Phoenix, Arizona / Friday, June 18, 2004
Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 104 / Low 77
Bueker attempting to re-enroll at Sahuaro
(BP)- Joan De Arc Crusader editor and CEO John Bueker has been quietly negotiating with Sahuaro School administrators and Washington Elementary School District officials in an apparent attempt to re-enroll in the school at the age of 46.
"It has been exactly 40 years since I started at Sahuaro the first time and I believe a second stay at the school is long overdue," remarked Bueker in a recent interview. "I'm hoping to start a new trend here. I envision a day when the option of re-attending grade school will be made available to all adults in our society."
When asked the value of having mature adults repeat the early grades of elementary school, Bueker replied, "I don't know about you, but I could use a little brushing up on my phonics and simple arithmetic skills. I'm not afraid to admit that. Plus, I believe many of us could clearly benefit from some quality time out on the playground at recess time."
Bueker paid a visit to Sahuaro in April, stepping into the school library for the first time since 1972. There he posed for photos captured by Sahuaro librarian Becky (Semler) Lee, herself an alumnus of the school. "I just wish Mr. Duncan were here to see this," whispered Bueker solemnly, tears welling in his eyes.
Bueker's ultimate rationale for his attempted return to grade school seems to be a lament for the simpler ways of childhood.
"Look, this life of adult responsibility and stress is for the birds," said Bueker as the interview concluded. "Sod it. I'm going back to the safety and security of life at Sahuaro School. That's it, discussion closed."
When asked to comment, a spokesperson for the Washington Elementary School District would only say, "We do find it fairly disturbing that a 46-year-old man would wish to be re-admitted to his elementary school."
Wallace and Ladmo marks 50th
by J. Bueker
The Wallace and Ladmo era officially drew to a close on April 3, 2004 as Bill Thompson (Wallace) and Pat McMahon (Gerald, et. al.) gathered one last time at the Arizona Historical Society Museum with their aging diehard fans and admirers to observe the 50th anniversary of the legendary local kid show’s initial broadcast on KPHO-TV. That's right peeps, 50.
The current mayors of both Phoenix and Tempe were on hand to confer official “Wallace and Ladmo Day” status on behalf of their respective municipalities, and Crusader CEO John Bueker came forward to present Thompson and McMahon with Legend City t-shirts on behalf of a non-existent amusement park. Dolan Ellis, Frank Kush and other talented artists entertained the crowd during a stage show/ceremony in the museum auditorium.
Several old friends of the show appeared at the well-attended fete, most significantly Harvey Trundall, Ladmo’s good-natured bum friend who lived in the same park frequented by Lad and his embittered foe Mr. Grudgemeyer in the mid-'60s. Many of us can still recall the sad day in 1967 when Harvey left The Ladmo Show for greener pastures. At the end of the show that day, the camera observed Trundall slowly wandering off down the alley behind the station and disappearing into TV land oblivion. The man still looks roughly the same as he did that day, sporting the same perfectly clueless grin.
The auditorium event also featured some rare clips from the show, a highly entertaining Q&A session, and a brief concert reuniting Hub Kapp and the Wheels, who performed a '60s oldie much to the delight of the overflow crowd. The cat with the guitar was on his back kicking his feet in the air and everything. It was great.
Peering out into the sea of smiling faces, an emotional Wallace at length took the microphone and addressed the crowd, proclaiming the day to be the happiest of his life.
For just that moment, it seemed the happiest day of all our lives.
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