Phoenix Zoo (April 6, 2019)

Visting the Phoenix Zoo was my last outing before leaving for Kings Canyon National Park to work for the season. I went with my friend, Mayshla who I know originally from Washington, but has been living here in Phoenix for the last few years.  We found the Phoenix Zoo to be very enjoyable and had great animals.


The Phoenix Zoo opened in 1962 and is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the United States.  Founded by Robert Maytag, a member of the Maytag family, operates on 125 acres of land in the Papago Park area of Phoenix caring for over 3,000 animals, with nearly 400 species, including many threatened/endangered species.

Admission for adults is $24.95, but you can save $1.00 if you buy online.





MIM -Music Instrument Museum- Phoenix, AZ (March 17, 2019)

MIM was a great museum and more than exceeded my expectations. I ended up spending about 4 hours here and could have easily spent a whole day. MIM opened in April 2010 and is the largest museum of its type in the world with a collection of over 15,000 musical instruments, costumes and various objects from nearly 200 countries and territories represented from every inhabited continent. MIM is a 200,000 square foot modern building with two floors of galleries. The exhibits are arranged by regions so it’s easy to follow. Each exhibit for each county features a video on a flat-screen showing local musician performing on native instruments. Visitors are able to listen to the performances through a wireless device with headphones that are activated automatically when an exhibit is being observed.

MIM has changing exhibits for a set period of time, at the time I visited the museum was highlighting The Electric Guitar: Inventing an American Icon. This exhibit shared the story of the invention of the electric guitar, an instrument that revolutionized music and popular culture forever. The exhibit showcased more than 80 of the rarest electric guitars and amplifiers in the world, as well as the personal instruments of groundbreaking artists who were among the first to play and popularize the electric guitar.

Standard Electric Spanish Guitar 1948-1949…….Paul Bigsby’s third standard electric guitar was built for Tommy “Butterball” Paige, lead guitarist for country star Ernest Tubb.

standard electric spanish guitar 2

Telecast Electric Guitar 1962-1963 ……..One of the most recorded instruments in history, this was Tommy Tedesco’s primary electric guitar for years. A core member of the Los Angeles based studio musicians called the “Wrecking Crew.” Tedesco is heard on countless hit tracks (Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Beach Boys), television themes (Bonanza, The Twilight Zone), and movie soundtracks (The Godfather, Jaws).

Telecast Electric Guitar 1

“The Bad Dude” custom electric guitar 1998 – carefully constructed according to Bo Diddley’s own detailed sketches & notes, ” The Bad Dude” was presented as a gift from close friend Charlie Tona to Diddley. The signature rectangular body shape features onboard equalization, special effects, and a synthesizer pickup. Extensively used for years at the end of his life & career as a true originator of rock and roll claimed this was the best guitar he ever owned.

The Bad Dude custom electric guitar 1

Quad Stringmaster electric steel guitar – 1950’s………Noel Boggs was a first-rate steel guitarist who played in the bands of Hank Penny, Bob Wills, and Spade Cooley, aside from his extensive studio work. Leo Fender tested ideas with his close friend Boggs and personally provided him with prototypes of new instruments, including Fender’s first double-and triple-neck steel guitars, and later this Quad Stringmaster.

Quad Stringmaster electric steel guitar

Alvino Rey’s Electro A-25 (1932) – This instrument was likely the first electric guitar ever played on a national radio broadcast. It’s new sound shocked the world, igniting a music revolution. Considered the “Father of the Electric Guitar.” Alvino Rey was not only a talented performer but also a direct contributor to the research and development of amplified instruments for brands such as Rickenbacker, Gibson, and Fender.

1932 Electro A-25 electric hawaiian guitar 2

Custom Electric Hawaiian Guitar – 1936 ……Alvino Rey was the most popular and visible electric guitarist in the world, Gibson built this custom steel guitar to his peculiar specifications in order to secure a partnership.

Custom electric hawaiian guitar 2

Electro A-25 Electric Hawaiian Guitar – 1938……This well-used guitar features a rarely seen textured, ivory-painted finish from the factory.

Electro A-25 Electric Hawaiian Guitar 1

Gebroeders Decap Organ – Measuring over 25 feet long and weighing over two tons, this dance organ was originally manufactured in 1926 by the preeminent Antwerp firm of Theofiel Mortier, S.A. It was remanufactured into its present configuration by another famous Antwerp Company, Gebroeders Decap, in 1950. The largest organs made by the Decap brothers were often given unique names; “Apollonia” is the female form of “Apollo,” the Greek god of the sun and music. During its working life, this organ was owned by the firm Gebroeders M.&G. Teugels, which provided organs for the popular circuit of dance halls and traveling shows. It remained in Teugels’s collection until the mid-1980s when it was imported into the United States by an American Collector.

Swiss watchmakers were already skilled builders of delicate mechanisms when they began to create musical boxes in the 18th century. By 1825, a standard music box size had developed with more elaborate and imaginative decoration available two decades later.

#1 – Swiss Chalet Music Box 1900……Handcrafted in Black Forest style, three original tunes play when the roof is lifted.

#2 – Child’s Musical Chair 1890s made in Black Forest style play’s ” Rose-Marie” and “Show Me the Way to Go Home.”

#3 – Musical Picture Frame 20th century……..When the music plays, the figures move across the inside scene.

Geographic Galleries

The museum has these global geographic galleries that flow from one to another. The instruments are fascinating artifacts along with photographs, original costumes, related art, and cultural performance videos.

Asia Gallery: Gakuso (plucked zither late 19th century); The Philippines, ?, Kakko (double-headed barrel drum) Tenri, Nara 2007-2008, Dadabuan (goblet drum) 1920-1930, Sovann Marcha & Hanuman Costumes, San-no-tsuzum (double-headed hourglass drum) Tenri, Nara 2007-2008; Philippines, Shava Mongol People 2003; ?, Chinese Lion Dance costume; Pat-Waing (double-headed barrel drums) Burmese Mandalay; Ves (dance costume) Sinhala People 1998-2008.

India Dance Costumes

Guitars:  Moscow Russia 1900, Black Sun  CA 2005, Smooth Talker South Africa 2007, Maccaterr G40 NY 1953-1964, Harp-Guitar Germany 1994, Chaturangui West Bengal India 2007

Misc Instruments: Fou (Kettle Drum) China 2008 – Played in the opening ceremony of 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, Nagado Odarko (double-headed Barrell Drum), Haiti, Marimba Dole (Wood Xylophone), Dragon2002 Electric Guitar, Igbin  Single-headed cylindrical drum Nigeria.










Spring Training Baseball Games (March 2019)

I had been living in Phoenix for a year and two months when I decided to take some part-time work at the Maryvale Sports Stadium as a cash room attendant for 5 weeks. I worked with Andrew, a GCU student along with Kara, the controller from the corporate office in Buffalo, NY. It was a great season and a lot of fun working with some great people. Since I and Andrew had never worked in this capacity we spent a full weekend working with the folks at Camelback Ranch Sports Complex for training. The first week of games was a learning curve for Andrew and me as we got up to speed and found a routine that worked for us. It was a lot of fun to be part of the games, a chance to watch some of the games and be a part of the excitement that is felt at the games.

American Family Fields of Phoenix, formerly known as Maryvale Baseball Park and briefly as Brewers Fields of Phoenix. It is the spring training home of the Milwaukee Brewers replacing Compadre Stadium in Chandler. In February 2018, the Brewers started a major renovation of the facility which was completed for the Spring Training season in March of 2019. The new renovation included a new clubhouse, agility field, practice field, batting tunnels, covered practice mounds, a new entry plaza and parking lots.



Rosson House Museum – Phoenix AZ (January 5, 2019)

I find touring and learning the history of these old historical houses always interesting. The Rosson House is a beautifully restored 1895 Queen Anne Victorian house located in Phoenix’s Heritage Square. The only way to see the Rosson house is by taking a guided tour. Tours are available Wednesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 12 PM to 4 PM. The last tour starts at 4 PM.

Dr. Roland Rosson came to Phoenix in 1879 where he established himself as a general physician and surgeon and practiced medicine on and off from1879 until 1897. Dr. Rosson was also involved in politics in various capacities through 1896. Roland Rosson married Flora Murray in Phoenix on August 11, 1880. They had a total of 7 children, but only 5 lived to adulthood.

In May 1882, the Rossons purchased Block 14, which is now Heritage Square from Flora’s half-sister and her husband for $1,000. The Rosson House was built with modern accommodations such as electric lights, hot and cold running water, an indoor upstairs bathroom and a telephone.

In June of 1897, the Rossons sold their house and the north half of Block 14. The exact reasons for the move are unknown, but a few speculations have been that they may have been having financial difficulties. According to tax records, they were delinquent and owed back taxes, they also rented their newly constructed house to Whitelaw Reid so they may have needed additional income. On May 12, 1898, after an illness of several weeks, Dr. Rosson died of “gastroenteritis”. Not much is known about his wife, Flora, she died of “tubercular laryngitis” at age 52 on September 9, 1911.

Several owners occupied the Rosson House…..On June 3, 1897. Aaron Goldberg and his wife, Carrie, purchased the house and the north half of Block 14 from the Rossons for $10,000. The Goldbergs were a prominent Jewish couple in Phoenix. Aaron co-owned Goldberg’s clothing store and was also involved in political and civic activities. Goldberg wrote the bill that permanently located the capitol to Phoenix.

The next owners were Steven Higley who bought the home on September 7, 1904. Higley started out as a railroad builder, became a landowner and later was a partner in the Arizona Republican newspaper. Higley lived in the Rosson House with his wife, Jessie Freemont Howe, sons Thomas and James, as well as his daughter Jessie Jean. Thomas and James later served in World War I. James died on the battlefield and Thomas returned home and later opened Tom’s Tavern in Phoenix.

On August 22, 1914, the Gammel Family bought the Rosson House and portions of the larger lot. The Gammel family lived in the Rosson House longer than any other family. William Gammel had been a gambler in Jerome, AZ. In 1904, he married Francis Christopher, a Hispanic woman from Tucson and had 3 daughters. The Rosson House was run as a rooming/boarding house until 1948 and went through some drastic changes such as walling in porches, subdividing floors and adding multiple kitchens and bathrooms. After 1948, the Rosson House changed hands several times and continued to operate as a rooming house and eventually becoming a “flop house” and falling into disrepair.

In 1974 the City of Phoenix purchased the Rosson House and the remainder of Block 14. The Rosson House was restored through a community effort involving the City of Phoenix as well as dozens of local institutions and hundreds of volunteers.














Where Am I?

Wow! here is July 1, 2018………Time is just flying by. It’s funny I seem to say that phrase a lot, but it really seems like it is all the time. There are all these moments and milestones that happen in life… start looking at your family, friends and especially kids and how quickly things seem to be going by.

Well as the title of this blog says…..Where I am? I have a friend who has referred to me a time or two as that character “Waldo”, you know the one where you have to find where Waldo is in this book of crazy pictures…”Where’s Waldo”. As I stated in my last blog titled “I’m Back”, it has been two and a half years since I have done any blogging. I post quite a bit on my personal Facebook page so a lot of you know where I am and what I am doing. But I thought for those who maybe are not on Facebook or are not on that often some of you may not know where I am, or maybe you are new to my blog page. I am hoping to reach other readers who do not know me that I would like to share my life, my travels, and experiences. I have found over the last couple years as I have been living this RV lifestyle, that many others are also and we are all doing this traveling, RV life all a little bit different. We each have different experiences that we can share with each other and learn from as well as sharing the gorgeous, beautiful places we have been, giving references and recommendations, as well as sharing the experience and the feeling we have visiting these places.

So currently I am living and working in Phoenix Arizona. I arrived here on January 1, 2018……6 months ago, half a year…..Wow! It originally was to just be a temporary job, but turned into a long-term permanent job… long term? Not sure yet……taking it a day at a time! I am working for a Heavy Equipment, Truck, and RV Repair shop where I do a variety of things but mostly office work. I met the owner here two years ago when I was in Phoenix and needed to have the oil changed in my RV along with some other work they found. I ended up at that time spending about 4 days here with repairs. We got a chance to know each other and hit it off well. I found them to be honest, down to earth and compassionate. Over the last two years, I have stayed in touch and our friendship and connection continued to grow.  I had been working and living at the Grand Canyon since March of 2017. In December 2017 I made a decision that it was time to move on, but was needing some temporary work before starting a new National Park job at the Badlands in South Dakota. I was offered temporary work here in Phoenix at the repair shop……things were going well and I was offered to stay long term. I took up the offer feeling that this is where I needed to be for now to get more financially on my feet as well as get some more RV work done. South Dakota would be there for another time. So here I am in Phoneix, AZ. I am enjoying the area and all the things there are to see and do here. I have a few friends who live in the area as well as a couple friends who live 2-3 hours away.

Winters here in Phoenix are great as the temperatures are around 70-75 degrees during the day. Summer I am finding so far to be pretty hot and I am not enjoying this heat too much. So I find myself indoors most days as it is just too hot to be outside doing anything unless you can find a water activity. So with all this indoor time, I am getting caught up on other projects I have been wanting to get done…..scrapbooking and my blogging. I hope you will come along for the ride and join me in this chapter of my life…….where I have been, where I am now and who knows where I will be next!


Hidden Treasures in Down Town Phoenix, AZ – June 9, 2018

One of the things I have been doing, while I am here in Phoenix, is to explore as much as I can and take advantage of all the great things that Phoenix and the surrounding area have to offer. So on this day June 9, 2018, it happened to be a Saturday. I woke up not really having anything planned as the days here in Phoenix have just been getting pretty hot for me and it is really hard to be outside doing much of anything. As the morning wore on I was feeling like I really wanted to get out and do something, so I hopped on my computer and started checking out some ideas, but still not sure what I was going to do. I tossed around checking out a few roadside attractions around Phoenix because I  could hop in and out of my car and still stay cool with an air-conditioned car. I also thought I would check out the museum at the Capitol building because that would be indoors and again could stay cool. So I first ran across a roadside attraction about this wall of road signs on the corner of 7th and Grant in Phoenix AZ. This sounding interesting and intriguing to me so off I went.

Those who drive by the old warehouse in downtown Phoenix might think it’s a hasty repair job thrown onto the side of the structure because the entire surface is covered with highway signs. Signs like “Do Not Pass,” “Reduced Speed Ahead,” and “Keep Right Except to Pass.”  It’s art done by Michael Levine, a Phoenix real estate developer,  who had them attached to the building in honor of Arizona’s centennial celebration in 2012.  Integrated into the signs are the numbers 1912 and 2012, denoting Arizona’s 100 years of statehood. Levine bought the signs from an Arizona state surplus yard more than a decade ago and used them to promote his agency, which specializes in buying and restoring old abandoned warehouses. But in 2011, he decided to use them to pay tribute to Arizona State centennial. He used a computer to layout the design. Then crews using scissor hoists and battery-powered screwdrivers worked for more than 10 days and used 3,000 screws to affix the signs to the warehouse.

Next, I decided to drive over to the Arizona State Capitol and check out the museum, but instead, I saw this park “Wesley Bolin Memorial Park” across the street from the capitol that had all these memorials. This was intriguing to me so I pulled into the parking lot which was practically empty except for just a couple of cars……which of course was because it was so hot.  But me being new to this summer heat decided I was going to brave it and check it out. I don’t even know what the temperature was this particular day, but it was hot. I ended up being at the park for a while because I kept having to go back to my car, turn on the air conditioner to cool off and to cool off my phone……it was so hot and with taking pictures my phone kept overheating, but I was determined to check out all these memorials as I was finding them very interesting and fascinating and I wanted pictures too.

First was the memorial for the “Code Talkers”………I did not know about the code talkers in our history of world war II, so this was really interesting to me.

During World War II, the United States Marines deployed 400 native Navajo speakers in tactical battlefield communication roles from 1942-1945, using their “unknown” language. The unbreakable code allowed Allied troops to coordinate with messages that enemy Japanese defenders never successfully deciphered. The Navajo code talkers’ essential role in actions on islands such as Iwo Jima and Okinawa was only officially acknowledged decades later.

An Arizona landscape architecture company designed the 16-ft tall bronze of a crouching, helmeted soldier code-talking on his field radio. The statue was installed and dedicated in February 2008.

Arizona Peace Officers Memorial was dedicated in May 1988. The statue is an 11-foot peace office paying homage to all Arizona law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The base displays names of officers killed in the line of duty since 1863 when Arizona became a territory. Police lodges throughout the state are responsible for the upkeep and adding names in a special ceremony each year.


Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Memorial was dedicated in 1965 in honor of Arizona police dogs who gave their lives in the line of duty.

 Vietnam Veterans Memorial “The Fallen Warrior” Sculpture…..portrays young soldiers as wars victims as much as its heroes.

So many great memorials and monuments honoring individuals, organizations, and events……Arizona WWII Memorial Guns to salute the fallen, USS AZ anchor – this anchor is one of the two used on the USS Arizona, USS Arizona Mast, Korean War Memorial, Veterans of WWI, Jewish War Veterans Memorial, American Merchant Seaman Memorial, Arizona Pioneer Women Monument, Bushmaster Memorial, Fire Fighters Memorial, Bill of Rights Monument, Arizona Workers Memorial and many more. If you are ever in Phoenix this should be on your too do list.

I next visited St Mary’s Basilica Church also in Down Town Phoenix……I really love old churches…… their beauty, and architecture. This church is the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Phoenix. The current church replaced an adobe church that was built in 1881, this one began to be built in 1902 and was completed in 1914. This church is also home to Arizona’s largest stained glass window collection and a 26 rank pipe organ.

Glitter & Gold Balloon Festival – Glendale AZ January 6, 2018

Here we are January 2018, the start of another brand new year……I arrived here in Phoenix, AZ January 1, 2018, after spending 10 months living and working at the Grand Canyon. I had only been in town for a few days but I was ready to start exploring Phoenix. I was on my computer googling things to do and see when I ran across the Glitter and Gold Balloon Festival that was being held on the evening of January 6th. As I read all about the festival and the fact it was free I was ready to go. I checked in with a few friends I have here in Phoenix to see if any of them wanted to go, but they all had other plans…but you all know me, I am good going solo and that’s a topic for another time. So I made my plans to go, it was a short 10-15 minute drive from where I am living and working to downtown, historic Glendale. I found a parking lot not far from where all the activities were taking place so it was just a short walk. The city had blocked off 16 blocks to traffic for the festivities. The Glitter and Gold Balloon Festival is an annual event and this year was its 23rd year. It was festive time with several glowing hot air balloons lined up and down the main streets, plus 1.6 million LED lights strung around in trees, bushes, etc in the park, 8 different local bands, food and even carnival rides and games for the kids. I really had a good time at this festival……I have seen hot air balloons over the years flying in the sky, but I had never gotten the chance to get up close and personal with them. It was amazing to watch as the balloon owners showed up in their trucks, or trucks and trailers that carried their balloons, then watch as a team for each balloon unfolded their balloon in the street on a tarp, stretched it out and then filled with gas to rise up into the night sky (none of the balloons flew). People were able to wander around, watch the balloons being set up, watch them periodically get a zap of the gas flame to keep them standing, you could talk to the owners, ask questions, etc. There were a few special shaped balloons……the bumblebee and a mass glow where the balloon pilots fired up the balloons all at once to create an awesome illumination.

LED lights in the park

Balloon owners rolling out their balloons.

So many balloons

Up close and personal

I found this band that I really enjoyed playing classic rock, oldies, and some country


And just some miscellaneous

Governor Hunt’s Pyramid Tomb- Papago Park Phoenix AZ

Governor Hunt’s Pyramid Tomb was another one of the things we found on America’s roadside attractions website.

George Hunt was Arizona’s first governor and served 7 terms between 1912-1933. He is buried in a pyramid made with a white bathroom tile in Papago Park that overlooks the Phoenix Zoo. The pyramid stands 15 feet tall and sits on a hill overlooking downtown Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Scottsdale. You can also see Camelback and South Park Mountain.

Hunt got the idea to be buried in a pyramid mausoleum from when he traveled and visited Egypt. When his wife died in 1931 he had the mausoleum erected at the top of the hill to bury her, himself and family members. Hunt died 3 years later and was later joined by his in-laws, his wife’s sister, and his daughter.

Hunt was an influential man who loved Arizona. He was directly involved in creating the Arizona constitutions, supported organized labor, women’s suffrage, income tax, prison, and labor reform, opposed capital punishment and advocated for Arizona rights to the Colorado River water. He was a descendant of an unnamed “Revolutionary War patriot,” and he allowed women to vote in his state eight years before the rest of the country.





Roadside Attractions-Phoenix, AZ

My friend Colleen loves to take pictures, find whacky stuff and just go, go, go! She told me about this internet site called “America’s Roadside Attractions.” You go to the website, enter the state and city and you will be directed to some interesting places. So on Saturday, March 4, 2016, we headed out to find these attractions in Phoenix. Hope you enjoy the ride:

1). Guitar Tree

Just a local family-owned business that finds, repairs and restores used and vintage instruments.


2). “Release the Fear” Sculpture

Pistols, knives, rifles and other deadly weapons are fused to the base of the sculpture. The sculpture was erected in 2005 in a tiny park at the corner of Central Ave and East Roosevelt St. It is composed of 8 1/2 tons of metal of which 8,000 pounds is from weapons used in violent acts collected throughout AZ. Artist Miley spent 10 years finding sponsors and sources for the building materials. The funder’s names are inscribed on irregular stone slabs on each side. Miley continues to promote the power of education and art to combat violence, running a community awareness program since 1996.


3). Art made of metal

This was not on the list of Roadside Attractions, but we ran across it as we were driving around and thought it had some interesting characters. As we were looking around, the guy running the store came out and asked if he could help us. We said no, that we were just looking. We asked if these were made here…….No they are imported!

4). Arizona Falls

Arizona Falls is formed by a 20 ft drop along the AZ canal. The canals are a public utility providing a water supply & irrigation to the desert climate. Beginning in 1902 the falls have been used to generate hydroelectric power.


Water is diverted from the canal into new aqueducts framing each side of the water room. The aqueducts release the water back into the canal creating the waterfalls.

During the excavation of the site, artifacts from the old power plant were discovered. At the rear of the water room, you can see the gears and pipes through the falling water.








South Mountain Park-Phoenix AZ

South Mountain Park/Preserve is about 16,000 acres. It is one of the largest municipally operated parks in the country and the largest desert mountain preserves in the world. It is made up of three mountains (Ma Ha Tauk, Gila, and Guadalupe). South Mountain Park was one of the areas that were worked under the CCC program (Civilian Conservation Corps) that was started by Franklin D Roosevelt to help put Americans back to work.


Between 1933-1940 four thousand men worked out of two camps at South Mountain Park. During this time they constructed 40 miles of hiking and horse trails, 18 buildings, 15 ramadas, 134 fire pits, 30 water faucets, water dams and other features in the park.