Signs of the past

Selling Sun City with cards, movie

Posted 12/2/22

Sun City residents were among the most effective sales personnel for the growing community.

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Signs of the past

Selling Sun City with cards, movie


Sun City residents were among the most effective sales personnel for the growing community.

John Meeker sought ways to assist them and his public relations staff came up with a creative approach — a custom-designed Christmas card that would be offered free to residents willing to send them to friends and relatives.  Each year’s card was an elaborate, die-cut, folded greeting that featured scenes of winter life in Sun City — pictures of people golfing, swimming and enjoying themselves outdoors.

One year, a 45-rpm record was sent with a special holiday greeting. Imagine being retired in Wisconsin or Minnesota during a cold, snowy winter and receiving a Christmas greeting like one of the examples pictured with this article. It just might cause someone to want to experience winter in Sun City.

A movie from the mid-1960s captured the joy of active retirement in sunny Sun City, and is shown in the Sundome Jr. Theater — the smallest theater in Arizona — located at the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum, 10801 W. Oakmont Drive, Sun City. Visitors can relax in one of six seats rescued from demolition of the Sundome in Sun City West and can enjoy the story of one couple’s discovery of Sun City.

The film is a stirring drama of Ben Huggins, who retired after 30 years of service. His gift was a retirement party and the usual inscribed pocket watch. At first, he revels in his new-found freedom — swinging in a hammock, playing golf on an uncrowded midweek day, mowing the lawn, touching-up the paint on his house, planting a garden and more. His loyal, loving wife is there for him with cool lemonade after his exertion.

Then winter arrives. No more golf or gardening. His spirits begin to sag. Then his wife comes to the rescue. She suggests visiting friends who moved to Sun City and love it there. Off they go for the day-to-day excitement of, as their friends say, “Living like millionaires.”

The film was originally sent to theaters across the nation, where it was shown to millions of Americans in addition to a main feature.