Arizona is a modern place, among the fastest-growing states and home to Phoenix, the nation’s fifth-largest city, with gleaming office towers and a just-opened light rail system.
But now and then, the state’s Western heritage comes storming through the saloon doors to remind one and all just what this place was like not so long ago.
It happened here Monday in the shadow of the Phoenix sprawl, when it came to settling a draw in a local election.
Adam Trenk and Thomas McGuire, both in blue jeans and open-collar shirts, strode nervously into Town Hall with their posses. There stood the town judge. He selected a deck of cards from a Stetson hat and shuffled it — having removed the jokers — six times.
Mr. McGuire, 64, a retired science teacher and two-term incumbent on the Town Council, selected a card, the six of hearts, drawing approving oos and aws from his supporters.
Mr. Trenk, 25, a law student and newcomer to town, stepped forward. He lifted a card — a king of hearts — and the crowd roared. Cave Creek had finally selected its newest Council member.