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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Naruto Shippuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles(Review)

Hello, my name is Charles and I’m here to review Naruto Shippuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles for the Nintendo Wii.

 

In this game you play as both Naruto Uzumaki (a Wind Style user/9-tails Jinchuriki) as well as Sasuke Uchiha (a Lightning Style/Fire Style user) as they try to save the ninja world from Kuroma Tatsushiro (one of the Dragon God clan’s sole survivors), the Akatsuki consisting of Itachi Uchiha-a Fire Style user/Sasuke’s older brother, Kisame Hoshigaki-a Water Style user/Ninja Swordsman of the mist (Broadsword Sharkskin AKA Samehada), Deidara-an Explosion Style user/artist, Tobi-a sarcastic goofball, the 5 Genryu (Elemental Dragons consisting of Earth-Fire-Wind-Water-Lightning) and the Dai-Genryu (Dragon of Light).

 

Naruto is assisted by his allies consisting of Sakura Haruno (a Medical ninja), Kakashi Hatake (the Copy Ninja-Mastered 1000 Jutsu), Yamato (the Wood Style user), Shikamaru Nara (a shadow user/tactician-200 IQ), Rock Lee (the Leaf Village’s Handsome Devil/Taijutsu specialist) and Neji Hyuga (a Gentle Fist user/ninja prodigy).

 

Sasuke is assisted by his allies consisting of Suigetsu Hozuki (a Water Style user/Ninja Swordsman of the mist)(the Severing Sword AKA Executioner’s Blade), Karin (a Medical ninja) and Jugo (a Sage Jutsu user).

 

In conclusion, I found this game to be more deeply emotional and thoroughly exciting than any Naruto game in existence.

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Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love(Review)

Hello, my name is Charles and I’m here to review Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love for the PlayStation 2 & Nintendo Wii consoles.

 

This game takes place in an alternate universe’s New York City in the late 1920s while followings the adventures of the New York Combat Revue (STAR Division).

 

The protagonists in this game consist of Captain Shinjiro Taiga (main hero/samurai) (weapons: twin Katanas) (RoboMech armed with twin Katanas), Gemini Sunrise (heroine/Texas samurai) (weapon: Katana) (RoboMech armed with a Katana & a Colt Single Action Army Revolver), Cheiron Archer (Heroine/Biker/Lawyer) (RoboMech armed with a steel whip called Verdict Chain), Diana Caprice (heroine/Medic/Spiritualist) (RoboMech armed with an artificially intelligent robotic Blue Bird), Rosita Aries (heroine/Mexican bounty hunter/singer/dancer) (weapons: Gold six-shooter & Silver six-shooter) (RoboMech armed with twin six-shooters) and Subaru Kujo (heroine/fighter/pianist/actress) (weapon: fan) (RoboMech armed with twin steel fans).

 

The antagonist in this game consist of Oda Nobunaga (main villain/Japanese Demon Warlord), Lieutenant Ranmaru (villain/varlet) (weapon: Scythe), General Kokuryuhime (villain/Black Dragon Princess/master swordsman) (Weapon: giant black sword), Yumedono (villain/demon priestess) (weapons: demonic insects & poisons), Dokuro-bou (villain/amateur tactician/brutish thug) (weapon: a steel club called a Kanabo) and Tsugarubi (villain/demon priest) (weapon: demon sorcery).

 

In conclusion, I found this game a truly fun & wonderful clash between the ancient past and the modern future, both alternately and/or historically speaking.

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Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You! (Preview)

Hello, my name is Charles and I’m here to preview the upcoming movie Pokemon: I Choose You!

 

This is the 20th Pokemon movie as well as a remake of the 1st episode of the original Pokemon series and  of the same name no less.

 

This movie features returning characters consisting of Ash Ketchum (the main character) and his partner pokemon Pikachu, Samuel Oak (a pokemon professor), Nurse Joy (a pokemon doctor) and the recurring villains of the entire series Jessie, James & their talking pokemon companion Meowth.

 

This movie also features new characters exclusive to this movie consisting of Sorrel (Ash’s new travel companion & a pokemon professor in training) and his partner pokemon Lucario, Verity (Ash’s new travel companion) and her partner pokemon Piplup, Bonzi (a mysterious old man), Cross (an arrogant trainer & Ash’s Rival) and his two partner pokemon Incineroar & Lycanroc (midnight form) as well as the legendary pokemon consisting of Ho-Oh (the pokemon equivalent of a Phoenix) & Marshadow (a new legendary pokemon exclusive to this movie).

 

In conclusion, I believe that this movie is a celebration/anniversary towards the entire Pokemon game/TV series franchise and will have an US dubbed showing in US theatres for a limited time on Sunday, November 5 & Monday, November 6 this year.

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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. 

Pizza Cutters and the Art of Woodworking

 

Daniel takes pride in his work in the Wood Department at SEEDs

There is something truly wonderful about a unique, hand-crafted object. The feeling you get when you create – investing your time, creativity, hard work and dedication to transform basic materials into a thing of beauty is a life-changing experience. Whether it is a lump of clay, a ball of yarn, or a piece of wood… with you, clay becomes ceramics, fiber and yarn becomes a scarf… and a hunk of wood becomes a pizza cutter.. as unique and individual as the artist who created it.

A one of a kind pizza cutter

 

Close up of Daniel’s craftsmanship