Blooming where we planted

Front row (sitting on floor from left to right): Janelle Authur, Wayne Utecht, CJ Utecht, Mary Jo Stastny, Lani Warren, Karl Knight, Madoka Knight, Sheila Davidson, Debbie Chapman, Julee Malone, Carolee Bailey, Sherry Weiss and Amanda Dahlin. Seated (second row): Pam Blaess, Janet Blosser, Dian Gowen, Clarke Latimer, Barbara Beckley, Kate Thomsen, Marty Knezovich, Jodee Weiland, Kathie Calbone, Denise Doepke, Evie Thompson, Kathy Nedder, Betty Ryan and Steve Weiss. Standing (back row): Kathy Tossey, Tom Tossey, Bob Authur, Dave Blaess, Steve Chapman, John Whitehead, Mike Beckley, Tim Malone, Bob Gowen, Gail Latimer, Lee Stastny, Kathy Dahlin, Jon Semke, Paul Thomsen, Frank Sherfy, Traci Dennis, Sam Calbone, Ron Dennis, Barbara Whitehead, Mark Warren, Paul Bailey, Stan Doepke, Tim Pooler, Roy Thompson, Char Eckmeyer, Dennis Eckmeyer, Brenda Pooler, Rick Weiland, Ernie Nedder, Dick Ryan, Joan Brooks and Jon Brooks.

Janelle Authur

Never missing a chance for a party, fifty-nine Unit 8A-ers celebrated the Unit’s streak of 36 months-in-a-row of Happy Hours with a “Blooming Where We Are Planted” dinner party on Friday, February 15, 2019, in the Sol Ballroom.

The Happy Hour gatherings started in March 2016 when three Unit 8A couples, Steve and Sherry Weiss, Guy and Debbie Shelton, and Janelle and Bob Authur, met by chance at a Ranch party. The six agreed to meet at The Bistro for Happy Hour the following evening and invite as many other Unit 8A-ers as they could identify and contact.

Turnout and enthusiasm were high, the evening was a great success and the streak began. Monthly Happy Hours became not only a Unit tradition, but also a way to welcome new neighbors as they moved into the neighborhood. As attendance grew, Happy Hour moved from The Bistro to the La Vista Room, to the Ranch House Grill and Brewery and, finally, to the Sol Ballroom for this latest event.

The “Blooming Where We Are Planted” evening started with Steve Weiss taking formal, individual portraits of those attending. Each couple was presented with a white rose, courtesy of Kathy Dahlin and her daughter, Amanda, to use in the picture and as a symbol of neighborhood friendship. The group then posed for a Unit 8A picture, also by Steve.

The group took a stroll down memory lane with two big screen slide shows comprised of pictures taken by Unit 8A-er’s since living at the Ranch. The first featured scenes from Arizona – sunsets, monsoons, lightning, winter snowfalls, desert animals, caves, canyons and historical and other sites in Tucson and throughout the state. The second slide show told the story of how the group became the cohesive Unit 8A, starting with the initial “big” commitment to Arizona and the Ranch and through almost all neighborhood events, including games, sports, holidays, a block party and chocolate party, progressive dinners, Tucson history and ghost tours, special celebrations, individual pursuits, near and far travels, family pets and even hats. Fittingly, the slide show ended with “What’s next – a Unit 8A bus?” and “The Best is Yet to Come” slides.

The evening’s theme was also reflected in table decorations of blooming mini-rose plants atop desert sand.

Janelle and Bob Authur and Sherry and Steve Weiss co-hosted the evening.