The Joan De Arc

All the fits that's news to print

Phoenix, Arizona / Friday, December 24, 2021

Founded AD 1968 / $10.00

©  2021 by JPB Publishing Ltd.

Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 62 / Low 52

On the INSIDE: Editorials A2 / Tales from Sahuaro School A3 / Christmas Nostalgia A4 / Crossword A5




Fabled Bueker phone number finally retired

(BP) - 942-0043 now belongs to the ages.
     For nearly six solid decades, those legendary Joan De Arc telephonic digits have been associated with the Bueker family, Avenue residents at 3219 from 1963 to 1977. Earlier this year, the surviving members of the Bueker clan announced they were finally letting their famous phone number lapse in the wake of their mother Barbara Bueker Stewart’s passing in May 2020. Barbara had been sole caretaker of the number for the 43 years since the family departed Joan De Arc Avenue.
     The Buekers originally acquired the “0043” number shortly after their arrival in Westown in the summer of 1963, receiving just the 43rd number assigned to the local 942 exchange. When the family moved on to 3219 later that same year, the number was transferred over to their Joan De Arc residence. Barbara ultimately perpetuated the phone number’s continuity in the family when she carried it to the Hidden Hills neighborhood of north Phoenix in the spring of 1977, ensuring that her children could continue to reach their mother for many years to come using the familiar family phone number of their youth.
     “942-0043 was my phone number from the age of 5 on,” wistfully observed former 3219 resident John Bueker. “It’s the only number I can still instantly remember. Even my current number, which I’ve had for over 30 years, sometimes takes me a minute to recall.” Charles Bueker meanwhile has discerned a possible mystical, numerological quality to the old family phone number that has apparently been overlooked lo these many years: “Okay, add all the digits together and you get 22. Then, add those two digits together and you get 4. This is the exact number of Bueker children! Coincidence? Yes, absolutely.”
     The Avenue champs for longest running phone number easily remains the Mitchell family, who have retained the same number at 3231 since 1961.

Surrey Heights at 60: A few fun facts

by J. Bueker

     As 2021 marks 60 glorious years since Joan De Arc Avenue and the Surrey Heights subdivision sprang into existence, we at the Crusader thought it might be fun and perhaps even mildly enlightening to muse upon a few relatively obscure and fun facts we have uncovered regarding our lovely street and its surrounding subdivision of homes.
     Surrey Heights was so named because the land upon which it was built is actually very slightly elevated with respect to the surrounding terrain. An October 1960 advertisement for Surrey Heights in the Arizona Republic enticed prospective home buyers with the alluring tidbit that “Surrey Heights is higher than Phoenix proper, and therefore cooler.” Oh my yes, and what a tremendous amenity this proved to be! I can still remember those summer days on Joan De Arc when we were enjoying a frosty 116 degrees outside while the rest of the Phoenix area was sweltering under a searing 116.1 degrees. It was practically sweater weather in the Heights!
     Speaking of amenities, Steves Bros. Homes, the builders of Surrey Heights, originally offered home buyers the choice of one added bonus feature for their new home from a special list at “no extra cost.” The options included a redwood-fenced backyard, G.E. dishwasher, tiled floors, cedar shake roofing, and large evaporative air cooler. The idea that a semi-adequate cooling system would be an added optional bonus feature in the Arizona desert seems a bit odd in retrospect -- those tiled floors would have looked quite lovely while the inhabitants were slowly dying of heat exhaustion. I’m guessing the shrewder home buyers opted for that large evaporative cooler as their “added amenity.” (In all fairness, a “small evaporative cooler” was standard in the new homes in Surrey Heights, although the effectiveness of such units in mid-July Phoenix was notably problematic).
     Surrey Heights proper was built in two distinct phases by two entirely different construction firms, and this fact becomes clear when you compare the home models south of Joan De Arc Ave. to those north of Willow Ave. Joan De Arc was the final street built out by Steves Bros., completed in ’61, at which time the construction of  “Phase 2” commenced with an outfit called Shuffler & Kerley Home Builders Inc. The Eide’s home for example, directly to our south on Willow, was a stark contrast in architectural style to our Steves Bros. “Newport” model on Joan De Arc. The rock-strewn flat roof, curving semi-enclosed carport, and front decorative wall represented marked departures from the home stylings in Phase 1. The photo above, showing Don Eide and his son Glen on Christmas Day 1961, reveals the curved carport and linear design characteristic of Surrey Heights Phase 2.
     Ultimately a half dozen phases of Surrey Heights were built by various developers, ending with the completion of Phase VI in 1971, thus capping off a full decade of Surrey Heights construction projects.


On the INSIDE:  Editorials A2 / Tales from Sahuaro School A3 / Christmas Nostalgia A4 / Crossword A5



Moon Phases:   Last Quarter: December 26   New: January 2   First Quarter: January 9    Full: January 17

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