Andeen: growing up on the friendly streets of the 85253

I fell in love with Mummy Mountain as a child. I fell in love with Paradise Valley as a child. How could I not?

Ellen Andeen

I grew up living on the side of Mummy Mountain. I’ve walked, hiked and ridden my horse on this mountain. I had childhood friends who would ride horses to our house from the Cherokee area. I learned to ride at Richardson’s stables off Mockingbird Lane and rode horses all around that area too.

Additionally, my mom and I would ride behind St. Barnabas where the new Ritz-Carlton property will be. On occasion, we made bank deposits at the bank drive thru on horseback at Lincoln and Scottsdale.

What fun it was to grow up here!

Cherokee elementary school was K-8 at the time and that is where I first stepped onto the basketball court. Our only real competitor was Kiva as we couldn’t compete with the larger Scottsdale schools, but we had a lot fun.

I still run into people who I know from kindergarten that are members of our community or their parents still are, or both. I even have a client in Tucson that I’ve known since kindergarten who lives and works down there. We chuckled when we initially greeted each other after so many years.

Chaparral was so huge to me coming from Cherokee, but I continued to play basketball there never playing JV, just freshman and varsity basketball. I also was one of the top flautists in the state of Arizona. I enjoyed being a part of the Chaparral marching band and participating in the Parada del Sol or competing and playing at halftime at Chaparral football games.

My Parent’s taught me through architecture what it meant to protect and preserve a mountain. What it meant for a home to showcase the mountain and all its magnificence. They showed me how to use the natural surroundings to build the home. Our home is built into the side of the mountain. You walk down the mountain directly onto our roof. All the stone work at our house is from rock collected there.

The home follows the same methodology of organic architecture that is from the teachings of Frank Lloyd Wright. My Parents’s home, built in the ‘60s, at one time was featured as a winner in the Western Home Awards Program in Sunset Magazine and appeared in the Phoenix Magazine along with other publications.

We even have the USC School of Architecture bring students out from time to time, to study the architecture of the home and if you Google our architect, Calvin Straub, our house is the one pictured on Wikipedia. I only mention all this, so you understand my point of reference when you talk about mountain preservation and development.

My first introduction into politics was through our neighbors, Judy and Earl Eisenhower. Earl was related to former President Eisenhower. Additionally, Mrs. Eisenhower worked for Barry Goldwater for almost 30 years.

I have wonderful memories spending time at the Goldwater residence as a child with Mrs. Eisenhower. They both made a point to educate me about our town, our state and our country. Additionally, when I became of age to vote, Mrs. Eisenhower made certain to get me registered.

The Eisenhowers also had a large basketball court where I’d spend hours practicing my game — there were no walls, neighbors would walk up to chit chat or I’d even have them guard me from time to time. Our local police officer would swing by too, to talk and help me with my game.

I spent hours outside in our neighborhood. That’s what we did.

Running into people who can talk with me about the old days of Paradise Valley is fun. Who remembers Gladys the Pig at the farm off Invergordon and Mockingbird? What about having Bill Keane of Family Circus living in our town or Robert McCall, Sandra Day O’Connor, Barry Goldwater, William Rehnquest, the Lincoln family, Herbergers and the list goes on.

I know I’m missing a lot of people and the Historical Committee, of which my mom serves, could assist me with remembering along with our town historians. I include the link here to our Historical Committee website, which showcases many of the interviews of people I have mentioned in this article, including my parents:

We truly are blessed to live in such a beautifully made town and where our town heritage is celebrated. Let’s do our part to continue to remember what makes Paradise Valley unique.

I feel truly blessed to have called Paradise Valley my home since birth.

Editor’s note: Ms. Andeen is a candidate in the Aug. 28 Paradise Valley Town Council election

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