Phoenix, Arizona / Saturday, May 1, 2010
© 2010 by JPB Publishing Ltd.
Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 80 / Low 56
Happy May Day
Joan De Arc reunion
Residents past and present gather for 1st annual affair
(BP) – The first annual reunion of Joan De Arc Avenue residents was held in March at the Coco’s restaurant near Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix.
A total of 25 past and present residents and their families were on hand to share memories and catch up with the lives of their former neighbors, many of whom had not seen each other in nearly four decades.
Representatives from the Bueker, Dickey, Hesketh, Humphreys, Mitchell, Nelson and Russell households turned out for the three hour luncheon, which was held in the ethereal Banquet Room of the restaurant. An e-mail and telephone contact list was passed around to enable the attendees to remain in touch.
The Joan De Arc reunion was skillfully organized by former resident Barbara Bueker Stewart, although many of the celebrants seemed to mistakenly credit the event to her son, former resident and Crusader CEO John Bueker. “Do you really think I would have chosen Coco’s for this thing?” Bueker wondered aloud when asked about the misunderstanding.
The genesis of the reunion took shape over the last two years during regular lunches attended by Avenue matriarchs Jean Humphreys Durham, Helen Mitchell, Konnie Russell and Ms. Stewart. The idea of extending the get-together to include other family members eventually emerged as word of the lunches began to spread, sparking interest in a full-blown reunion scenario.
While somewhat chaotic, the gathering did provide a forum for the sharing of some genuinely fascinating stories from Joan De Arc’s rich history. Patti Humphreys Shannon for example recounted the fateful night in the early '70s when sister Beth Ann managed to set aflame the roof of the restroom building in Westown Park. Good times indeed.
Konnie Russell spoke up for many of the assembled guests when she asked the Crusader reporter in attendance, who was busily taking notes, “You’re not going to write anything bad about us, are you?” The reporter smiled sadly at Ms. Russell and declined to respond.
Meanwhile Ethyl Schmidt, the Coco’s waitress assigned to the reunion lunch, seemed somewhat bewildered after witnessing the unrelentingly sentimental proceedings. ”Whatever works for you, I guess” was her lone comment as she lit a cigarette and headed for the parking lot.
The second annual Joan De Arc reunion has been tentatively scheduled for next spring.
“Well, it’s long overdue, isn’t it?” mused John Bueker after the conclusion of the festivities. “Although I must say, most of these folks have not aged nearly as well as I, have they? Oh well. Ciao.”
Kathy Mitchell confesses to notorious TP caper
by J. Beaver
A long standing Avenue mystery was suddenly resolved recently when former Joan De Arc resident Kathy Mitchell confessed responsibility for the notorious TPing of the Bueker house back in the summer of 1976.
The surprise confession occurred during the Joan De Arc reunion held in March and caused a sensation at the well-attended event. What prompted the unexpected admission is unclear, but it quickly became one of the foremost topics for discussion at the reunion gathering.
Mitchell’s brazen act of mischief has long languished in the Avenue cold case file alongside such mysterious misdeeds as the “broken bowl” scandal at the Bueker home in 1967, and the disappearance of the backyard clothesline from the Wells residence shortly before their arrival in 1964.
The Buekers returned home on the evening of July 22, 1976 to find the front and east side yards of 3219 extensively covered in a high-quality brand of bathroom tissue, probably Charmin. An estimated 5 to 6 rolls were thought to have been expended in the operation. The Buekers immediately responded by TPing several of John Bueker’s buddies’ residences that same night, never suspecting the true culprit in the matter.
To her credit, Kathy Mitchell has asked forgiveness for her youthful transgression, but rumors continue to swirl about one or more Buekers seeking revenge for the long ago prank.
“I would never dream of retaliating at this late date,” John Bueker remarked when reached for comment. “Toilet paper is a lot more expensive now than it was in 1976.”
Jennifer Hesketh Boyle, who has refused comment, is strongly suspected of being Mitchell’s accomplice in the incident.
Crusader announces “Name the Reunion” contest
by J. Bueker
In recognition of the resounding success of the inaugural Joan De Arc Avenue reunion, the Crusader is proudly announcing its “Name the Joan De Arc Reunion” contest. The winning entry will become the official name for all future Joan De Arc reunions.
Joan De Arc residents past and present are encouraged to take part in the competition. The reunion name should be from 3 to 6 words in length, and reflect the nostalgic nature of the event. Extra points will be given for originality, alliteration and appropriately evocative word play. We ask that all submissions avoid obscene language and unflattering references to the CEO of the newspaper.
First prize is a trip to Joan De Arc Avenue for a home cooked meal at the Mitchell home, courtesy of Helen Mitchell, who was probably the most happy and excited person at the reunion. Should Helen decline to participate (and to be honest, we haven’t even asked her), the meal will instead be served at the neighborhood Jack in the Box. Second and third prize is a trendy Joan De Arc Crusader t-shirt.
The Crusader would like to acknowledge Ms. Konnie Russell as the party from whom we shamelessly stole this idea.
Please address all entries to: email@example.com. Multiple entries are acceptable. Contest deadline is midnight on June 30.
And yes, we're serious about this.
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