May 2022 Newsletter


George Igualt, head of the management company that oversees operations at The Resort, recently filled us in on a park improvement planned for this summer. 

The park’s streets will be getting a refresh, with sections of the asphalt undergoing “R&R” – that’s remove and replace (where the top couple of inches is taken up and fresh asphalt is then put down). This will happen in those places around the park with the greatest wear. (We learned that while asphalt is mostly impervious to regular automobile traffic, the turning of the wheels of weightier vehicles, like construction traffic and RVs, eventually cause damage that grows worse over the years.) The new asphalt will then sealed and new striping added. Elsewhere around the park, cracks in the roadway will be sealed.

NOTE: The work on the streets will begin in early May. This will, of course, entail some street restrictions. Watch the internal TV system for continuing updates.

The People of the Park…

John & Phyllis Statzer

by Dale Dauten

“Well it ain’t no secret,

I’ve been around a time or two.

Well I don’t know, but

Maybe you’ve been around too.”

Those are lyrics from the Chris Ledoux’s “Tougher Than the Rest,” a song that makes an unexpected appearance in a Resort love story:

John and Phyllis Statzer met line dancing, and John recounted for us a special memory. It’s from a club in Butler, Pennsylvania called Ghost Riders, a line dancing mecca because it’s a converted bowling alley that accommodates over a thousand people. It was there, with that Chris Ledoux song playing, that John surprised himself and even moreso, Phyllis, by confiding, “Hey, I think I’m falling in love with you.” That wasn’t quite as romantic as John might have hoped because Phyllis wasn’t ready for such pronouncements and danced on. But still, John remembers that as a turning point in the relationship and he eventually won her over. The two married in 2007, ten years after meeting.

Let’s back up and fill in the events that got them to that night at Ghost Riders…


John was born in Zelienople PA, north of Pittsburgh, where his dad was a mill worker, his mom a homemaker, and where John went on to be a star athlete at Seneca Valley High – football, basketball and track. In fact, his senior year he was voted Most Valuable Athlete, an award that came with a $500 check that he used to buy his first car, a ten year-old ’63 Impala. (Those Chevys went on to become collectors items, especially popular for low-riders. That’s a restored one pictured below.)

Although John received a football scholarship to Slippery Rock, he summed up his college experience in just four words: “It didn’t work out.” Instead, he was off to the Air Force as a fuel specialist and that did work out… eventually. He left the USAF, worked a while in the private sector, but ended up with a fulltime position with the National Guard that turned into a 39 year-long career. He might still be in that job except for a mandatory retirement at age 60. Along the way, he and his first wife had a son and daughter.“IT WAS TOUGH”

Meanwhile, Phyllis also grew up in Pennsylvania, in Butler, but hers was no idyllic upbringing. Indeed, her father passed away on her ninth birthday. She said of the years that followed, “My mom raised five kids and helped my aunt raise her six. We all lived together. It was tough, but we made it.”

After Butler High, Phyllis married. They lived on an organic farm, with sheep, chickens and horses, and there she homeschooled her three sons.

She eventually got divorced, moved into town and had a career with IBC (Wonder Bread, Hostess Cupcakes, Twinkies, etc.) and then with Costco.


When John and Phyllis settled down together, it was on three acres, with horses. As John said of that time, “When I got into line dancing, I decided that if I was going to dress like a cowboy, I should learn it.” So he took riding lessons and he and Phyllis went on to compete in barrel racing and team penning. (In team penning, you compete at how fast you can separate specified cattle from a small herd).

Eventually though, as John put it, “The horse/cowboy thing ran its course. With the weather in Pennsylvania, you could really only ride six months out of the years. So we bought a house in town.”

Phyllis described the rest of that transition: “What happened is we traded the horses in for two Harley-Davidsons,” adding, “My boys are big into bikes and if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”


During those times that the couple would come to Arizona to visit John’s mother, a resident of The Resort. (That would be Sarah “Sally” Leasher and John says of her, “She’s about to turn 90 and still rides her bike, dances and drives. She tried to go back to Pennsylvania to live in a retirement home, but she hated it; after six months, she came back to The Resort.”)

While John and Phyllis were visiting Sally, the inevitable happened – that old Resort magic took hold. “We got hooked,” Phyllis said. “We loved the weather and all the activities.” John recalled those early days, “Monty Montgomery invited me to play tennis, and I got hooked on tennis.” So the two bought a place just around the corner from the tennis courts and began spending half the year at The Resort.

“Once we got here we just bloomed,” Phyllis told us. “There are endless things to do.” (Photos from a couple of those events)

John has stayed hooked on tennis, and we’ll be writing about the Tennis Club for the next season. But, for now, we should point out that John established an annual fundraising event for The Resort’s tennis group. Each year they bring in a tribute band — for next season, it will be Bob Seger.

(The photos below are of the Statzers meeting with one of the tribute acts they saw in Vegas, and from a visit to Woodstock.)

While the Statzers are headed back to PA for the summer, they’ll return in time for tennis and, of course, for line dancing – or, as the Chris Ledoux song puts it,

“Well there’s another dance

All you gotta do is say yes”

Brenda Johnson has been taking some gorgeous photos of cactus flowers around the park and she has allowed us to pass along some samples…


Margie passed along a Summer Activities sheet as well as some photos from recent events:

2022 summer activity schedule.jpg




End of seson.jpg


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