Put it on your calendar right now: Sunday 1 April will mark the 2012 edition of the Scottsdale Old Timers’ Reunion. As in recent years, it will be at El Dorado Park, 2311 N. Miller Road, Scottsdale, AZ, from 1-4 p.m.
It’s a low-key affair, like most of the best things in Scottsdale. Year-after-year it welcomes back the folks who built the very foundation of the prosperity and sense of community that Scottsdale enjoys today. The old timers are fewer and fewer these days. However, their children and grandchildren grow in numbers as they seek and celebrate connections to the history of this great city that is still a small town at heart.
My wife’s great-grandmother, Ella Hearne, had a cotton farm at 68th Street and Thomas. Ella’s daughter Nell was best friends with Labeula Steiner Mowry, who with her sisters and friends made up a significant part of the historical knowledge and passion in Scottsdale, if for no other reasons than, a) they were there, b) they enjoyed remembering it to others, and c) no one else was doing it.
The Old Timer’s Reunion started as an idea in 1962 at the 25th wedding anniversary for Labeula and Lester Mowry. I think this year marks about the 50th anniversary of the first reunion.
Sadly, Labeula and sister Thelma Steiner Holveck both passed in 2007. But, in just a few days Labeula’s step-daughter JoAnn Mowry Handley and friends will again put on the punch and cookies, and drag out the old Scottsdale High School annuals for all us “kids” to enjoy.
Labeula was quoted back in 2006:
“I just always wanted to do what I could to help the neighborhood I lived in. To me, you help your community. It’s part of life. You do what you can and you don’t make a big deal out of it.
Those are words we could all live by. And keeping the past alive definitely fits that description.
- Scottsdale High remembrances from the 1950s.
- Labeula received the Frances Young Unsung Community Heroes award in 2006.
- History of the Old Timer’s Reunion.
- Historic photos from Rural Metro Fire Department’s history.
- Old Timer’s Reunion Facebook page.