The Joan De Arc

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Phoenix, Arizona / Thursday, December 24, 2015
Founded AD 1968 / $10.00

©  2015 by JPB Publishing Ltd.

Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 66 / Low 42

On the INSIDE: Editorials A2 / Sports A3 / Christmas Nostalgia A4 / Crossword A5



Chris-Town book in the works

(BP) – Arcadia Publishing has announced a tentative agreement for the writing and publication of an illustrated history of the iconic Phoenix shopping center Chris-Town Mall.
Legend City
author and Crusader publisher John Bueker has been tapped to write and assemble the new “Images of America” book, which like the Legend City title will be loosely based one of Bueker’s long-running Phoenix history websites.
Vestar, the management company overseeing day-to-day operations at Christown Spectrum Mall, as it is now known, met with Bueker in November to work out the details for securing the mall’s support for the book project. “We’re very excited about the Chris-Town book,” said Arian Ploszaj, Director of Marketing for Vestar. “We love the (Chris-Town Retrospective) website.”
     Christown Spectrum is currently being acquired by a new owner, Kimco Corporation, who paid $115 million for the property earlier this month. This turn of events has caused a delay in the signing of the final contract for the book, which will require approval from the new ownership. This formality is expected to take place in January.
     Chris-Town Center opened in August of 1961, the first self-enclosed air-conditioned shopping mall west of the Mississippi. For generations of Phoenicians, it has represented the very blueprint of a shopping center experience. Just as significantly, the mall has endured, outlasting virtually every other major Phoenix shopping center of its time.
“Chris-Town Mall was simply the most wonderful place to go in Phoenix when I was a kid growing up here,” Bueker said. “If any local historical and cultural phenomenon deserves to have a book written about it, then Chris-Town would be it.”

Legend City exhibit opens to positive reviews

By J. Beaver

     Legend City founder Louis Crandall sat in the old antique car from his long-lost theme park, hands on the steering wheel, grinning broadly. “I’m so proud of this exhibit and what we accomplished with Legend City,” he said.
     Crandall and his family were on hand at Tempe History Museum last month for the opening festivities of a new Legend City exhibit that will run through next October. The exhibit features a broad range of artifacts, uniforms, rides, sound, music and film from the 20-year history of the bygone amusement park.
     An estimated 300 visitors attended the ribbon-cutting ceremonies on November 6 and viewed the exhibit on opening night. Joan De Arc Avenue was well represented at the event, with several former residents in attendance including the Bueker boys, Charlie and John, and Patty Russell.
     The Crandalls were joined in attendance by Miss America 1965 Vonda Kay Van Dyke, who performed at the Golden Palace Saloon in the early days of the park. Ms. Van Dyke loaned a number of priceless items to the museum, including a gown she wore as Miss America, along with her ventriloquist dummy, Kurley-Q. Other notable Legend City celebrities attending the ceremonies included Saloon MC Sandy Gibbons, Arizona Balladeer Dolan Ellis, and the host for the event, Wallace and Ladmo legend Pat McMahon.
Initial reaction to the exhibit has been quite favorable and the museum reports steady and sizable attendance throughout the first two months. “Everyone seems to love it,” reports museum curator Jared Smith.
     The Legend City exhibit at Tempe History Museum runs through October 2016.

Turnout underwhelming for Moon Valley anniversary

By J. Beaver

Alums Gary Trovini, Kevin Trovini and John Bueker at Moon Valley game in October.

     Moon Valley High School celebrated its 50th anniversary this fall with a special homecoming football game on October 9.
The school invited all alumni and former staff to attend the event, primarily through social media outlets. A tailgate party was held outside Earl Putnam Field before the game and a special section of the stadium stands was reserved for all returning students, faculty, administration and staff from the half century of Moon Valley’s existence.
Turnout for the celebration was somewhat disappointing however, with some classes going completely unrepresented at the event. As Class of ’75 grad Gary Trovini wondered aloud, “Where in the hell is everybody?” Surprisingly, the notoriously spiritless Class of 1976 actually had 4 members present at the game.      
Appropriate to the poor turnout at the homecoming event, the outcome on the field was equally disappointing, with the turnover-prone Rockets falling to the Sunnyslope Vikings, 39-13.
Moon Valley alumni will have a second chance at reuniting on April 2 when another 50th anniversary event is held at the school. Plans are being finalized for that date to include a pancake breakfast and alumni tours of the campus. An extensive list of former faculty, administration, and staff is being prepared for invitation to the event.
     As a tribute to his aging classmates at the anniversary festivities, Class of ’76 alum John Bueker penned some revised lyrics for the famous Moon Valley High fight song:

We're from Moon Valley
And nobody cares
We’re old, decrepit
And we’ve lost our hair
Come on, let’s sit down
We need to rest
Let’s get dementia
Moon Valley’s best!



On the INSIDE: Editorials A2 / Sports A3 / Christmas Nostalgia A4 / Crossword A5


Moon Phases:      Full: December 25   Last Quarter: January 2   New: January 10  First Quarter: January 16

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