Corte Bella Country Club
Sun City Grand
Sun City West
Aloha and Welcome to My Website!
I am an Associate Broker, Realtor® with Long Realty West Valley, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate.
I specialize in real estate sales in Arizona West Valley Golf Retirement Communities.
I have Bachelor of Science Degrees in Chemistry and Biology and a Masters Degree in Business Administration with Project Management concentration.
As a year-round Sun City Grand resident and full-time Associate Broker Realtor®, I can help you buy and/or sell real estate in the golf retirement communities of Sun City Grand, Sun City West, Corte Bella, Arizona Traditions, Sun City Festival, PebbleCreek and Trilogy at Vistancia.
Buyers and sellers receive what they desire when selecting me as their estate agent:
an experienced, dedicated, well-educated, professional local Realtor® who specializes in real estate in Arizona golf retirement communities.
Sun City Grand ~ I LIVE HERE, I WORK HERE, I KNOW THIS COMMUNITY! ©2007
Building what counts
On this month, a half century ago, I was teaching at St. John’s Indian School at Komatke, Az., some 40 miles or so south of Phoenix. St. John’s was a co-ed boarding high school, administered by Franciscan monks and nuns for Native Americans throughout the Southwest. It was a thriving, vibrant place, full of hope, promise, bridging between cultures and mending of old enmities. What was happening deeply and positively affected both students and teachers. It did me. I was humbled and honored to be part of it for a time. That time was cut short by something quite the opposite that was happening in another hot place, Vietnam. My number came up in the draft, and that experience was to whirl me away like a summer monsoon into far-flung locations and life experiences I never could have predicted. I would not see Arizona again for nearly 45 years.
Then, in 2004, I found myself once again living in Arizona. And once back, I felt almost immediately, a very deep nostalgic pull to visit St. John’s School. Over the next 4 years, at least a 8 or 9 times, I had made plans and set dates for that excursion, only to have to abort because of health issues, use conflicts with our single vehicle, job or church needs, family visits, etc. Each time I was deeply disappointed, but resolved to still “get there” whenever I could. Finally, 3 years ago, everything fell into place. My wife Camille had to fly up to Washington State to tend to some guardianship issues for a few days, and I had time AND vehicle to try and find the school again, and spend some time there. So bright and early on a Saturday morning I headed south. I had just gotten into the Estrella mountain country south of Phoenix, when my old vehicle starting making some very distressing sounds and doing that “Tijuana shuffle”, a sputtering back-firing type jerking lurch, that bodes ill and a big buck bill. Not wanting to be stranded any farther out, I limped back to a Toyota dealership I had noted on the outskirts of Phoenix.
“Why you’re in luck,” the shop manager smiled, “We had a cancellation. I can slip you into it. It is for later this morning, about 11.” I figured I better take the slot, told him I had a book, and would wait. He pointed me to the lounge and coffee machine. 2 hours later my truck was up on the rack. Two hours after that, the shop boss came to speak to me. He had that “good news, bad news” look you sometimes see on surgeons at emergency rooms. “Well, the bad news is we need a part we don’t have on stock, and it won’t get here till Monday. The good news is we jerry-rigged your rig back together so you can be on the road till Monday. You’re not planning any cross country trips before then I hope?”
“Only across Maricopa County.”
“You’re good to go then, see you Monday at 10:00.”
“Darn, a half day wasted!” I thought, “Should I even bother to try and find the school now?” I was about to abort yet again, then made an impulsive decision to “go for it,” even if I would not arrive till late afternoon. A lot had changed, in 50 years, along with my memory on how to get to St. John’s on the Reservation. Finally, with dusk approaching, I found the dirt road I was looking for, the one that snaked through the mesquites, dry wash and tamarisk groves to the school. But when I rounded the bend and saw St. John’s, I was in for a big shock. The place was deserted, a ghost town. Many of the windows were broken, doors warped in their frames or gone. The whole place was reverting back to nature. The classrooms and halls were banked in sand and dust. Tumble weed whisked back and forth in the fickle hot, moaning wind. A dust devil spun across the baked weed-infested schoolyard, bits of trash and desert detritus swirling in its vortex. I got out of my pickup, and wandered like a lost soul among the ruins. A deep sadness settled over me, a nostalgia and sense of loss that left a big lump in my throat. So many memories… this place had been so vibrant, so alive. I was not prepared for this. I felt like a walking ghost, lost in memories but no longer with a connection to tomorrow.
Just then, at my lowest ebb, I heard the grinding of gears, and saw a cloud of dust rolling down the dirt road. Out of it emerged a battered pickup, which ground to a halt about 20 feet from me. Out of it stepped a distinguished looking older Native American man, about my age. His long graying hair was tied back in a ponytail, and crowned in an old sweat-stained Stetson. He was clothed in the scuffed cowboy boots, jeans, and long-sleeved, snap-buttoned Western shirt so common to desert dwellers here. He stepped out of his vehicle and headed towards me with a friendly: “Can I help you?”
“No, I don’t think so. I just came out to spend a little time here, it seemed important,” I responded sadly.
“Why of course, it’s important Tony,” he answered.
I was shocked. How did he know me?
“You don’t remember me, do you?”
“Forgive me, but I don’t,” I said.
“I’m one of your old high school classmates.” He pointed around. “These are my people.”
Then I remembered. My classmate from the Tohono O’odham, the “Desert People.”
“You’re Joe Enos,” I replied, amazed after 50 years of not seeing him that he had shown up just at this precise moment.
“Do you still live here Joe?”
“No, I live down at Mesa Grande.”
“Well, what brought you out here this afternoon?”
“I was at home, watching TV, and suddenly this feeling came to me to get up and drive out here. And here you are.”
“What a coincidence, huh?”
“No my brother, it is a convergence, it was meant to be. But you are sad. Why?”
“Joe, I mourn. I remember this place as so alive, so vibrant, so full of hope. I return and find this. Look at these buildings. I grieve. My sadness is deep. The sadness of the loss of dreams, or promises…” I trailed off. I had spoken my heart impulsively, honestly.
Joe stood there in silence for the moment. The sun was setting, a gorgeous desert sunset. But I hardly noticed it. If a coyote had yodeled mournfully, it would have been the song of my spirit just then. Then Joe spoke.
“Perhaps you need to look deeper, Tony. You mourn the loss of these buildings. But buildings are just concrete block, wood, glass. Don’t mourn them. Look rather to what came out of them.” He touched his heart and head. He then went on mention the names of students I had know there, who had gone out from this school to help change their communities and states with many good works and worthy accomplishments. And they were still blessing, and affecting for the good today and tomorrow. Joe himself was no exception. He had earned degrees in the mental health field, which he blended beautiful with his religious and Native American spirituality to gift his community as a Health Care Professional, as well as counselor, respected medicine man, community elder and leader. His unexpected visit had even helped heal me. Convergence? Coincidence? What would you call it? I read somewhere that “A coincidence is just God working a miracle incognito, anonymously.”
So, why do I relate this story in a Real Estate
blog? Well, maybe to keep first things
first, which I know my dear friend Leolinda does, and why I love and
occasionally write for her. A home or a
building is a wonderful thing, a nursery for our dreams. But the real miracles
are what come out of them to bless our community. Make your dream home all it can be. Don’t mourn yesterday
Anthony de la Torre
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