Category USA

An Arizona Ghost Town


This ghost town once produced 200 million dollars in gold. {© John Drew 1992)


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.

Подпись: О К. Corral today

Discussion Points

• 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?

Single-Parent and Other Nontraditional Families

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.

Future of the Family

image014Is 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.

Подпись: Percentage of Mothers in the Workforce with Children Under 18 Women's Age When Having Their First Child

Discussion Points

• 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?



Early Influences

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

The Reaction

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:





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-

image130Подпись: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Подпись:Подпись: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

c. crude

d. worthy of attention

e. having special abilities

f. not pleasant

g. not interesting

(For the answers, see page 171.)

Role Play

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!


Подпись: The natural beauty of Crater Lake (© Jerry Jacks. 1980)

Crater Lake

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-


Mount Rainier

dais. They are from the time of the eruption and must have belonged to early Indians.

The "Ring of Fire"

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.")

Mount St. Helens

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

Discussion Points

• 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