Campana: What will Scottsdale be without Saba’s Western Wear stores?

(Submitted photo)

Quality Western Wear — You want quality?

Mayor Herb Drinkwater wore Saba’s custom-made ostrich boots every day for 50 years. And I’ll bet he walked 10,000 steps daily in Scottsdale — and wore through dozens of pairs!

This elegant blouse (kinda daring lace inserts, fashionable deep, 6-button cuff, western-cut yoke) was acquired 50 years ago this summer from Saba’s Western Wear store on Main Street in downtown Scottsdale.

I won’t get to wear it to the anniversary of that great buy, as the decision was made recently to soon close all but the Saba’s Western Store in Chandler.

Sam Campana

Saba’s Tony Lama boots, fitted perfectly to my foot 50 years ago, have also been handsome accessories to 50 Parada del Sol horse-drawn parades, none of which were complete without the Saba’s wagon full of their enthusiastic, professional employees engaging the people, enjoying the sunshine, and loving the Western vibe of Scottsdale.

These boots, worn to Washington DC inaugurations, Jerusalem, our Sister Cities Alamos and Interlaken, plus dinner at the White House, have lasted my lifetime.

Quality Volunteers — Dick and Marion Saba are models of what has made Scottsdale great.

They are smart, busy, professional people willing to give their time, talent and treasure to enrich their hometown! Chieftain and patriarch David Saba made his way to America and Arizona from Lebanon almost 100 years ago.

The Saba Bunch grew to seven siblings and Scottsdale was the beneficiary of sons Roger, Norman, Dick and his wife Marion, and daughter Marion’s investing in Scottsdale’s boards, commissions, church and service organizations, non-profits, design review board, STEP committees, Human Services Commission, Las Madrinas (which was instrumental in founding the Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped, now STARs), Scottsdale Jaycees, The Charros, Planning Commission, Scottsdale Prevention Institute, Chamber of Commerce, Museum of the West (25 years of effort!), and more.

Quality Hometown — The Saba family “homesteaded” part of Scottsdale with one of the initial custom homes built in the first planned community in Scottsdale, carved from Guy Stillman’s historic working spread, now McCormick Ranch.

They have raised a beautiful, loving family there and opened it to hundreds of volunteers for a variety of worthy and valued causes. Bounty from their garden and orchard, fresh fish and fowl, and Lebanese repast at their gracious tables made all welcome.

Their leadership manifests itself everywhere we look in Scottsdale.

Quality Donors — It would be easier to list the local charities that did not benefit from the donation of a Saba’s Stetson hat (the official mayor’s hat was RED!), Wrangler jeans, a pair of fine western boots, a gift certificate so you could make your own selection from belt buckles to bolas, hats, boots, jeans, shirts, vests, jackets and much more.

So generous.

Out-of-town visitors were always treated to a tour of downtown Scottsdale and they loved the warm western welcome they received in a Saba’s store infused with the rich smell of superbly worked leather.

Quality Memories — Thank you for caring deeply about your community.

Preserving the western look with lampposts, signage and public art evoking the West, adequate parking, free parking (!!), street parking, traffic calming, pedestrian friendly sidewalks — these are all issues that the Saba Bunch resolved and/or championed.

Thoughtful opinions were shared civilly, sometimes privately but effectively. They participated in the community celebrations — La Posada Christmas, Scottsdale Rodeo Days, Spring Training, All Arabian Horse Show, any horse anything! Almost any Scottsdale anything.

Quality Family — Sister Marion owned the salon where we all congregated for years, their nephew is my dentist, and their daughter provides professional decorating (even gardening) advice.

As we contemplate Scottsdale without the Saba’s stores, we remember to say thank you to a patriarch, brother and sisters, and their families who made such a difference in our quality of life in The West’s Most Western Town.

Thank you, Dick and Marion, Roger and Norman, Marion and your families. Your legacy is secure in our most treasured memories and in the Scottsdale you helped craft.

Editor’s Note: Sam Campana is a former mayor of Scottsdale and longtime resident.

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