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Best Unofficial Phoenix Historian Phoenix 2011 - Marshall Shore

Marshall Shore met his obsession with history in a bag of old slides in a downtown Phoenix vintage store.

He bought the bag, thumbed through the transparencies, and projected them in his backyard. Shore says they were more than just old photos — they were forgotten stories, and he was determined to fill in the blanks.

Shore grew up in Odell, Indiana — a town of 25 people, one street, and two stop signs. There were plenty of stories, but not many characters, and at 23, he took a one-way trip to Brooklyn with no plans of going back. He landed a gig in a New York library and has since spent almost two decades soaking up information about cities and culture.

It wasn't until he transferred to Phoenix (and later lost his job to the failing library economy), that he took his research to the street. Our streets.

Meet Shore for a drink, check out his blog, or take a seat at his monthly slideshow series at Metro Retro, and he'll catch you up on the gossip out of Sun City, the latest of his T-shirt creations, screen-printed with historical buildings, or any one of the stories collected during a day trip to Sunnyslope.

The local historian labeled himself early on as an "information curator" who's not afraid of dark basements or dusty corners. Shore says he chooses to ignore the all-too-common claim, "Phoenix has no history," and is, instead, on a mission to connect the community to its current and historic place.

He's got a camera and a notepad he only uses for names and numbers. And he keeps the stories in a hidden, photographic system in his head. Now we just have to get him to write it all down.

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Marshall Shore
Marshall Shore

The next Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular will be 7p, Thursday Oct, 13 at Phoenix Metro Retro (708 W Hazelwood st) Come early for a Food Truck, beet strEAT... Yum!

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