By Barry Barbe

Every town has them, and most communities exist because of them. They are the entrepreneurs, ranchers, developers, community members and visionaries who worked together and made contributions that are felt and appreciated generations later.

Lifelong Prescottonian Patrick Kuykendall has lived a life that experienced these contributions and out of appreciation, is in the process of documenting the “Good Ole Boys of Prescott.” Telling the stories of the movers and shakers of Prescott who in a lot of ways made Prescott what it is today.

Despite the occasional comment referencing concerns about the “Good Ole Boy Network,” many of these early families as well as current individuals, continue to shape Prescott.

“For example, the Antelope Hills Golf Course exists due to two ranchers that donated the land to create this city asset. My father tells the story of back when he and Earl Mayor were on City Council. The South course was part of the Wineglass Ranch, and the North course was given to the city by the Bar Heart Ranch.

Patrick said, “Earl worked for APS and would bring an auger home from work and plant trees on the course. That’s how things got done back then.”

The golf course aside, “The Good Ole Boys,” often stepped up and made many of the area amenities possible by donating land and services for schools, parks, medical facilities, trails and more. Known for their community contributions, many held local and state political offices and supported and created local nonprofits that continue to serve the Prescott communities.

Patrick has a unique perspective as to the influence of this group that played a part in creating a community that has become the envy of many. His father, or “Pops,” was Marlin Kuykendall, a local business owner and developer, as well as two-time City Council member and three-time Prescott mayor.

“Having the opportunity of being raised in a community that was so focused on family was truly a blessing,” Patrick said. “I remember going to work with my pops on certain projects that he was working on at the time, and getting to experience a life that sometimes seems almost forgotten.”

So far, Patrick has profiled three Prescott Good Ole Boys, for his “Good Ole Boys, Small Town, Big Influence” project, which can be found on his personal Facebook page, Patrick R. Kuykendall.

“It all started out of a conversation I was having with a couple of buddies and we were talking about the contributions of some of these guys, and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to tell the stories of these folks, so everyone can learn about them and come to appreciate their contributions.”

This past week, the group got together again, and came up with a list — four pages long — of folks they felt fall into the category of “Good Ole Boy.”<br />

“And there was no drinking involved,” Patrick adds.

The list is literally a who’s who of Prescott History and the families and individuals who shaped it along the way over the decades, “The Rummel Family, Steve Pierce, The Barretts, Gail Gardner, Fains, Jensens, Lees, Simmons, Hicks, Brad Newman, James, and Musgroves. And the list goes on and on,” Patrick said.

Some on the list have passed, but their lineage carries forward the stories and their early vision for Prescott.

As the veterans manager for the State of Arizona, Patrick has a full time gig, yet has always been active with local nonprofits and community organizations. For the past several years, he has been involved with and helping to establish “100 Men Who Care,” a local group that meets quarterly in support of local nonprofits.

“Prescott is such a great community and a lot of that has to do with the hard work and camaraderie that these early men and families helped to create.

“I can recall knock down drag outs at City Council, and yet, then, everyone would meet at Murphy’s or another establishment, work things out, and continue to do the work that needed to be done.”

With a growing list, Patrick looks forward to telling the stories as a personal passion project. “It’s not political. If were moving to a new location, I’d want to know, ‘How did we get here, where did we come from, and what was the vision?’ And that’s the motivation for this project to tell the vision these Good Ole Boys had.”

Along with his “Pops,” Bill Feldmeier and Butch “Digger” Hampton round out the first three profiles on his page with more to follow as Patrick tells the story of “The Good Ole Boys of Prescott.”

To contribute, or view the stories of “Prescott Good Ole Boys” visit Patrick R. Kuykendall on Facebook.

Barry Barbe owns the El Gato Azul and Torme restaurants in Prescott, and is the energy and insight behind the Prescott Palette. His radio show, the Prescott Palette, is on KQNA 1130 AM, Saturdays at noon. Email: Prespalette@gmail.com.

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