The Joan De Arc

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Phoenix, Arizona / Saturday, December 25, 2004
©  2004 by JPB Publishing Ltd.

Founded AD 1968 / $5.00
On the INSIDE: Editorials A2 / Nostalgia A3 / Crossword A4

Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 65 / Low 38

Cache of old Bueker films uncovered

8mm treasures converted to digital format

(BP) – A small collection of long lost 8mm films of Joan De Arc Avenue, apparently dating from the early 1970s, has been discovered in the south Valley by a former resident of the street. The films represent a priceless time capsule that documents the daily family life of the Bueker clan, who inhabited the house at 3219 from 1963 to 1977.

     Former JDA resident Charles Bueker discovered the five old film reels while cleaning out a long neglected area of his home in the Lakewood area of Phoenix. He has had the films digitally recorded and is releasing the DVD on Christmas Day as a limited edition under the title “Fahrenheit 3219.”

     One of the film reels dates back to the early 1950s and contains scenes of the early Bueker years in Michigan. The others are vintage Joan De Arc Avenue films that were produced by Charles and brother John in the early 1970s. They depict a variety of Bueker family domestic activities of the time, such as backyard badminton matches and scenes from Christmas Day 1973.

     The films owe their existence to Charles’ photography hobby of the early to mid-70s, and bear a distinctly experimental flavor. Although the quality of the films varies somewhat, they are generally in remarkable condition for their age.

     When asked why the films had been thought to be lost forever, Bueker shrugged and said “I had no reason to suppose otherwise. Hadn’t seen ‘em.”


Chuck Bueker finally receives Lew King badge

By J. Beaver

      Forty years after his appearance on the local Lew King Rangers TV program, former Joan De Arc Avenue resident Charles Bueker III was finally presented with his Lew King Ranger badge in a recent ceremony in Glendale. The awarding of the coveted badge ends decades of bitterness and acrimony for the Honeywell engineer.

     Bueker and his younger brother John appeared on the popular KPHO-TV show in 1964 as members of the studio audience. For reasons that still remain unclear, the Bueker brothers did not receive their Lew King badges that day, as was their due as official Lew King audience members. The oversight was to be felt keenly for many years to come.

     The Lew King Rangers began in the late 1940s as a weekly music talent show at the Fox Theater in downtown Phoenix.  The show expanded to radio and was carried at one point by 455 stations. KPHO added the program to its Saturday evening lineup in 1950. Performers during the run of the show included Wayne Newton, Tanya Tucker, Marty Robbins, Lynda Carter, Duane Eddy, Linda Day George, Vonda Kay Van Dyke, and Rusty Draper.

     For the Bueker boys, however, appearing on the show was nothing less than an early rite of manly passage. It is hoped that Charles will now be able to move on with his life and quit dwelling so much on his childhood.


New Times discovers

By J. Beaver

      Phoenix New Times, a local journalistic staple for many years, ran a feature article about Phoenix area malls earlier this month that included an interview with former Joan De Arc Avenue residents Barbie (Bueker) Formichella and John Bueker. The article also makes mention of the Crusader’s Chris-Town tribute web site at

     New Times staff writer Jimmy Magahern conceived and wrote the piece as a general survey of the mall scene in the Valley today, but he also wished to include a nod to the earlier malls of Phoenix. A brief online search brought Magahern to the Chris-Town web site, which has been in existence for the last three years. The Buekers were invited to meet the writer at the mall itself, now known as Spectrum Mall, and share their recollections of the aging shopping center, which date back to the Bueker family’s arrival in Phoenix in 1963. After meeting Magahern at the Chris-Town Deli (formerly Miracle Mile), Barbie and John reminisced into the writer’s electronic recording device for well over an hour, walking around the mall and peering back into their past.

     The Bueker siblings come across in the article as aging baby boomers, desperately clinging to the last vestiges of their now distant youth, and this is doubtlessly the effect that Magahern was hoping to achieve. Both expressed anger at the mall’s name change, and resignation in the face of the general devolution of the shopping center and its surrounding environs. However, they also shared some touchingly wistful memories of a bygone time and place that surely reverberate with other Phoenix natives in the same age group.

     Chris-Town Mall originally opened in 1961.



On the INSIDE: Editorials A2 / Nostalgia A3 / Crossword A4

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