The Joan De Arc

All the fits that's news to print
Founded AD 1968 / $5.00
Phoenix, Arizona / Tuesday, December 24, 2002
  2002 by JPB Publishing Ltd.
On the INSIDE: Editorials A2 / The Arts, Food A3 / Christmas Nostalgia A4 / Crossword A5
Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 64 / Low 39

Sahuaro School archives recovered

(BP)- The long missing Sahuaro School archive scrapbooks, once feared to be lost forever, have surfaced in the Westown area after an absence of nearly six years.

     Angela Fischer, president of Sahuaro School P.A.T.S. (Parents and Teachers for Sahuaro), recently revealed that she has been secretly storing the scrapbooks at her home in Westown.
    The archives contain a variety of assorted school related memorabilia dating back to Sahuaro's first year of operation in 1960. The materials were gathered and the books constructed and maintained without fail until the practice was finally abandoned in 1984. They were then stored away and remained largely forgotten for years thereafter.
    "Several years back, the principal of the school felt that the school didn't have the room to store all these pictures and ordered them to be destroyed," said Fischer. "(Sahuaro teacher) Mrs. Heyer rescued them from the dumpsters and gave them to me for safekeeping until that principal was gone, which he now is."
    Ms. Fischer's decision to disclose the archives' whereabouts was prompted by a community wide request issued in September by the Joan De Arc Crusader for old photographs of the school and other surrounding areas, such as the old Westown Shopping Center. After contacting Crusader editor-in-chief John Bueker and discussing the matter, Fischer felt that she had found the right person to entrust with the priceless materials contained in the archives. "This poor guy's just obsessed with this stuff, you know?" remarked Fischer.
    Bueker, in conjunction with the Crusader's parent company JPB Publishing Limited, has devoted the last few months to the process of scanning and preserving the archives in a digital format, which will then be presented to the school at a future date, probably sometime in 2003. In return, the company has been given permission to use the images on its Sahuaro School nostalgic web site.
    The project has brought back a flood of memories for Bueker. "Looking at this stuff, day after day for months, has been a surprisingly emotional experience for me," said Bueker. "I mean, it's almost been like reliving those eight years of my life. Plus it's one hell of a lot of fun to find dorky old pictures of my siblings and then post them on the Internet for all the world to see."
    The Sahuaro archives were compiled beginning with the inaugural 1960-61 school year, and contain an eclectic mix of photos and other memorabilia such as PTO (and PTA) bulletins, Christmas programs, newspaper articles, birth and wedding announcements, thank you notes and old Field Day ribbons. The archives were organized into large, sturdy photo albums in 1970 that have served them well in terms of overall preservation of the material. Unfortunately, most of the documents and pictures in the archives were also long ago laminated to the pages of each book, which has presented some difficulties in scanning the material, and in some cases has actually damaged the very items that the process was meant to preserve. Nevertheless, the Sahuaro archives have successfully preserved a huge number of very rare items from a rapidly receding time in the neighborhood's past.
    "It's really rather fascinating to look through these archives and see what kinds of items were deemed worthy of inclusion, and to wonder about all the stuff that they decided not to put in there," remarked Bueker. "Some of these things are rather odd and trivial, and yet priceless. That is, of no value whatsoever."
    "Except for those of us who remember."


John Bueker receives Ladmo Bag

by J. Beaver
    Forty years of disappointment and youthful deprivation came to a sudden end recently when former Joan De Arc resident John Bueker finally obtained the Holy Grail of Phoenix childhood, the highly coveted Ladmo Bag.
    During a rare public appearance by Bill Thompson (Wallace) and Pat McMahon (Gerald, et. al.) at the Arizona Historical Society in Tempe, a series of Ladmo Bags was awarded at random to lucky members of the audience during a presentation of Wallace and Ladmo out takes in the Society's auditorium. Although the bag was originally awarded to John's sister-in-law Linda Bueker, who was seated next to him, she graciously ruled herself ineligible due to the fact that husband Charles had won a bag years earlier from Ladmo himself, at a work related picnic.
    Bueker has been a devoted fan of the show since his arrival in Phoenix at the age of 5 in 1963. A number of postcards were sent into the show on his behalf during the 60s in an attempt to secure a visit the "Toy Cottage" (the precursor prize to the Ladmo Bag), and then later to win a Ladmo Bag, but all to no avail. Bueker's longstanding suspicion that the "fix was in" to deprive him of a trip to the show has never been substantiated, and has been repeatedly denied over the years by spokespersons for KPHO-TV.
    The Ladmo Bag was found to contain a variety of sugar based consumables such as Twinkies, Cracker Jack, a can of soda pop, a bag of sour cherry balls and a stale Ding Dong. Bueker initially planned to keep the contents intact for posterity, but was eventually persuaded to enjoy most of the snacks instead. The lone exception is the box of Cracker Jack, which will remain in the bag as a permanent reminder of its original contents and which is expected to slowly harden and solidify with the passing of time.
    After the big event, Bueker posed with Thompson and McMahon for pictures and a brief discussion of the old Legend City amusement park, where Wallace and Ladmo stage shows were an entertainment staple for many years. McMahon and Thompson then signed the sacred paper container, thereby immeasurably increasing both the financial and nostalgic value of the object, which incidentally was hand lettered and filled with goodies by Wallace himself before the Historical Society event.
    When reached for a comment, Bueker's only remark was "Ho ho ha ha, he he ha ha."
    The Wallace and Ladmo Show was the longest running daily television show in history, airing from 1954 until it finally signed off in December, 1989. The show has recently returned to Arizona airwaves in the form of "The Best of Wallace and Ladmo," airing Sunday evenings at 6:00 on AZTV.


On the INSIDE: Editorials A2 / The Arts, Food A3 / Christmas Nostalgia A4 / Crossword A5
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