In Arizona, as elsewhere in the Southwest in the 1800s, towns sprang up overnight when miners struck gold (or silver, or copper). When the mines were "played out," the townspeople disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. Only their buildings remained, "ghosts" for modern visitors to explore.
Every ghost town is different. Some were active only a few years, others lasted nearly a century. Some are represented today by a single ruin, others have dozens of well-preserved buildings. Arizona’s most famous ghost town is Tombstone.
This town was founded by a man named Ed Schieffelin. When he said he was going to mine in Apache Indian country, people told him that he was a fool, that all he’d find there
would be his own tombstone. Instead, Schieffelin found silver. Remembering what people had said, he named the town he started Tombstone.
In the 1880s, Tombstone was known for its lawlessness. After the famous shootout at the O. K. Corral, President Grover Cleveland threatened to send in the army.
People thought Tombstone would become a major town. Since Tombstone was in the desert, a company built a huge pipeline to supply the town with water. No sooner was this pipeline built than Tombstone’s silver mines struck water. There was so much water that pumps couldn’t keep up with it. The mines had to close. Tombstone became a ghost town.
• Some of the ghost towns in Arizona once had populations of as much as 15,000. They had hotels, opera houses, their own newspapers, and so on. Why do you think that even many large towns in this area couldn’t survive?
• Some people have continued to live in or have even moved to ghost towns (or towns that are practically ghost towns). Would you want to live in a ghost town? Why or why not?
The United States has a high divorce rate: Approximately 1 in every7 2 marriages ends in divorce. One result of this high divorce rate is that many American children live in singleparent families.
Although some women wait until their thirties to have their first child, other women become mothers while they are still teenagers. Many of these teenaged mothers are not married. Many are also poor. Poverty among children in homes headed by single mothers has become a serious problem in the United States.
Often people who are divorced get married again. This has led to a new kind of family—the "reconstituted family," in which there are children from previous marriages as well as from the present marriage.
An Aging Population
In the past, it was common for three generations—grandparents, parents, and children— to live together. Now most older people live on their own. They generally stay in contact with their children but might live in a different part of the country’. People are also living longer—often for 20 years after they’ve retired from their job. Modem American culture tends to value youth rather than age. All of this creates an interesting challenge for older people —and for the country’, since by the year 2020. 1 in every7 6 Americans will be over the age of 65.
Is the American family in trouble? People point to the divorce rate, to the fact that working mothers might have less time with their children, and to the "generation gap," or the problems that parents and children sometimes have understanding each other. Experts say, however, that the family is as strong as ever. Family is still at the center of most people’s lives.
• The passage describes several ways in which the American family is changing. Are families in your country changing? If so. are the changes similar to the changes in the United States?
• What do you think the perfect family is like? For example, how many children should there be? Should both parents work? Should the grandparents live with the family?
Elvis Presley was bom in 1935, in East Tupelo, Mississippi. His family was poor. They moved to Memphis, Tennessee in search of better opportunities.
What influenced Elvis and his music? First, there was his mother Gladys. For his eleventh birthday, Elvis wanted a rifle. Gladys convinced him to get a guitar. Then there were the revivals, or religious meetings, he went to. These revivals were highly emotional, with singing as well as preaching and prayer. Elvis was influenced by the gospel music sung and by the way the preachers stirred up the crowds’ emotions. Finally, there was Memphis. Memphis was a center for blues music and had a radio station that played gospel, blues, and rhythm-and-blues. Elvis often listened to this station.
Elvis became a truck driver. One day in 1954, he stopped in at the Memphis Recording Studio and, just for fun, recorded a song. Sam Phillips, the studio head, heard the song and immediately recognized Elvis’s potential. He called Elvis back for a real recording session.
The session was nearly a disaster. Elvis sang a sentimental country’ ballad. Phillips was not at all impressed. Then, during the break, he heard Elvis and the band fooling around with a blues song called "That’s All Right, Mama." Before long, Elvis’s first record was made.
Elvis was an instant hit on the radio and soon went on tour. Again, success came more from spontaneity than from deliberate plans. As Elvis said, "Everybody was hollerin’ and 1 didn’t know what they were hollerin’ at…. When I came offstage, my manager told me they’ were hollerin’ because I was wigglin’ my legs. … 1 did a little more, and the more I did the louder it went."
By 1955 Elvis had three songs on the national charts and had signed a contract with RCA
Teenagers loved Elvis and rock and roll. The music critics of the time, however, were unimpressed. They found Elvis "unspeakably untalented and vulgar" with "no discernible singing ability."
But most criticism of Elvis and rock and roll had little to do with music. Typical headlines read:
DOES ROCK AND ROLL CAUSE
TEENAGE MUSIC CRAZE HAS PARENTS
Elvis and rock and roll were blamed for the nation’s problems. The music was calle "atheistic," "criminal," and "a threat to democracy." Yet his popularity only grew.
The Later Years
Elvis’s career was interrupted in the late 1950s, when he went into the army. When he came out, at his manager’s urging he turned to act-
ing. Most of his films were not very good, but they were financially successful.
In 1968 Elvis returned to live performances. But to many people, these performances were like a bad imitation of his former self. Elvis also had problems in his personal life (his wife divorced him), as well as problems with his weight and with drugs.
Elvis died in 1977, at age 42. Was he a failure? The answer—from musicians and fans—is no.
The Beatles replaced Elvis in the early 1960s as the most important figures in rock.
When asked about Elvis and rock, the Beatles’ John Lennon said simply, "Before Elvis there was nothing."
Elvis’s mystique lives on. Each year thousands of fans visit Graceland, his mansion in Memphis. Elvis look-alike contests are still popular. And each year there are many people who claim they have seen, not just a look – alike, but Elvis himself.
Match each adjective with its definition. (Some of the adjectives are from the reading.)
a. too emotional
b. not planned
d. worthy of attention
e. having special abilities
f. not pleasant
g. not interesting
(For the answers, see page 171.)
You are an American teenager of the 1950s. Elvis is your idol. Your mother is reading a newspaper article. Its headline says "TEENAGE MUSIC CRAZE HAS PARENTS WOR
RIED." You can tell your mother is worried.
With a partner, role play the conversation between parent and teenager. Be sure to use sent adjectives!
Crater Lake, in Oregon, is famous for its clear, blue waters. It is also famous for the way it was formed: About 7,000 years ago, Mount Mazama, a volcano, erupted. Its walls col
lapsed, forming a basin. The basin filled with rainwater and became Crater Lake.
This long-ago volcanic eruption probably caused human deaths. Archaeologists have discovered seventy-five pairs of burned san-
dais. They are from the time of the eruption and must have belonged to early Indians.
Mount Mazama is part of the Pacific Ocean’s "Ring of Fire," as are 60 percent of the world’s volcanoes. This ring stretches around the Pacific—from New Zealand through Japan, the states discussed here, Central America, and South America.
In Washington and Oregon, volcanoes occur as a row of isolated peaks near the Cascade Mountains. These volcanoes are important for recreation and scenery. Many climbers in the area try to climb all the volcanoes. Volcanic Mount Rainier is so familiar to the people of Seattle that they call it "the Mountain." (Sometimes they also jokingly call it "Mount Rainiest.")
For many years, no one worried about the volcanoes; they were considered dormant. Then, on May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted.
The sky was dark with volcanic ash. Heat and wind destroyed forests. Mud flowed down, covering everything in its path. Many families saw their homes destroyed. Nearly seventy
Mount St. Helens before
Mount St Helens after
people were killed. One man was found dead in his truck, his hands clutching the steering wheel. He had died from the heat of the blast.
Mount St. Helens had been a beautiful cone-shaped mountain. The eruption flattened its top and made it almost 1,500 feet shorter. Ten years later, Mount St. Helens reminds people of the moon: It is covered with ash and huge rocks. But animals have returned, and new trees are beginning to grow.
Each of the following definitions is for a word
in the passage. Find the words
1. A bowl-shaped hole in the earth
2. Sleeping, not active; often said of a volcano
3. A scientist who studies the remains of
long-ago cultures ____________
4. A sudden explosion in which something
is released ___________
5. Grabbing onto something tightly ______
The ivy walls of Harvard University
Just across the Charles River from Boston is Cambridge, America’s most famous student town.
Cambridge is sometimes called the birthplace of American intellectual life: It has the nation’s oldest university, Harvard University, founded in 1636. Cambridge remains a center of intellectual life, especially since it’s also home to MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Harvard has an excellent reputation in many fields; MIT is a leader in science and technology. Students attending Harvard and MIT come from around the world; Harvard alone has students from 90 countries.
Since one-fourth of the people in Cambridge are students, it’s not surprising that Cambridge has many bookstores, shops, restaurants, coffee houses, and clubs.
A common sight in Cambridge is Harvard oarsmen rowing on the Charles River. The Harvard rowing team spends all year preparing for races in the spring, especially for the Harvard-Yale Regatta. Yale University is Harvard’s big rival.
Rowing on the Charles River
• Have you heard of Harvard University and MIT? If so, what else do you know about them? Would you want to go to either university? If so, which?
• Would you want to live in a town like Cambridge, with many students? Why or why not?
Student life around Harvard Square, Cambridge