Mourning Grant Woods, a guy everybody knew, even if you didn’t

By EJ Montini | Arizona Republic

In the early 1980s, new to Arizona, I joined the downtown Phoenix YMCA, one of the few gyms available at the time.
It had a pool, a weight room, a small area with a heavy bag and some other boxing equipment, a narrow elevated outdoor running track (20 laps to the mile) and a basketball court.

I recall stopping by the gym one day to watch part of a lunchtime game of pick-up basketball, an engaging athletic mash-up of full-contact martial arts and the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

“Who’s the guy complaining constantly about being fouled,” I asked the spectator next to me.

“Some lawyer,” the man said. “I think he works for McCain.”

That is how I first came to know Grant Woods.

All these years later, there is not a person in Arizona who is involved in politics or the media who doesn’t know Woods.

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