we just stood there, waiting. The alarm stopped.

The firefighters and manager came into the lobby — then out the door to the pool area, then back in again — and eight of us were still at the door. I decided that knocking on the door might not be inappropriate, so I did.

The manager unlocked the door and asked what I wanted. I wanted to look at Gracie and tell her to talk to the woman, but proceeded to ask, “Could someone tell us what is going on, and can we return to our apartments?” They consulted one another and supposed that would be a good thing and that was that.

A few weeks later management told us that vandals had broken into the craft room and emptied four fire extinguishers in that room.

No more info than that.

Be grateful for Scottsdale’s first responders. They do their jobs well and they know communicating is part of that job.

Okay you know I am alive. Know too, that I am not finished in or with Scottsdale. My southern Scottsdale neighbors deserve a lot more than they know.

Editor’s Note: Nancy Cantor was a longtime resident of Scottsdale and advocate in the community. She is now a Mesa resident.

Scottsdale resident, first responders, Nancy Cantor, opinion