Friday, April 29, 2016

Why This Election Won't Matter


Well, politics seems to be getting even more bizarre, if that's possible.  While I still abhor Donald Trump, will stay home if he's nominated, I thought the Kasich-Cruz alliance was a bad idea.  It smacks of desperation and only feeds the Trumpers even more.  And, as for Cruz's decision to pick his VP in advance, that might have helped him three or four months ago, but now looks like another desperation move.   And, I've got to believe that Cruz offered the VP slot to Rubio...and he turned it down, having decided to write this election cycle off as a disaster.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"The Women's Movement; The Spoils of Victory"


There's no use arguing about the women's movement that began in the 60's. Women won. I was prompted to think about it after reading a report this week that said more American women are being hired and employed than men these days, and despite what many charge, are making more in salary and benefits than ever before.

And, when one looks at the overall picture, greater than all the material and societal gains, women today command the high ground in every societal flareup that arises today.

For example, one reads a lot about spousal abuse. And, whenever that nasty subject comes up, one's first thought is about battered women. And yet, I was amazed to learn recently that men make up a healthy 40 percent of spousal abuse victims! Who knew?

Thanks to gender equality legislation women, by statute, enjoy preferential quotas for employment. Thanks to Title IX women's collegiate sports are entitled to the profits from subsidize women's collegiate sports that mask none. Thanks to Roe vs Wade women are entitled to abort half a million children every year, essentially using abortion as a form of birth control when a liberated sexual lifestyle goes a bit awry.

Women are now free to practice a liberated sexual lifestyle, in or out of marriage, and charge off their mistakes at an abortion clinic or in the divorce courts.....or simply breed any number of fatherless children and fund their upbringing with other people's tax dollars.

And women have exercised an expanded "right to free speech" these free to call other women "whores and sluts", equally with the men.

In the last forty years of my planetary residence I've been sneered at for opening doors for women and I've been reprimand on several occasions for ascribing to the notion of putting the women I love on a pedestal.

I guess I'm like that Japanese soldier who was found in 1974, wandering around the jungle wilds of the Philippines, having failed to surrender in 1945. He didn't give up until receiving a mandate from the Emperor.

I don't need a royal mandate to affect my surrender...but it does come with a sense of sadness about the aftermath of the American woman's victory. I would have wished for a finer product...a finer female victor than the one who has earned...and practices..the art of vulgarity equal to the worst of man.

Let me confess now. I am a dinosaur in the era of the "free woman". I miss putting them up their on a pedestal. I lived in a time when women made men better human beings. And they achieved that wondrous thing by making us want to be better. A man who truly loves a woman always wants the "white knighthood"...the fellow who swims the moat, rappels from the castle walls, and rescues the damsel.

And I contend that, at least in America at the mid-point of the last century, women were always "in charge". Oh sure, they made us feel like we were...but every woman I knew and loved, in the end pretty much got what they wanted. Were there exceptions? Of course there were, just as there are exceptions today.

But I loved those women, born in the last century. They were rounded and softer than males. Those women did not strive for biceps (or "guns"), they did not aspire to stick figure physiques, and they did not use the vulgarity that so many women feel free to express today. Those women were stronger than women today; they were strong enough to raise their kids with good manners and good morals, they were strong enough to keep families together, and they were smart enough to do that with feminine guile that is totally lost today.

It seems to me that so many women today suffer from a schizophrenia; they want their men to be swashbuckling pirates in bed, have six pack abs, prepare gourmet meals in the kitchen, do the laundry and fold their "dainties" just right....and mow the lawn, plumb the sink, change a tire, and do all the "guy things"..or else!

I'm all for women aspiring to rewarding careers. And I'm all for the abolishment of practices where women were assigned narrowly defined roles in society. And I don't believe any American men would opt for the horrible sexual castes of China, or India. But I do long for those women we once put up there on pedestals, and, in loving them, catching them whenever they fell...and put them back up there where we felt they belonged.

Maybe the sexual revolution is not over. Maybe the female evolution is not yet over. I don't know what women will be like in 2070 but I can't believe today's woman is totally happy with the spoils of her victory.

Monday, April 25, 2016

"Coming Home"


It was bitterly cold on the rocky ridges of the Chosin Resevoir in that winter of 1950. Sergeant Wilson Meckley Jr., 31st Regimental Combat Team, Task Force Faith, U.S. Army, led his platoon up those rocky ridges.... when all hell broke loose. More than 120,000 Chinese Communists overwhelmed American forces on that day. 
And for the next 65 years no one knew the fate of Sergeant Wilson Mackley Jr. First declared Missing In Action, he was finally declared dead. But his family would know no closure over his death. 
Then, more than half a century later, the co-mingled remains of several of those long dead were returned to the United States. After pain staking DNA testing the the DNA Military Identification Laboratory was able to identify the remains of Sergeant Mackley.
A couple of weeks ago Sergeant Wilson Mackley Jr., who gave his life for his country at the tender age of 22, was buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His "then kid sister", now 81 years old, along with her family, were in attendance. 
As the color guard carefully folded the American flag that draped his casket, his sister sat in quiet reflection over the personal loss first felt 66 years ago. Upon receipt of the ceremonial flag, she rose from her seat, walked over to the casket, and placed a single red rose over the casket, and bid a final goodbye to her brother.
Wilson Meckley had at last come home. "Welcome Home, Sergeant Meckley." You may now rest peacefully with the tens of thousands of your comrades who now rest at Arlington. I hope you all sit around in that spiritual realm, around a campfire, your hands around a canteen cup of bad coffee, and find some comfort, some camaraderie in the commonality of your joint sacrifice in the cause of freedom.
"Welcome Home".

Friday, April 22, 2016

"We" Fired Curt Schilling


Baseball great Curt Schilling got fired this week. A baseball analyst with ESPN, Schilling offended the delicate sensibilities of the gay-worshipping, liberal Disney corporation who owns ABC and ESPN. Schilling's crime? He posted a tweet that said he doesn't want his daughter to have to share a bathroom with a transgendered man.

Get used to it folks. In today's America "freedom of speech" only applies if you agree with the liberal dictates. Rock stars and film stars are boycotting North Carolina..because they passed a law that says a man's "pee-pee" doesn't belong in a restroom that little girls frequent.

America has become a haven for the absurd, the "freaks", the "micro-minorities" who represent less than 1% of the nation's populace. Our founding fathers are being shoved off our currency because no one understands that George Washington refused a crown, that Alexander Hamilton created the national treasury, the American Navy and Coast Guard, the Customs bureau, penned 90 percent of the Federalist Papers, largely responsible for winning support for our revered American Constitution.

Instead, through this generation's total ignorance of our nation's history, and by owning the arrogance of judging our founders by today's "designer society" standards, the very people that founded a nation that prospered like no other in history, a nation that has been responsible for the liberation of tens of millions, that promoted freedom around the world, are "villains" and not heroes.

And, while I admire Harriet Tubman, we should not forget that President Andrew Jackson, whose gallantry in the War of 1812 is legend, and who once stood as the champion of the average citizen over big government, who only two decades ago was the Democratic Party's chief standard now shuffled to the ass-end of the $20 dollar bill (cause he owned slaves).

In a sense, ESPN didn't fire Schilling. We did...because we refuse to stage our own collective boycotts....of ESPN, or George Clooney, or Disneyworld and Disneyland and Disney movies, or quit buying records of "The Boss". That's the only way we'll ever get the attention of these liberal "social designers". That's the only way we'll ever get our country back....hit em in the pocket book and these liberal icons will swim back to mainstream America. Indulge them and your own right to express your personal opinion is "deal on arrival".

Our institutions..the very things that made us great...are crumbling before our very eyes. Our Congress is corrupt, our President is an arrogant tyrant, selectively enforcing only the laws he likes, our military is under assault, made weak and feeble, who now march under a rainbow flag, are persecuted for mentioning God in public or foxhole, and couldn't fight a major war should one come along.

And, after all this liberal social engineering, are we better off? Look around you. You tell me!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Liquid Wonder"


I made a run up to Safeway yesterday, and ended up back in my time machine. My choice of conveyance for a "Back To The Future" experience was not a DeLorean....instead it came in the form of a restored old milk truck.
As I parked and headed into the store, an old blue and white milk truck pulled up to the front loading zone and the driver exited from the sliding front door, two racks of ice cold, gallon glass bottles of fresh milk, one in each hand.
I followed him into the store and watched him progress to the dairy case where he began stocking that liquid memorabilia from a by-gone era. When he was finished I walked over and ran my hands over those icy glass bottles of white and chocolate milk. The bottles read Danzeisen Dairy. Keeping them company were pint bottles of orange and strawberry milk. 

I couldn't resist. I plucked one of those glass gallon bottles, straight from the 50's, and stuck one in my cart, all the while nearly half believing there might be a broken clock tower somewhere in the midst.
I finished my shopping, went home, put my groceries away, parking that "50's milk" prominently on the top shelf of my fridge. Went over to the cabinet, grabbed my vintage Coca Cola glass and stuck it in the freezer to get a nice chill on it.
After 15 minutes I went and retrieved my chilled glass, then poured a lovely eight ounces of fresh from the dairy milk into it. Dug around in the cookie jar and plucked an oatmeal raisin cookie and stood at my kitchen counter, alternating between a bite of cookie and a sip of ice cold milk. it was heaven.
Just had to google who these Danzeisen folks are. Found out the Danzeisens have been dairy farming for more than half a century here in the valley. A few years ago, realizing that they weren't making much wholesaling out their milk to the big distributors, they decided to market their own....except in a very unique and special way.
The family scoured the country until they found some old glass bottling equipment. Then they set up operation right on their farm, including big old stainless steel vats and bottle cleaning equipment.
They then went out and had a talk with "old Bessie" and all her kin, and began milking their cows three times a day, ferrying their liquid wonder back to the plant, and shooting them into pristine glass bottles.
Their cow family are fed on good and wholesome sweet alfalfa, no additives, no hormones...and the results are sublime.
Having arrived late to the scene, i have since learned that our local Fry's, Whole Foods, Safeway and a dozen other local supermarkets carry the Danzeisen's milk. And once you've polished off that gallon bottle, you return it to the store for a $2 dollar credit.
Pardon me, have to go. Gonna go pour myself a glass of milk, cop another cookie, and sit and listen to some Buddy Holly tunes. And life is especially good on Snead Drive this Saturday morning.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Crossing The Rainbow Bridge


So my beautiful Ginger crossed over the Rainbow Bridge sometime during the day Friday.  I was not with her. Somehow, having spent of at least part of the last 363 days with Ginger,  and a healthy hunk of the nearly 17 years she was with us,  God decided to bring her across that bridge during the very two days that I would be to my 50th High School revisit old friends, not knowing that I would never again gaze into big almond brown eyes that spoke so eloquently of an unconditional love that we humans seem unable to achieve for ourselves.

As Ginger began getting older, as she reached "matriarch" status in the Queendom of dogs, as she became deaf and blind, and sometimes stumbled to rise from her bed, we who loved her prayed that she would go quietly in her sleep, and somehow save us from the fright and sorrow of seeing her go.

Well, sometime on Friday, that ten pounds of joy curled up on her bed, and went to sleep....dying with the same ultimate grace in which she lived.  She would never again rise up, in the early morn, and dance around me, tail wagging "good morning" and leap up on my leg in greeting, as if to say "ain't the world a lovely place and I'm so glad you are in it with me."  

I have written about my dear Ginger many times here.  My essay, entitled "Rescue Dog" told about Ginger's first arrival in our lives; how she brought my wife and I out of the despair of loving and losing a she brought laughter back into a home as dark and desolate as any loss can be.  God must have looked down on two lost souls, clinging to each other in the bedroom dark, our tears soaking our pillow, feeling forsaken...and took pity on us and sent us Ginger.

That little pup frolicked, wrestled stuff toys, chased little rubber balls around the house, performed funny antics, and made us laugh when no one, or nothing else could.  And when tender loving care was needed she'd crawl up into our lap and administer great gobs of love, proving to us that loving someone, even in the face of loss, is never a mistake.

So, what's the big deal, right?  She's just a dog!  One should never care for a dog like you would your child, right?

Well, as I sit here, looking out at colorful spring blooms out in my back yard, as a gentle breeze whispers of a fresh new day, why am I so utterly unconsolably sad?  Why do the arias of sparrows have no charm for me this morning?  Why are the coos of a morning dove so mournful?

As I sat down to write my final goodbyes, the silence was broken by the subtle bubbling of Ginger's water bowl....the same sound that bowl made when my sweet Ginger walked over to lap a bit of water.  My nerves are so raw, my wanting so immense, I took that as a sign that Ginger had paused there at the Rainbow Bridge, and walked back to drink one last sip of water let me know that she's okay....that she once again "sees"...blooming spring flowers..and birds perching on a tree limb..there to taunt her as they did in her puppyhood...that she once again can hear train whistles and bird arias, and even the sound of something wonderful being dropped into her feed bowl.

But we must no invest so much admiration for these dogs, must we?  They can't "feel" as we humans do, right?  Then someone is going to have to explain to me how Ginger's little sister Rosie has refused to eat, and why she emits little whimpers of heartfelt pain as she lays alone in her little day bed.  Someone needs to tell me why she ambles about, sniffing Ginger's scent in the night bed, and why, this morning she crawled up on my pillow, and sat above my head and softly mewed the angst of her loss.

We are all in mourning here...over "just a dog".  It hurts so very much so that my heart aches and I struggle to type these words through eyes clouded with tears.  Someone is going to have to explain all that to me.  After all....she was just a dog.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Mrs White's Golden Rule Cafe


In October, 1964 a kindly Black lady named Elizabeth White, having cooked for other restaurants all her life, decided she'd open up her own cafe. 
So she located her cafe in the only location she could afford; at the urban core of old Phoenix, down on Jefferson Street...a street only Martin Luther King could love..or dare to visit.
Elizabeth wanted to enshroud her business around her own set of ethics; to treat people right, to be kindly, to give the customer their money's worth. 
Her history and her ethics formed the beginnings of Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe. Her menu? Fried Chicken, Fried Pork Chops, Turnip Greens, Mac N Cheese, Fried Okra, Sweet potatoes, Gravy And Rice, Fried Catfish, Chicken Fried Steak, Sweet Cornbread, and for Dessert, Peach Cobbler and Banana Pudding, and all washed down with tall cool glasses of Iced Tea.
The menu is scratched out on a blackboard and folks come in and play a delightful game of "eenie meenie minie moe" as they pick and choose their entrees and sides and desserts.
So, how did Elizabeth do? Well, Elizabeth is 90 years old, can still be seen back in the kitchen, conjuring up delicious soul food/southern food/comfort food for both the mighty and the meek...her customer base includes sports stars, movie and music stars, and just plain old "folks".
This year Elizabeth will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Golden Rule Cafe. She's trained her grandson to do the "hard rowing" but she still keeps her hand on the stirring spoon make sure she's still giving her customers a serving of love and kindness with every bite.
Pretty nice, Elizabeth! You've proved that being nice goes a long, long way!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Once A Jock, Always A Jock"


"Once A Jock, Always A Jock"

I've said it before; here in Sun City there are more than a thousand clubs for our 40,000 senior residents.  Their listings take up half of our monthly community newspaper.  You can Ballroom dance, Swing dance, join the Texas Two-Steppers and the Line Dancers, or you can attend the weekly Singles dances if you're of a mind to cruise for chicks.

We have pottery clubs, poetry clubs, painting clubs, both PC and Apple Clubs, Democratic Clubs, Tea Party Clubs and also little ladies who meet for tea and crumpets, served in delicate porcelain.   We have clubs that represent the various states of origin as well as the "codger" version of the Daughters of The American Revolution.  Pick an interest and there's a club for you.

In sports we have both indoor bowling and lawn bowling, and tennis and swimming and golf and pickle ball and hiking clubs, jogging clubs and yoga clubs and weight lifting clubs. 

But, perhaps the club with the most eager participants are the senior softball leagues.  Every year, just about the time the pro clubs arrive for Cactus League Spring Training, a group of elderly men begin to congregate around the Mountain View Fitness Center softball field.  They range in age from 55 to 85....and they take their game seriously....with as much enthusiasm as a ten year old kid on a Little League field.  And after the season is over, if they're good enough, they go somewhere and play other old Orlando, or Palm Springs...or other realms where old men still compete, and sometimes they bring home their championship trophies.

These old guys form up teams and begin league play just about when the regular baseball season begins.  The only difference between them and your average neighborhood softball team is that these guys wear a lot more knee pads and elbow pads...and there's a strong scent of Ben Gay and Tiger Balm emanating from the softball field.  The old boys still go "deep in the hole" for that hard grounder, and they throw caution to the wind as they attempt to fire a bullet to first.  The fleet of foot "65 year olds" patrol the outfield...and if you observe from a distance you don't see the wrinkles and frown lines from 7 or 8 decades of living.


There's a track that runs around the outside of the ball park.  I often go there and walk that track, my iPod Mini cranking out 60's hits in my ears.  As I round the turn and head toward the playing field, I often get a look from one or two of the players...a look as lustful as a Sun City widow, wondering why in hell I'm wasting all that effort without a glove or a bat in my hand.  

Sometimes, when I'm done with my walk, I'll take a seat in the bleachers and watch part of the game. What the old boys don't know is that they are too damn good for me.  These guys are serious, and they still have all of the moves they had at 20...they just move a little slower than before.  But the natural instincts are still there...they still know just, at the crack of the bat, when to start falling back for the long fly ball.  They still have the timing down when at the plate.  I've even had to interrupt my walks a few times and retrieve a ball that came sailing over the fence, the hitter slowly trotting around the bases, head modestly bowed, as if home runs are as normal as a 20 year old's morning bowel movement.

I guess the moral of all this is "don't ever sell an old person short".  Whether it's batting a pickle ball around at 6:30 in the morning, or running out a grounder to second on the softball field, no one around here seems ready for a rocking chair just yet.

Monday, April 11, 2016

"No 'ON-OFF' Button For Heroism"


"No "On-Off Button" for Heroism"
According to witnesses, the man stood up from the table at a Chandler Jack in The Box restaurant, back slapped the woman across the table from him, then grabbed her by the hair and dragged her across the floor and out of the restaurant. 
No one in the restaurant did anything...just sat and watched.
Out in the parking lot, Iraqi War veteran Steven Richardson was pulling into a nearby grocery store, just a routine grocery run for his wife. When he saw the woman being violently abused he rushed to her rescue. At one point he was able to pin down the assailant but the assailant escaped and jumped into his car. 
The assailant then gunned his car and headed straight for Steven. When the car hit Steven it threw him into the air, into the windshield, then flying into the air where he crashed on the concrete.
The assailant escaped and Steven Richardson is now fighting for his life in a Chandler hospital. He has severe skull fractures that make his survival tenuous.
While not one of those in the restaurant felt the need to respond to the violent attack on that woman, to come to her aid, Steven Richardson, war veteran, could not imagine not doing so. There's no expiration date for heroism. I guess Steven felt that a chest full of medals and an honorable discharge did not relieve him from his pledge to serve...wherever and whenever bravery is called for.
The folks who sat and did nothing went home to their family that night...survivors in their cowardice. Steven Richardson may never go home...may never see his family again. 
Given a choice, I'd choose Steven's fate. Fear and Cowardice are frightful things to live with. Courage, even in the face of death, is a far grander thing.
Pray for Steven...he needs it...and deserves it.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The VA Kills Another Vet


John Marshall died last the tender age of 31. He died of soft tissue sarcoma. John was a highly decorated combat veteran who served in the Iraq War. When John wasn't busy fighting the bad guys he was assigned additional duty as a burn pit monitor.

Burn pits are what the military use to dispose of the refuse that 10,000 folks generate during the business of living and working in a military camp in the field. John spent hours breathing the noxious fumes of all that refuse.

So, when John came home, and developed that nasty, nasty form of cancer, he sought out the VA for help. The VA, despite thousands of similar complaints from other "burn pit victims", declared John not eligible for VA medical care, saying burn pits are not "combat related".

We vets know that "combat related" stuff well. We were told that Agent Orange wasn't toxic either...even as tens of thousands of Vietnam vets began dying of various cancers and organ shutdowns decades before their time. It would be nearly 30 years before the VA would admit Agent Orange was the cause.

John Marshall has spent his last months fighting cancer, as fiercely as he fought for his country a few years ago. Sadly, he was fighting the VA too.

The VA won. John lost. He died last week. He leaves behind a wife and two young children, now destitute and on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars for medical treatment because the VA once again denied a vet the medical care he earned and should have received.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Time Machine


Right on the corner of 35th and Cactus, in Glendale, Arizona, stands a strip mall.  You might drive by that strip mall a dozens times and never notice even one of the business there.  That would be your loss.

There's a little joint there called Rocket Burgers And Subs.  But it's not really a burger's a time machine.

Should you enter the place you enter a time warp...back to the 50's.  As you approach the front door you see row after row of various pop soda.  As you enter the door the whole wall to your right is nothing but refrigerated glass cases holding every soda you ever drank in your childhood (and if it's not there, just speak up and they'll order if for you).


So, folks, young and old, wander into the place...the young to see "what was"..the old to revisit their childhood.  You order your burger, or your sub, then spend the time waiting by walking along that wall of soda.  "Do I want RC Coca Cola in the bottle?"  Do I want a "Chocolate Covered Maple Smoked Bacon Soda?"  "Do I Want A Whoo-hoo?", or "that root beer made only in Maine?" "Would my bacon burger go down better with a Big Red?"


And, before you can decide, the little counter bell rings and your order is called.  Your burger sits on one of those blue-plaid or red-plaid wrappers from the sixties, with a side of fries, fresh peeled and flash fried not five minutes before, the whole delicious thing resting in a straw basket.

And, as you sit there, scarfing down that freshly made burger, your mind drifts back to long days of hula hoops and Roy Rogers and Clutch Cargo and Saturday morning cartoons..and hours of play in the green fields of childhood.

A pretty cheap time machine...and well worth the trip!

Monday, April 4, 2016

"Sometimes You Just Gotta "Veg Out" From Politics"


You probably noticed that my blogs last week were largely non-political.  That was by design.  I simply could not take another Bernie Sanders tirade, another Hillary screech, or the tabloid fodder emanating from the Republicans.  I'm better than that....I don't need to muddy myself with the mudslingers

Donald Trump continued his vileness, his vulgarity, his ineptness on the specific of policy issues.  John Kasich continues on his Quixote-esque political tour, knowing he hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of winning the Republican nomination.  Ted Cruz spent more time talking about the National Inquirer and exchanging slings and arrows with Donald Trump, Bernie is basking in the glow of his socialist following, and the FBI announced that they are preparing for the "interrogation phase" of her email scandal.  (Anyone else would already be under indictment and well on their way to prison).

So, let's get this mess over with; let's either indict Hillary or crown her.  Let's either flush Donald Trump down the toilet (where he would be right at home), or hand him the reins for a resounding defeat come November.   Trump's "negativity polling" now shows he's hated by 73% of the electorate, up 11 points from February, and even those who were previously delighted with Trump's "apple cart mayhem" are tiring of his antics.

Oh sure, the media just loves this stuff.  Trump has gotten more free media exposure than any politician in history....prompting Barack Hussein Obama to issue a "media scolding" last week for giving 'The Donald" so much air time.  (And this came on the heels of Barry himself doing the "communist wave" at a baseball game and dancing the tango with one of Argentina's grander "socialista"  And, while taking a break from the tango, Barry said socialism and free market capitalism are the same thing...thus validating for the thousandth time that we've suffered under a socialist for these eight long years.

Meanwhile, radical muslims are blowing up folks in Brussels, murdering Christian kids celebrating Easter in Pakistan, Putin ordering up hero medals for his murderous troops in Syria, and, here at home, gas prices once more on the rise, consumer spending taking a nosedive and the GDP on the critical list.

So, yes, I'm tired of watching, and I'm tired of listening.  If or when Trump wins my party's nomination I'll move over to my other blog (The Good News Journal) and be content to write of the kindler and gentler things.

I see no hope for any of us.  If Trump wins we're finished.  If he doesn't win his massive ego will not be able to resist going 3rd Party...either way Hillary wins.  (Or maybe not; this political year has been so wacky the feds might surprise us and indict the bitch, giving Bernie a seat in the oval office.)

"Fasten Your Seat Belts...It's gonna be a bumpy ride" (Betty Davis..."All About Eve".


Friday, April 1, 2016

Senior Swing Club Bust In Sun City!


                         Senior Swing Club Bust In Sun City

Arizona Republic 
April 1, 2016...0530
Leo Trotter and Denise Fabella reporting.

--  Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputies staged a raid Thursday night in Sun City's Bell Recreation Center, 8910 North 99th Avenue.  Arrested were more than 300 seniors who were participating in a group orgy in both the indoor pool and spa facilities of the large, sprawling facility normally frequented during the day by many of Sun City's 40,000 residents.

Sheriff Joe Arpao, in a news conference at the county's downtown Sheriff's Headquarters, said deputies were first alerted to something amiss when a Sun City couple, out walking their dog, noted bizarre goings on in the parking lot of the recreation center.  James and Jan Smerley said they noticed a seemingly unattended RV rocking on its axles and heard loud moaning from what appeared to be a female from somewhere in the RV.

Deputies quickly responded and found one male, age 68, and a female, age 63, in "flagrante delicti", both suspects naked, out of breath, and showing great shock as two squads of sheriff's deputies surrounded the vehicle and ordered them out.

When questioned the suspects admitted that they were members of a group who call themselves "The Sun City Swinging Sensuals", a senior swinging group made up of residents of Sun City and Sun City West, Arizona.  Upon further questioning, the couple admitted to being invitees to a larger swinger's event that was then underway within the recreation facility.

Deputies then called for backup and entered the facility at 11:20 PM.  In the pool area deputies found more than 300 elderly people in various stages of undress, and engaging in sexual activity in and about the pool area.  Another 50 seniors were discovered cavorting in a similar manner in the spa just adjacent to the pool area.

As participants noticed the deputies a mad scramble for swimsuits and flip-flops was on and the senior orgy goers began scrambling out emergency doors on the south side of the facility.  Nearly two dozen deputies standing by outside were able to round up the miscreants and hold them in a confined area, using the pickle ball courts as a holding facility until arrest citations could be issued.

It was not until the wee hours of the morning until deputies finished issuing citations for all those involved.  Participants were charged with public nudity, engaging in sexual acts in a public facility, illegal possession of Mexican Viagra and misuse of a public facility.

Bell Recreation Center Director, Neal Peevy, notified by Sheriff's Deputy around midnight, arrived on scene soon after and stated he was shocked by the brazen misuse of the community facility.  He related that the group had leased the facility for the evening, claiming the group intended to use the pool and spa for a group yoga session as therapy for their osteopathic ills.

The orgy participants were released on their own recognizance, but ordered to appear in The Superior Court of Northwest Maricopa County, Surprise, Arizona on the date specified in the arrest citation.

In an ironic twist, these reporters noticed several dozen seniors, wearing workout clothes and carrying gym bags,  filing into the facility for their early morning workout, even as the naked and half-clad miscreants were being released.  The early gym goers were perplexed and seemed to be wondering what they missed in this normally sedate senior community.

Leo Trotter and Denise Fabela, reporting for the Arizona Republic.