On January 31, 2020, Unit 20 enjoyed a “Love Thy Neighbor” dinner at Rudy’s Bar-B-Q. Almost 30 women and men from unit 20 mingled. The food was delicious, only to be surpassed by the company. It was so nice to see many of the new and long-time neighbors attend. Everyone introduced themselves,and had to tell some fun facts about themselves that no one else knew. Jackie and Dan Rice won the longest resident of the unit; they moved in back in 1999. Kathy and Russ Best won the shortest time, since November 2019. It was so much fun we decided to do it again real soon. A big thank you to Julie and Dale AuBuchon for making this dinner a reality.
On January 14, unit 27A neighbors and friends took a journey to the historical Cosanti art studio and bronze foundry. Nestled among the million-dollar estates in Paradise Valley, it was the working site of artist and architect Paolo Soleri (1919-2013), an Italian immigrant and architectural fellow of Frank Lloyd Wright. It continues today as a non-profit studio and foundry for working artisans.
In 1955, Soleri purchased five acres of barren desert land, which soon became his architectural and craft studios. On our tour, we had a chance to watch the amazing hot bronze pouring into mold, creating the famous bells and wind chimes that are unique to our southwest décor.
You’ve heard about Cosanti and it’s a place you’ve been meaning to explore. It’s well worth the journey! For another unique day trip,head up to its sister site, Arcosanti, an experimental community about 75 miles north of Phoenix.
After a stimulating tour, our group gathered for lunch at Famous 48, which is a great restaurant down the road in Scottsdale.
On January 24, 42B got together for an evening at the Arizona Balloon Classic in Goodyear. We watched as about 20 balloons fired up and painted the dark sky with color to lots of “oohs” and “aahs.” There were also another six people from our PC unit, but you just can’t keep us together when there are food booths everywhere. Thanks to Tom and Mary Ann Bose for organizing.
Tim and Susan Donlan hosted another fun White Elephant Gift Exchange and Brunch Saturday, January 9. This event is always a huge hit with unit 53. Susan made a couple delicious casseroles and Tim had bottles of champagne and orange juice for mimosas. There were over 50 friends bringing casseroles, meats, breads, and fruit bowls covering the counters, all of which got devoured. The gifts were all a little more upscale than the usual white elephant gifts. The coffee table was laden with gifts ranging from steaks, Bailey’s Irish Creme, wine, throws, gift cards, and more.
Unit 54 Men’s Breakfast
Unit 54 held its first Men’s Breakfast of 2020. Front row (left to right): Ralph Harper, John Caldwell, Jack Fink, Steve Braden, Brad Gray, Richard Cameron, Harold Rathman, and Mike Hurst. Back row: David Maronek, Steve Domholt, Fred Kettlewell, Richard Raugust, Mark Mills, Larry Gleason, Rich Vitale, Jack Klepinger, Art Solorio, Pete Schultheiss, Randy Cheek, and Steve Kunkle.
Unit 62A Events
January saw our unit pull off a surprise birthday party for Jackie MacKenzie. Her husband, Tom, planned and organized a surprise party that he hosted at their home. Trying to keep this a secret from Jackie was challenging, but we managed to do so and Jackie was very surprised. To add to her surprise, their son, Jack, arrived to celebrate her special day with her. Everyone had a great time helping Jackie celebrate her birthday.
Fifteen members toured the REI Distribution Center on the west side of the Loop 303. We learned about their innovative energy programs resulting in a net-neutral energy facility, and saw how they process orders for shipment around the country.
Marilyn Newcomer started a book club within the unit and they had their first meeting. The men had their monthly breakfast at Mimi’s; the women had their monthly luncheon at Phoenix City Grille. Hand and foot and mahjong were two of the activities for the ladies, mixed hand and foot for both, and the men had weekly golf outings. Several members attended the Phoenix Symphony and had dinner in downtown Phoenix to round out our activities.