Phoenix, Arizona / Thursday, November 23, 2006
© 2006 by JPB Publishing Ltd.
Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 81 / Low 50
Moon Valley Class of ’76 skips reunion
(BP) - The legendary apathy that has long defined the Moon Valley High School Class of 1976 reared its ugly head again earlier this year as the class was forced to cancel its 30-year reunion due to an overwhelming lack of interest.
The official announcement of the cancelled festivities appeared on the popular classmates.com web site in August. Several Class of ’76 members then raised the possibility of a joint reunion with the Class of ‘77, but no significant hint of support ever emerged for even this meager suggestion for salvaging the event. With time running out, the reunion committee conceded the inevitable and abandoned the notion of a 30-year fete entirely.
The Moon Valley High Class of ’76 developed a hard-earned reputation for absence of class spirit during its four (in some cases five or six) year run at the northwest Phoenix campus. The Class of ’76 was the first in school history to fail to sell enough candy to finance the traditional senior class trips to Disneyland and Big Surf. The Bicentennial class also had serious difficulties assembling enough people each fall to build a coherent class float for the annual Homecoming parade. The only class activities that seemed to be generally well attended and enthusiastically embraced by the Class of ’76 were the occasional desert keg parties held at intervals throughout each school year.
“It’s unfortunate, but I also think it’s touching in a way,” observed ’76 alumnus John Bueker about the cancelled reunion. “After all these years, our class has retained its unique ability to not give a flying damn about much of anything. I’m actually feeling very proud of the Moon Valley Class of ’76 right now. We’re a special group of people.
"Too tough to care."
Bueker interviewed for KAET’s “Arizona Stories”
by J. Beaver
John Bueker, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Joan De Arc Crusader, recently participated in an interview for an upcoming installment of “Arizona Stories,” an Arizona history and culture television program that appears sporadically on the local PBS affiliate, KAET-TV (Channel 8). Bueker was queried concerning his knowledge of Legend City, a defunct Arizona amusement park about which he is considered something of an authority.
Larry Lemmons, the producer of the “Arizona Stories” program, personally conducted the interview in July at the Bueker residence in Glendale. The following week, Lemmons and crew made the trek to Provo, Utah to interview the founder of the Legend City himself, Louis Crandall. There was no indication as to whether Bueker and Crandall conferred in advance to make sure their stories matched up properly.
The Legend City segment of “Arizona Stories” has not yet aired, but has completed production and is expected to be featured in the first episode of the series' upcoming second season. Unfortunately, at press time, the second season of the program had not yet been added to the Channel 8 schedule. This has led to some degree of frustration for Bueker, who told the Crusader last week, "Hey look, I can't wait forever for my fifteen minutes of fame. Let it rip." Larry Lemmons declined to comment.
Channel 8 began airing episodes of "Arizona Stories" earlier this year as part of its countdown to the centennial of Arizona statehood, which occurs in 2012. The show highlights people and places of historical and cultural significance from Arizona's past. Previous episodes have featured stories on Governor Hunt, Ira Hayes, Monti's La Casa Vieja, the Lost Dutchman Mine, Orpheum Theater, Biltmore and Wrigley Mansion.
Legend City disappeared into Valley history in 1983.
Rare Westown Homes brochure surfaces
By J. Bueker
The Crusader Foundation yesterday announced the addition of an exceedingly rare item to its collection of neighborhood artifacts: an ultra-scarce Westown Homes brochure that dates to the very beginnings of that subdivision's existence in 1959.
The booklet surfaced in downtown Glendale in a relatively obscure Catlin Court book store operated by longtime local businessman and community activist Ed Sharpe. Mr. Sharpe donated the item to the Crusader Foundation in exchange for a generous donation to his book store.
The Westown houses were built to the south of the site of Joan De Arc Avenue's subdivision, Surrey Heights, about two years before ground was first broken on Joan De Arc. The two subdivisions maintained something of a competitive rivalry in the '60s and '70s which has faded with time as the two areas have slowly blended into a more homogenous neighborhood.
The Westown Homes brochure features an endearing anthropomorphic house character by the name of "Happy Homer," who sings the praises of "paved streets, sidewalks and sewers" that are "already in and paid for." Every single model and floor plan of the Staggs-Bilt homes in Westown is presented in the remarkably well-preserved booklet.
The brochure has reportedly been insured by Lloyds of London for thirty-five dollars. It may be viewed on the WesTown Shopping Center memorial web site at http://www.barbarastew-art.com/westown.htm.
Fun Fact: Only 4% of current Joan De Arc Avenue residents are aware that they live in Surrey Heights.
Moon Phases: First Quarter: November 28 Full: December 4 Last Quarter: December 12 New: December 20