When more than 80 Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community seniors gathered for the monthly senior breakfast at the Salt River Community Building, upon their arrival they were greeted by posters of the popular Valley TV program The Wallace and Ladmo Show, which ran from 1954 to 1989.
The seniors entered the room happy and excited, and were even more excited when they stopped at the table to enter a raffle drawing to win one of four Ladmo Bags displayed on the table. They walked away chatting to each other, reminiscing about the show and how they would like to win a Ladmo Bag.
Community Vice-President Martin Harvier welcomed the seniors and updated them on their upcoming meeting with the SRPMIC Council. Then Harvier himself was presented with one of the Ladmo Bags.
“I always wanted one of these,” said Harvier as he went up to receive his bag. “I remember coming home from school and watching the show every day.”
Before the breakfast, Physical Fitness Specialist Dion Begay instructed a 15-minute session of chair exercises. Begay started off with some simple stretches and then continued to a few cardio exercises. The seniors stomped their feet and circled their arms to get their blood flowing. Next they did some strength training, lifting their arms as if they were holding weights in their hands. After that was a final stretching.
During breakfast, the seniors were given updates and information on the Community’s activities and programs for seniors.
After breakfast was the special treat: The seniors were greeted by 80-year-old Bill Thompson, who played “Wallace” on The Wallace and Ladmo Show.
Huhugam Ki Museum Archivist Steve Hoza has been a friend of Thompson’s for 25 years and runs the official “Wallace” Web site, www.wallacewatchers.com. The Web site sells Ladmo tie T-shirts and DVDs of The Wallace and Ladmo Show; the money goes to different charities.
Hoza and Thompson shared a PowerPoint presentation all about the history of the TV show and its characters; they also showed an episode of the show. At the end of the presentation was the drawing for the Ladmo Bags and other prizes.
One Ladmo Bag winner was Lemuel Wood. As he walked up to get his prize, he chuckled and said that this was the second Ladmo Bag he won in his lifetime, the first being when he was around eight or nine years old.
The event ended with “Wallace” signing autographs for all the seniors who wanted one.