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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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The Candy Cane

I am fast approaching that age when my cane of choice will probably be of wood or aluminum, but my favorite will always be of candy. One of my earliest Christmas morning memories is of my bulging stocking, hanging from a nail on our mantel.

Out of the top peeked an orange and a striped candy cane, HEAVEN for a kid born to wartime rationing.  To this day, something as simple and precious as a plump navel orange and a candy cane on Christmas bring me deep joy.   We now share that joy by often festooning our Christmas tree with candy canes, and inviting any visitors to our home to take one.  This is nothing new, of course.  Folks in northern Europe were decking their Yuletide trees in fruits, cookies, and candies hundreds of years ago.

The original hard Christmas candy was all white, and in stick, not cane form.  How and when did it gain its curve?  By far the most popular story is that it occurred in Germany in the year of our Lord 1670. The story goes that the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral was struggling with how to keep the children in his choir “in line” during the long-winded Nativity services. He figured a sweet might do the trick, but was concerned that the priests and parents might object to candy in church.  But if he could put a little “religious twist” to his mundane bribe, the powers that be might go for it.  So the choirmaster asked a local candy maker to curve the top of the hard stick candies so they resembled a shepherd’s staff.  Shepherds played into the original Christmas narrative, and a candy shaped like their staff could be a teaching tool as well as a pacifier. It seemed to have worked. Seems to me solid proof that the secular and religious can co-exist to the benefit of both.  More proof of that later, with an American cleric.

The first historical reference to the candy cane in America shows up in 1847, when note is made of a German immigrant named August Imgard decorating  the Christmas tree in his Wooster, Ohio home with candy canes.  About 50 years later the first red-and-white striped canes appeared. No one knows who exactly invented the stripes, but Christmas cards prior to the year 1900 showed only all white candy-canes. Christmas cards and Yuletide post cards after 1900 show striped candy canes. Right around this time candy-makers introduced peppermint and wintermint scents and flavors to their candy canes. To this day, peppermint (red-and-white) remains the public favorite, though countless other flavors and varieties are now available, from assorted fruit flavors to even a pickle flavored candy cane available through Amazon.com. I can’t imagine that will “take off.” But then I never though Starbucks or bottled water would either.  Maybe I should invest this time. Nah, pickle will never trump peppermint!

If you are on a sugar restricted regiment, and your Doctor will only OK one candy cane for you this season, I suggest you order it from Chef Alain Roby of The All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva, Il. Chef Roby holds the world’s record for the largest candy cane, a massive 51 foot creation. You can tell your Doc with a straight face that the candy cane you have in mind (like most candy canes) is fat and cholesterol free. But you might forget to mention the 900 lbs. of sugar Chef Roby slipped in to his magnus opus.

Far smaller in size, but not in number are the close to 2 billion candy canes  produced annually by commercial candy makers.  If we were to distribute the canes globally, that would be enough for 1 in every 4 people on earth.  I can’t help but think that if we could get 1 in 4 folks sucking on a candy cane at the same time, the world would be a more harmonious place, and the peace would have been bought at a price far less than a smart bomb for the 1 in 4.

Speaking of peace, I should mention good Father Gregory Harding Keller, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Little Rock.  He was a brother-in-law of famed candy maker Bob McCormack. Bob founded a candy company in 1919 that would grow in its hay day into the largest candy company in the world.  Bob also was the first to introduce candy canes wrapped in cellophane.  But in his early days of candy making he had a problem.  The crook in candy canes to that time had to be bent by hand, one by one while the candy mixture was still hot and pliable. It was a slow, labor-intensive process, with lots of waste and loss. Up to 22% of the product broke in the bending process and had to be discarded.  But Father Keller invented the machine that mechanically, and perfectly, put the identical curve into each cane. It additionally automated the process of twisting soft candy into spiral striping and then cutting them into precise lengths. He patented his invention, a prototype that would change the whole candy making industry.  Father Keller and his machine gained national fame in the 1960’s when he was a contestant on the popular TV show What’s my line. I remember seeing the show.  I also remember that it is time to go snitch another candy cane off my tree before the grandkids beat me to all of them.  A sweet Christmas to you all. God bless.


Sun City Grand Resident,

Anthony de la Torre



Phoenix Retirement Communities blog
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]
Happy Thanksgiving 2014 from Leolinda
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 19:42:00 +0000
or each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, For love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends. Father in heaven, We thank thee. Ralph Waldo Emerson .....From our family to yours, we wish you and your f ... [Read More]
Happy Thanksgiving 2014
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 17:25:58 +0000
  Life and time are speeding up.  For me, it feels like we celebrated Thanksgiving just a few months ago.   Good thing I so enjoy Thanksgiving and the traditions it brings into our day.  It feels to me that the focus for this Thanksgiving is to let t ... [Read More]
Thanksgiving 2014
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 23:05:24 +0000
Giving thanks every day of the year, not just one day. Thanksgiving 2014 ... [Read More]
The Rest of Earp
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:58:57 +0000
Sun City Grand writer Anthony DelaTorre tells the rest of the story "The Rest of Earp" ... [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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