Sunday, August 14, 2016

Odds ''n Ends

Over a week ago, a rain cell stalled over our building and dropped over 2 1/2 inches of rain on us.  Our patio doesn't drain - it's a long story - and we wound up with a small pond, because the wind was just right.  Our Housekeeping Manager came with a power extractor and sucked up over 50 gallons of water.  Our thanks to him, we have a very dry and clean carpet.
This morning, our newspaper was short sections A, B and C.  I called in the problem to the AZ Republic office and was promised a new paper and a credit to our account.  Now, that's customer service!
If you're interested in pet portraits, look at this blog: and read her August 2016 post.
It's official - I'm old.  One son has just retired and a daughter is just about to.  But weren't they born just a few days ago?  Seems like it.
Here's the dust storm that rolled in last week just as we were getting out of our car.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Deception is something that magicians rely on quite heavily.  Here's another example:
One Friday night, a worker approached the guard shack with a wheelbarrow full of hay.  He stopped while the guard searched the hay.  Finding nothing, he let the worker go home.  That went on for several Fridays, the guard knowing the worker was stealing something, never finding anything in the hay, but just couldn't figure it out.  Finally, the guard stopped the worker and told him he knew he was stealing something, that it was driving him crazy and that he was being transferred to another city.  He begged the worker to tell him, promising not to tell anyone else, just what it was he was stealing.  The worker said "wheelbarrows".

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Quiet - War Worker Sleeping

That's the sign we proudly displayed on the front of our house during World War II.  Our father was working the night shift in a factory producing material needed to help end the war, and needed to sleep during the day.  We made sure the neighborhood kids were aware and steered clear.  All street games were played up the street, as quietly as we could manage.  Can you picture us playing tag, whispering?

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The Last Time

Our son’s step-son died suddenly at age 35.  Of course, everyone is grieving and  in shock that he could be taken at such a young age.  But, such is life – and death.  None of us know the time of our coming demise.  That is the uncertainty of life: we never know when the last time we see someone will turn out to be the Last Time.  So what does that mean to us?  Should we grieve after they’re gone because of all the things we left unsaid?  Or should we celebrate that we took the time to truly be with them each and every time we had the opportunity?  Regret or rejoice?  I can only hope, for my Last Time, that it will be rejoice.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Post Brexit

Now that the vote has been taken and the majority have said to leave the EU, many are saying they want a second vote.  Why, oh why, are some now saying that they wouldn't have voted to leave, if they knew that would win?  They're saying they voted against the side they wanted to win.  What?  Is that attitude prevalent among voters worldwide?  Good grief!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Some Westminster Village History

This is an article I wrote for our monthly magazine, "The Villager."
Note: much of the information in this document was gleaned from issues of The Villager.

Up From Nothing
In the beginning was the word, and the word was PLAN, and the plan was put forward to build a retirement facility in the northeast valley, and the plan was initiated by a small group of Presbyterians from Valley Presbyterian Church. That was in 1981. 
Dick and Helen Chapman watched good friends move into a retirement facility, in which the nursing section was a few blocks away. Noting the inconvenience, they began talking about the need for a combined facility with friends John Finch and George Butler. Once the need was verified by the people at the Senior Center, George gave the group 20 acres of land in Tucson. With Deed in hand, they established a rudimentary organization, got an attorney, a C.P.A. and a bank to approve any needed loans. Subsequent meetings at the church convinced the group that there would be no lack of people wanting to move in.
January 25, 1982 was the first recorded meeting of the Board of Directors of Westminster Village Inc., a Not For Profit corporation chartered by the State of Arizona. Board members were Mel Bowman, Dick Chapman, John Finch, Walter Goelkel, Wilson Kilgore, Maude Ligon, Arthur Nelson and Gordon Nielson. The Advisory Board members were George Butler, Bill Cotton and Hamilton McCrae III; Harry Weyrich was President. Retirement Centers of America was engaged to guide them through startup activities. All they had to do was find nearby land and complete a forty million dollar project.
They found a suitable site at the corner of Cactus and Pima Roads, so they canvassed the neighbors to propose their enterprise. An emphatic “no thanks” greeted them, so an alternate property was found on a corner of Pima Road and Shea Boulevard. Zoning needed to change, but a year and a half after applications were submitted, they were rejected. Then, toward the end of 1984, the atmosphere at Cactus/Pima changed and the group were able, by January 1985, to obtain 17 acres. It had taken three years, and they were ready to move forward.
“The land was found; hopes were high but the pockets were low. At this point the members of the board and friends had either made gifts or made loans to pay the necessary expenses as they went along and a small income eventually came in from the sale of George Butler's land gift which helped a great deal but organizations such as RCAI, Arthur Anderson, the law firm, and the architects were all 'on the cuff.' If the thing flew they would get paid. If it flopped they wouldn't.. The enthusiasm and faith of our small band had become contagious. A most fortunate arrangement was made with Sam Kitchell. He would buy the land and hold it for W. V. If W. V. could come up with the price he paid, plus the cost of holding it, the contract for the building would go to Kitchell Contractors. When the land became available it had seemed fairly simple to raise the money. Just copy others such as Royal Oaks in Sun City. Get an underwriter and sell bonds. To do this you must first sell half the units, so the group opened the Hayden Rd. office with its model apartments and went into high gear. In early Dec. 1985, 35 units were sold. Just over a year later 48% were sold and Morgan Stanley agreed to market the bonds. Months of work go into preparing the hundreds of pages needed to present a bond offering. By March of 1987 things looked pretty good. Morgan Stanley sent their David Blair to Scottsdale to talk to the eager prospective retirees. In April came the groundbreaking ceremony. Then suddenly interest rates were up and Morgan Stanley almost pulled out because the bonds would not sell at an affordable interest. In June came a bit of hope. Parkside, a Lutheran group, joined the endeavor and brought 5 million dollars to the rescue. On July 15th 1987 the bonds were finally handed over to nine purchasers and at 11.00 A. M. the directors of W. V. wrote checks to pay off the debts they had incurred. Seven million dollars worth. Building started the very next day.” From Vol. 1, #4 of The Villager, August 1989.
“You might think the people behind W. V. would be exhausted by the time building started but their work was not over. The place had to be finished furnished and filled. A project so big was understandably fraught with frustrations as for instance when the road caved in on Nov. 1st 1987 over the improperly constructed city sewer line, causing a year of litigation. However light was showing at the tunnel's end, and residents would soon be needed. The first deposit check was dated May 1st 1985 and by the end of the month 14 units were spoken for. Early signers became known as the 'PIONEERS.' Their names were put on a plaque and a cut off date was set to encourage others to get in while they still could have the honor of belonging to the 'CLUB.' Eventually there were 82 pioneers but by the time the building was close to ready the numbers were lower. Some had died, some had changed their minds and some were scared off when the financing had seemed iffy. Of the remaining pioneers there are 35 living here now and 7 or 8 are expected soon. Just as the bond market had brought a temporary disaster to the financing dept. so the housing market has brought one to the sales dept. At one time the place was 82% sold. Today the percentage is down to the high 70's, but sales are steady and when we think of how much has been accomplished by faith up to this point it becomes easy to believe that we will soon be full.” From Vol. 1, #5 of The Villager, September 1989.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been quite a while since I posted anything, but here I am.  So what's been happening?  Well, volunteering at Westminster Village has kept me very busy.  Here are some of the things I've been involved with:
Activities Committee: working with the activities department to suggest things to entice residents to get out of their apartments to participate in fun and educational sessions;
Villager staff: help prepare our monthly magazine by contributing ideas for articles, writing articles, editing and printing the finished copy;
Fundraising Committee: as a part of the Westminster Village Foundation (a separate charitable corporation), help in all fundraising activities;
Putting Contest: conduct a weekly putting contest with interested residents, handing our coupons (worth 50 cents in our Garden Café) to all participants.
There are three or four others, but you can get an idea from these.
We can be as busy as we want to be; there are enough things going on around here that it's virtually impossible to participate in everything.