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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.


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Nearly everyone here has at some point in life played a game called “20 Questions,” in which you try and figure out the identity of something within 20 questions. There was even a weekly TV panel show spin off of that called “What’s my line?”  It was so popular that it aired for an unprecedented 17 years (1950 – 1967).  Maybe because I grew up with both, I am always trying to figure out intriguing stuff around me that I wonder about, using a cross-breed of the “20 question” or “What’s my line?” process.  It’s a fun way to learn, to arrive at interestingly and exciting little “Ah-ha!” and “I didn’t know that” moments.  Let’s try it here.  Who is this guy, and what is he known for? I’ll give you some hints. First hint:

~Maewyn Succat.  “What the…,” you say.  Don’t feel bad, that’s probably what I would say too with a hint like that.  So try this one:

~ This man was captured by pirates, though not Blackbeard’s rascals.  No “lights on”? Don’t worry, nobody ever wins 20 this early on, ever.  So here’s another hint:

~The name of a very popular basketball team will give you the origin of these pirates, and start to zero you in on the man in question.  Anything? No? “Avast, my matey’s; wheels a bit rusty, eh?” Well, another hint:

~ It is not Treasure Island, though an island does figure into the riddle of who our mystery man is. Need another hint?

~ OK. You’ve read the book or seen the movie “12 Years a slave,” right?  Well, our mystery man was a slave for half that, 6 years.  You think you know who it is, right?  But you’d like another little hint just to be sure? OK.

~Don’t think cotton, think sheep. As a slave our man was forced to tend sheep.  Ah, still drawing a blank? Next then.

~ This fellow was a Roman citizen, but born in Britain.  No, that’s not a contradiction, but a really big hint. Say it now; you know his name is on the very tip of your tongue. So close…  No? Well this hint should do it:

~ He is credited with a national symbol that many consider even MORE lucky than a rabbit’s foot.  What? A rabbit’s foot threw you off?  Well, you’re in Arizona right, so think snakes then. No, NOT Diamondbacks! This guy is not a ball player. And the snake thing some attribute to him is just a myth, folklore. Still “No go”?  Really? My, well, SURELY this clue will do it:

~ The island he lived and ministered on, was emerald.  Oh come now…OK, OK, I’ll pile on the clues:  Shamrocks, corned beef and cabbage, harps, Guinness, March 17th. 


Nothing?  You’ve got to be kidding. Oh-h-h, I get it, its “blarney” that you didn’t get it; you were pulling my leg all along, right?  You KNEW it was St. Patrick, probably after the first clue, right? You knew Maewyn Succat was  Patrick’s given birth name. Amazing! I’m happy the miracle happened on my watch.


Every March 17 (the date of St. Pat’s death) we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, even here in this increasingly secular nation, This “Saint” was born somewhere around 387 A.D. in Britain, which the Romans had conquered and still occupied. So Patrick was indeed a Roman citizen, and at least bi-lingual  (Latin and English).  Later (at age 16) he was captured by raiding Celtic pirates, and carried off to Ireland, where he spent 6 years as a slave, tending their flocks of sheep.  During his captivity he had a lot of time to think about and ponder life and the here-after, and was drawn to Christianity.  It was the only thing that made sense to him, the only thing that brought peace and meaning amidst the warring insanity.


During the years of his captivity, Patrick also became fluent in Gallic.  Finally, at age of 22, he was able to escape the Celts, and snuck aboard a ship headed back to Britain.  But he was captured again and ended up in France. While there he embraced monasticism, seeing it as a profound and true expression of the Christian life.  He pursued religious studies, and was ordained a priest. In a mystical dreamlike experience he felt called back to Ireland.  So back he went, by choice this time, to the place of his original forced captivity.  He labored in Ireland till his death decades later at the reputed age of 120.  He is credited with bringing both Christianity and monasticism to Ireland. In his long career as a priest and then Bishop, it is said he built some 300 churches and baptized close to 100,000 Celts. Small wonder that he is memorialized even today as “the Apostle to Ireland.”   


Though his life was not without controversy, and there may indeed be more than one Patrick rolled into the persona we recall today, there is no doubt about the impact of the man/men on Ireland. To this day the “Emerald Isle,” remains predominantly Catholic, and even the Protestants there, as well as others of ancient clan rites as well as of no faith at all,  embrace and celebrate Patrick as one of their own.


Ireland’s identity has always been an amalgam of its pagan Celtic past and later Christian influences. The harp, which appears on the Irish flag, is as common in fairy lore as it is depicted as a musical instrument of choice by angels and saints in heaven. So too with other symbols we associate with Ireland, and the Irish with themselves. Take the ubiquitous shamrock, the national flower of Ireland.  The number 3 was a sacred number to the ancient druids. So it was a natural “fit” that Patrick would see in the 3-leaf clover a perfect visual to teach the Celts the central Christian doctrine of the Trinity, that even as 3 co-equal leaves are joined together in one “seamrog,”  (“little clover”), so too are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Godhead.  Perhaps because of this high association, the shamrock has always been viewed by the Irish as “lucky.”  It is to this day incorporated into an Irish brides wedding bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere.


How about the color green, as in “the wearing of the green.” The original color for St. Patrick was not green, but blue?  In Irish legends and stories green was worn by fairies and immortals (think leprechaun). It was also believed that wearing green would help make a good growing season for their crops in Ireland. Green became the color for St. Patrick in the early 19th. Century.  Unfortunately, neither the color nor the saint was able to avert the potato blight that began in Belgium and spread across Europe in 1845. The potato was a mainstay of the Irish diet. Now potatoes were rotting by the tons in their bins and fields. The common folk tried to supplement with what little else they had, like cabbage.  Nonetheless, by the time the blight has played out some 5 years later, over a million Irish had perished.  And the thousands upon thousands that had survived by immigrating, brought with them their food preferences and recipes from home, including colcannon (potatoes and cabbage boiled and mashed together), and Irish bacon and cabbage.  Corned  (the name derives from the large salt crystals resembling corn kernels, used in the pickling/preservation process) beef had indeed been produced in Ireland, but was mainly exported, as it was too expensive for home use among most mainland Irish. However, once stateside, the Irish largely flocked to large metropolitan areas in New York, Boston, and New Orleans, and often lived near Jewish enclaves.  As their lot and resources slowly improved here, the Irish soon turned for celebratory family events to the plentiful (and now affordable for them) corned beef.  It is a “tradition” passed on to this day, and that now thrown into the melting pot that is American is enjoyed by nearly all of us, regardless or race or origin.  Oh, and if for “Ault lang syne’s” sake, you’d like to try the original Irish bacon (very different than our own) along with your cabbage and potatoes,  you can enjoy it with a Guinness here in Surprise at the nearby the Irish Wolfhound Restaurant and Pub.

Sun City Grand Resident,

Anthony de la Torre

Phoenix Retirement Communities blog
Sun City Grand Installs GPS Markers on Walking Trails
Thu, 09 Apr 2015 06:00:10 +0000
Each time a buyer purchases a Sun City Grand home, the buyer pays the Community and Residential Enhancement (CARE) fee. The purpose of the fee is to upgrade the community. In June 2014 Sun City Grand HOA board approved $31,00 from the CARE fund to install ... [Read More]
Happy Easter and Passover
Sun, 05 Apr 2015 14:39:08 +0000
We are about to enter a most holy and joyous weekend to celebrate both Easter and Passover.  No matter which Holiday (Holy Day) you celebrate, may your heart and spirit be filled with the knowing of rebirth and freedom.  And, if neither Easter or Passover ... [Read More]
Mini but mighty
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 05:08:38 +0000
We’ve all heard the very catchy commercial touting “The incredible, dibble egg.” Indeed, a hen’s egg is a wondrous gift. But there is a food source that is even more incredible; many call it “the perfect food,” the product not of a chicken, but an insect, ... [Read More]
Thank God for the Irish
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 10:58:39 +0000
When I was a kid, our beloved parish priest was Father Thomas O’Malley, and his able assistant was Father William Pierce. Both were from the old sod, Ireland. Each St. Patrick’s Day, the good Knights of Columbus hosted a “Wearing of the Green” dinner for ... [Read More]
January 1, 2015
Thu, 01 Jan 2015 20:22:41 +0000
Happy New Year—–May this year be filled with an abundance of health, happiness, new learnings, success and joy. On this first day of a new year, I always end up thinking about—-I have a clean slate. It seems more fitting than ever to wak ... [Read More]
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Leolinda Bowers
Long Realty West Valley
Ph: (623) 937-5701Fax:(623) 321-1117
Surprise, AZ 85374 US
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