Jeff’s Odd Destinations: Valley of the Moon

Valley of the Moon

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image from yelp.org

First order of business, I have an important announcement to make. After much thought I have decided that “Jeff’s Eccentric People, Places and Things,” has to awkward a title. While I am pleased with how my work is coming out I decided to go with a different name. While “Eccentric Person of the Month,”  and “Unusual Place of the Month,” my old titles from the Seeds’ Newsletter have been suggested  I decided on “Jeff’s Odd Destinations” and “Jeff’s Gallery”

Now for a very special trip today, I take you on a very mysterious journey to a land of wonder and imagination. To Tucson Arizona’s mystic and mysterious Valley of the Moon. For over eighty years this strange land has enchanted children of all ages. Its story begins with the coming of the Mountain Gnome, George Phar Legler. Born in Evansville, Indiana somewhere between 1884 and 1887, George was a former post office clerk who was forced into an early retirement due to an automobile accident. He was also a spiritualist and believer in fairies. He moved to Arizona around 1917 and bought the 2.25 acres that soon became his life’s work. Nearby lived a clergyman whose teenage daughter was dying of tuberculosis. George created a little mountain scene with a waterfall and a bathtub lake just outside her window. She could leave her room and explore the serene landscape with her imagination. When she died George comforted her mother by telling her she had moved to the spirit world where she would live forever now. He found his life calling and expanded on the small landscape and started building the Valley in 1923.

 

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image from tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com

 

With the help of friends, family and locals George Legler constructed his “secret” fairyland and wild animal sanctuary, opening up officially in 1926 and full of homemade rock decorations, buildings and sculptures of wonder opening to the public . George lived on the property giving tours, telling stories and performing magic tricks as the Mountain Gnome. During the Valley’s original run it did not allow boys in-between the ages of 12 to 21 as visitors in because George thought that they would upset the fairies for not believing or being imaginative for the “magic” to work. The Valley was open until 1963. George would live by himself in his now abandoned fairyland until 1971, when he got an unexpected surprise visit from a group of High Schoolers. While the park never officially closed, visitors were coming less and less. The Valley was falling into disrepair due to vandals and George’s health was failing due to his age.

 

The boys apparently thought they all shared the same dream of a friendly gnome. Apparently they decided it was no dream and went on a quest to find an almost forgotten part of their childhood, climbed over the fence and rediscovered the Valley. While George at first thought they were vandals, the Mountain Gnome gave them an over two hour tour and told them that they were welcome back any time. The boys later formed the Valley of the Moon Restoration Association (VOMRA) now called the George Phar Legler Society (GPLS). The Valley of the Moon was listed on the Arizona Historic Places Register in 1975 and George was awarded the Tucson Outstanding Citizen Award a year before he died in 1982 around age 95. It is also an official National register of Historic Places under Pima County in 2011 and a Historic Landmark for the city as of 2016. The Valley is now owned mainly by the GPLS and partly by the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.

image from http://tucsonsbirthday.blogspot.com

Now, I have never been to the Valley of the Moon (yet) so I can only judge from what I have read and studied but the park contains a large number of statues and buildings made from scraps of old toys, and junk George found and put together. This includes the Wizard’s Tower, a bridge, a cave, a homemade pond and an artificial flower garden. In 2008 a number of sculptures were added from closed down mini golf course named Magic Carpet Golf now a car dealership. A house that a friend of George Legler helped build in the Valley became a storage room for props and costumes stood on the site but burned down not too long ago. Today the park is kept by members of the GPLS and volunteers. I don’t know if it is still an animal sanctum however.

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image from flicker.com

 

The Valley of the Moon is open on the first Saturday of every month for free and paid for visits are on special occasions and holidays. As well, exploring the Fairyland of the Desert shows are performed by members of the GPLS, many with the audience participating. You can find more information about the Valley of the Moon, George Legler, and helping to keep the wonder and magic alive at the website www.tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com. The Valley is at 2544 E. Allen Rd. Tucson AZ and can be contacted at 520-323-1331 and valleymoon1@yahoo.com.

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My experience with Black Angus Steakhouse over summer break at SEEDs

I have been with SEEDs For Autism for three months, and this is my first official blog post. Over the 2-week summer break from SEEDs, which is set up to where I am only going on Tuesday, on the Tuesday that I was released from SEEDs, I went to Black Angus Steakhouse and had the New York strip steak paired with an iced tea and my choice of two sides, for which I had macaroni n’ cheese and onion rings. When asked by the server if I wanted anything else, I requested a chocolate chip cowboy cookie, which is a freshly-baked colossal cookie with a scoop of Breyers vanilla ice cream. I have thought that the macaroni n’ cheese from Black Angus was very similar to how my paternal grandmother would sometimes do macaroni n’ cheese, as I have obtained from a recipe in my book on regional cooking of the United States. Coincidentally, when I was watching The Simpsons, I remember the episode titled Lisa The Skeptic in which Bart inquired if they were dressed up enough to eat at Black Angus.

Michael Isb. 

Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey (Review)

Hello, my name is Charles and I’m here to review the PC game Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey for Windows & MAC.

 

In this game, Wishbone (Our favorite snack & book loving hound) is accidentally sent into a virtual storybook setting of the Odyssey by Homer where he unintentionally takes both the role & identity of Odysseus.

 

In this game, you follow the story of of Odysseus for by doing so will you eventually free Wishbone from this virtual storybook setting.

 

Along the way, you meet timeless characters from the Odyssey consisting of Eurylochus (Odysseus’ 1st Mate), Polyphemus (cyclops & son of Poseidon), Athena (goddess of wisdom), Poseidon (god of the seas), Circe (witch), Tiresias (blind prophet), Hades (god of the underworld),  Zeus (king of the gods & god of lightning and thunder), Calypso (demi-goddess), Penelope (Odysseus’ wife) and Telemachus (Odysseus’ son).

 

In conclusion, this game teaches you history, mythology and culture as you play. Thus, I hope you find this game as educationally fun as I do.

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Inuyasha: The Secret Of The Cursed Mask (Review)

Charles did not see himself as a writer, until he was introduced to the SEEDs for Autism blog. Realizing that he could focus on the things that interest him, and share his thoughts with a larger audience – he discovered tremendous motivation and dedication in creating these reviews on the various video games he enjoys. (Ed.)

Hello, my name is Charles and I’m here to review Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask for the Playstation 2. This game features an all-new storyline designed specifically for this game which takes place during Japan’s Feudal Era.

 

This game’s protagonists consist of Michiru (human male) or Kaname (human female)(Universal Magic/Shikigami), Inuyasha (half-demon male/hanyō)(Giant Sword/Tessaiga), Kagome (human female)(Bow & Arrows), Shippo (male fox demon)(Fox Magic), Miroku (human male/monk)(Magic Talismans as well as his Wind Tunnel), Sango (human female/demon slayer)(Giant Boomerang/Hiraikotsu) and Sesshomaru (Inuyasha’s older brother and a full-fledged demon/yōkai)(Cursed Sword/Tokijin).

 

This game’s antagonists consist of Naraku (demon warlord/male)(Poison), Kagura (female demon/wind sorceress)(Wind-Controlling Fan) and Utsugi(Michiru/Kaname’s ancestor)(Universal Magic/Shikigami).

 

In conclusion, this game is a definite blast to the past and I hope that you enjoy or enjoyed this game as much as I did.

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Keri’s Hawaii Trip

Keri used to be very shy, but SEEDs for Autism has helped her build confidence and improve her social skills. At SEEDs, Keri enjoys creating beautiful, hand-crafted items using ceramics and wood and she is also a regular contributor to this blog. Here, Keri shares experiences from her wonderful trip to Hawaii. (Ed.)

Hello my name is Keri I went to Hawaii for 6 days. It was really green and tropical. I went to one Island it was called Oahu. I chose that Island because it had a lot of activities to do. I went to a couple of different places. I went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and went on a helicopter ride too. On the helicopter ride we flew over the island. We flew over the Dole plantation and the world’s largest maze, too. We also saw a waterfall on the helicopter ride. Also, we went to the famous Waikiki beach. Pearl Harbor was neat and we saw the Arizona Memorial. We went to the Cemetery of the Pacific were World War 2 veterans were buried.  We went to see the state capitol too. Also, we went to a luau and a dinner cruise too. For the dinner cruise we went on a Friday because if you go on a Friday you would see Fireworks where they set them off at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  It was really beautiful scenery and breathtaking beaches.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

Hello, my name is Charles and I’m here to preview the upcoming game Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age.

 

Originally Released for the PS2 on March 16, 2006, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age has been officially remastered for the PS4.

 

The main protagonists of this game are Vaan (Rebel Orphan)(Swords/Greatswords), Ashe (Dalmascan princess) (Katanas), Basch (Knight) (Swords/Spears), Balthier (Sky Pirate) (Guns), Fran(Viera) (Bows), Penelo (Vaan’s Childhood Friend) (Staffs).

 

The main antagonists of this game are Vayne (Archadian prince) and Gabranth  (Basch twin brother/Archadian judge)(Twin Swords).

 

An example of this game’s story is that the Archadian empire is waging war in an ongoing attempt towards world domination, thus resulting in the deaths of Reks (Dalmascan soldier/Vaan’s older brother), Rasler (Nabudisian prince/Ashe’s husband) and Raminas  (Dalmascan king/Ashe’s father).

 

In conclusion, I believe this game will be a bigger hit than its PS2 counterpart and is scheduled for release on July 11, 2017.

 

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Disney Magical World 2 (Review)

Hello, my name is Charles & I’m here to review the Nintendo 3DS game Disney Magical World 2.

 

This game is the 2016 sequel to the 2014 3DS game Disney Magical World with even more Disney worlds and characters to encounter, assist and spend time with.

 

The game takes place in a magical town called Castleton where you not only manage a cafe near favorable Disney characters such as Mickey, but you also can travel to six Disney worlds.

 

The six disney worlds are comprised of Disney’s Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs and Winnie the Pooh.

 

Throughout this game, you discover ghostly beings of unknown origins are invading Castleton as well as all six Disney worlds and you must use special magic wands to use Disney magic to deal with them.

 

In each of the six Disney worlds you can attend Anna & Elsa’s Snowman Festival, have adventures as a mermaid/merman under the sea with Ariel, mine for gems with the Seven Dwarfs, surf and hula with Lilo & Stitch, help tackle trouble in Wonderland and have fun both farming and hanging out with Winnie the Pooh & friends.

In conclusion, I find this game truly Enchanting and am certain of it to be one of the embodiments of disney’s greatest magics.