We All Die...

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, May 24, 2023.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Nope, not being morbid, just realistic. After 20 years of living in Sun City, the one constant is death. A good number of us who move here know this is our last stop, our final resting place. Perhaps it's the reason over the years, so many of us moving to Sun City embraced it with so much love, with such a commitment. To be clear, some will buy and leave, returning to be with the family, but many of us realize, this is it.

    And in my humble opinion, it doesn't get better than this. I cannot picture a life beyond what we have here being better than what we have. I can also tell you, after reading more stories from those who started coming in 1960, those feelings were identical to mine. It was all too often a love affair of the highest order.

    I've often written that the incredible numbers of Sun City residents who dedicated and devoted their lives to making the community something special, better than how they found it, was massive. It wasn't ten or twenty, but ten's of thousands who gave back more than they ever took. They did it without asking for or seeking recognition.

    Volunteers don't do it because they want adoration. They do it because without someone putting up their hand and saying; "i can do that," it often times just doesn't get done. When that happens we are all a little worse off. When that happens, the place we live and love isn't everything it could be.

    So, what triggered this burst of pragmatic purity? Two things really; yesterday during my chat with my friend and fellow historian Ben Roloff, we talked about the years before we met in 2006. He moved here in the mid 90's and immediately got involved. RCSC committees were the first, but living in a twin home, he quickly became an officer for his condo association.

    That role evolved into getting elected to the board of the Condo Owners Association (COA). I knew he was the president his final year (2005), but i had no idea while there he helped rebuild it. I guess it should have come as no surprise, that's just Ben's style...dig in and do it right. All too often there's not enough folks who think or function that way.

    When we met in 2006 we had both been elected to the SCHOA (called HOA at the time) board, we were quickly frustrated by how little the organization was doing. The inmates were running the asylum and the board was complicit in allowing it. Within 6 months every employee but one quit. We told them we were going to help them be more effective; they weren't interested.

    Suffice to say it was an interesting time and when almost everyone left, our entire 9 person board pitched in and got us through the ordeal. It was vintage Sun City, those of us living here working together to accomplish a goal for the greater good. It wasn't always fun, but it was fulfilling and set the course for the organization to do what they had been created to do...enforce the CC&R's.

    While that's a cool story of unto itself, the real trigger for this piece was the blast email i got from Sun City Community Assistance Network (CAN) today. We've been members since we moved here, though back in those early years they were called the Sun City Tax Payers Association.

    That too is a fascinating story. Shortly after we came in May of 2003, the Tax Payers were buried in the muck of an ugly controversy with the RCSC and the selling of cap water rights. To this day i will never understand it. Their executive director, a young woman and a local attorney became the leaders of the charge to stop the sale (or trade).

    Early on i had taken an interest in governance and she gave me a binder filled with the legal logic behind the fight. I'm no attorney and never pretend to be one. I know the value of sound legal advice, but you know the saying, only a fool represents himself. I tried reading it and was quickly lost in the minutia. Most of us hate minutia because it has little attachment or impact to our daily way of life.

    Anyway, the organization that had been around for 3o plus years (or so) was quickly reduced to the rubble by an argument almost no one cared about. Membership plummeted. The executive director quit, the attorney walked away from the fight and a handful of committed residents were left with the carcass.

    In situations like that, when the organization is left for dead, they usually disappear. Thanks to a couple of stubborn well meaning individuals who understood the critical role they could play, the refused to let that happen. They rebranded and rebuilt it from the ground up.

    They understood that large numbers of Sun City residents were living below the poverty level. As Sun City residents outlived their resources, many were struggling to get by. The RCSC Sun City Foundation paid rec fees, but there were scant other local services available.

    Their rebirth came as the Community Assistance Network and from that they took off. This has been long enough for now, but when i come back tomorrow, we'll take a deeper dive into all they do. We'll also recognize the former board member and executive director who just died because both played important roles as the organization evolved and grew to what it is today.

    Let me just close by stating again, none of these folks did it for the glory, they did it because they believed in the concept of the greater good. That Sun City was going to be a better place because of their time here. Anyone who can get their head around that understands the concept of a life well lived.
    Nia N Maxwell, Say What, FYI and 2 others like this.
  2. Lyoness

    Lyoness New Member

    [The inmates were running the asylum and the board was complicit in allowing it. Within 6 months every employee but one quit. We told them we were going to help them be more effective; they weren't

    This attitude gets what may not be best, only what you think is best. "A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool." WS
  3. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Curious lyoness, were you living in Sun City in 2006? Normally i'd ignored your comment, but in this case i will make an exception. In fact, there's multiple ways to verify my remarks. If you ever run into Ben Roloff, ask him how the SCHOA staff were doing when we were elected. Second, stop down to SCHOA and ask to read the minutes from 2006. State statute mandates they have to keep them available. Finally, run down to the state archives where they store the states newspapers and grab calendar year 2006. There were two local papers back then, the weekly Independent and the 5 or 6 times a week Daily News Sun. Both had really active Letters To The Editor pages and SCHOA was ripped continually in each of them.

    The minutes also will include the full list of board members who were involved so you can reach out to them (yes it was a group effort). More importantly, the minutes will detail what happened and why. It was pretty simple, there were 75 "pending" CC&R violations; several that were more than two years old. The argument was, it was too expensive to process or proceed to litigation so there was nothing SCHOA could do.

    Once the staff all quit, we filled in and replaced them (the minutes should detail that as well). By years end we had taken the membership from 6000 to over 9000, cleaned up the vast majority of pending complaints and had re-established SCHOA's reputation. Don't take my word for it; it's all verifiable. Hope that helps.
  4. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Back to my point, we all die, when the Community Assistance Network (CAN) email newsletter came the other day, i noted the first two lengthy topics were death notices and tributes. The first a former executive director, Lynn Ann Rode and they described her this way; "She was the heart and soul of our organization for over five years." The second was for LaVerne Porsche who was awarded posthumously the "2022 Volunteer of the Year." She was a long time volunteer who got involved with their free tax preparation program, which serves countless numbers of Sun City residents.

    I have had the good fortune over the years of making remarks about Sun City residents who passed on at memorials for them. Sometimes asked, sometimes just at open mics. When i did it was invariably for residents who had given freely of themselves and their talents to make Sun City a better place. I'm always impressed by those who understand the importance of giving back more than they have taken. For me, it is easiest way to measure a "life well lived."

    By the way, if you aren't a member of CAN, you should be. Their evolution to an organization that helps the most needy of Sun City residents is spectacular. You need to join and help support those who need it the most.
    Nia N Maxwell likes this.

Share This Page