The Joan De Arc

All the fits that's news to print

Phoenix, Arizona / Wednesday, December 25, 2019
Founded AD 1968 / $10.00

©  2019 by JPB Publishing Ltd.

Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 68 / Low 48

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



Irony at work: John now only employed Bueker

     (BP) - Joan De Arc Crusader editor John Bueker, whose early adulthood was marked by an unusual paucity of gainful employment, has now ironically emerged as the lone working member of the original Bueker family unit.
     With the retirement last year of his brother Charles, John now finds himself the only Bueker still laboring for a paycheck. Family members Barbara Bueker Stewart, Sue Bueker Nolan, and Barbie Bueker Formichella have all been retired teachers for some time now.
     In addition to his all-important duties as a writer and editor for the venerable Crusader, John also finds time to work occasionally in an academic position for a local university. “People are shocked when I tell them I actually make more money in my second job than I do working for the Crusader,” he reports. “I know, it’s crazy.”   
     Regretfully, Bueker expresses some disdain for the retired status his family members now enjoy, recently remarking, “I’m unsure becoming elderly and infirm is a legitimate excuse for not pulling your own weight, quite frankly.” One family member who requested anonymity responded, “Well we’re just glad John finally went to work. He still has some catching up to do.”
     For his part, Charles was somewhat reluctant to leave a long-standing engineering career at Honeywell, noting that he only decided to retire “exactly 10 milliseconds after they gave me the tiniest incentive, which was a modest severance package.” Charles now fills his days with “home improvement projects, painting, guitar practice and most importantly, cat videos on YouTube and Reddit.” He also enjoys meeting up with still-employed work friends and eliciting “sobs of grief” by sharing tales of his carefree retired lifestyle. Charles has continued on in his role as a regular columnist with this publication.
     When asked when he himself will finally take retirement, John was unsure of the answer but said, “Oh I imagine when I finally keel over and they wheel me out.”
     The Buekers lived at 3219 from 1963 to 1977.

Remembering ‘69 at 50

By J. Bueker

     The very first decade on Joan De Arc Avenue was one for the ages, and its denouement unforgettable.
     The 1960s were a famously astonishing ten-year period both historically and culturally, bringing a sea change in fashion, musical styles, politics and social constructs. There ensued a steady stream of sensational happenings that rapidly entered the realm of lore, concluding with what was arguably one of the most significant years in the history of the world. Before we bid 2019 a fond (or not so fond) farewell, we would be remiss not to pause ever so briefly and recall the stunning cacophony of events precisely half a century ago: the astonishing year of 1969.
The world stage was a crowded one that year. Richard Nixon took up residence in the White House for an eventful presidency that yet was fated for a premature conclusion. The Vietnam War continued to rage and the peace movement to gain momentum. The trial of the "Chicago Seven" commenced that summer, while an obscure disgruntled hippie troublemaker named Charles Manson incited one of the most infamous murder sprees in American history. Meanwhile, a small Arkansas-based store chain called Walmart was quietly incorporated on Halloween. Looking back now, I seem to have been fairly oblivious to these resounding historic events.
     However I was very interested in sports by this point in time, and the sports world of 1969 will be forever enshrined for a pair of monumental upsets perpetrated by upstart New York teams over heavily favored opponents from the city of Baltimore. In January, Joe Namath famously made good on his audacious prediction of Super Bowl victory, leading his Jets to a stunning 16-7 triumph over the mighty Colts. Suddenly the laughable American Football League was now on level ground with the indomitable NFL. My 5th grade teacher Miss Eden was quite enthralled with Namath and she too boldly predicted the Jets’ unlikely win. I confidently assured my classmates that the Colts were unbeatable, which they just about were that year. Oops.
     Then 9 short months later, a baseball team that had been the target of universal ridicule since its inception in the early ‘60s mowed down one of the greatest ball clubs of all time in a mere 5 games. When the New York Mets ambushed the Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 World Series, it was deemed by locals and the national press alike as a “miracle.” But even this was substantially understating the matter; there was something beyond even the supernatural that galvanized the Mets’ highly improbable run that year.  I’ll never forget Kelly Dusenberry cruising by our house on his bike the Saturday afternoon after Baltimore took Game 1. He smirkingly assured me that the Series was over and the Mets would be easily swept. I thought he was probably right.
     In music, 1969 served as a sort of epilogue for a decade of breathtaking change and innovation that witnessed the rise of rock, folk, protest music and the British Invasion. So much of consequence happened musically in the ‘60s that it would be impossible to even begin summarizing here, but 1969 may be viewed as a comprehensive distillation of the whole decade, both the light and the dark.
     The group who ruled over it all essentially disbanded in 1969 and yet assembled one last time to produce a final masterwork. When the Beatles released Abbey Road in September, we had no way of knowing it was the end; and this in spite of the fact that the band actually placed a song at the end of the album entitled The End. Meanwhile, the Woodstock festival in August established a monumental cultural milestone, but the idyllic era of “peace and love” would soon crash and burn forever in the final month of the year when the Rolling Stones decided to stage their own version of the event at a racetrack in California called Altamont. It didn’t go well.
Over on the boob tube, which was my other primary sphere of interest, Star Trek beamed out for the last time in 1969, while The Brady Bunch made its adorable little debut. That trade still doesn’t seem remotely equitable, although I must confess that I was a devoted viewer of both The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, which aired back-to-back on Friday nights. But hey, I was 11 years old for crying out loud.
     Elsewhere in the vast wasteland, Sesame Street began its still ongoing run in ’69, while the greatest doctor soap ever created embarked on its 7-year residency with Dr. Joe Gannon’s arrival on CBS in Medical Center. Over at ABC, a quirky little high school comedy-drama quietly materialized: Room 222 wasn’t the most memorable of television productions, but I’ll be damned if its catchy theme music doesn’t still play in my head to this very day. Oh, and another genuine TV landmark also arrived in ‘69, although we wouldn’t hear about it or see a single episode until about 6 years later: Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
    Well, I could go on and on, but I’m running out of space. Look, they just don’t make years of this magnitude anymore. What other notable event could possibly have been crammed into just one single year?
     Oh yes, almost forgot. 1969 was the year human beings first walked on the moon. That’s a good one too.


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


Moon Phases:       New: December 26   First Quarter: January 3  Full: January 10     Last Quarter: January 17

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