September is a bitter-sweet month each year as we know our summer days at 

Munds Park are limited and we must say good-bye to dear friends until next spring. 

Munds Park is what we call the world’s best kept secret,  a wonderful little 

community of 3000 people, 17 miles south of Flagstaff, Arizona. Although it is only a 

2 hour and 10 minute ride door to door,  at 7000 feet elevation, it is always 30 

degrees cooler than the scorching high temperatures of  Phoenix.   No air-

conditioning required here and we can sleep with the windows open enjoying 

mountain breezes.

The weather is only one attraction. The best thing about Munds Park, also called 

Pinewood, are the wonderful people and variety of activities we get to enjoy with 

them. Golf, (for all levels of play), tennis, pickle ball (our new latest passion) bridge 

(I’m not smart enough for that one), Mahjongg, Hand and Foot, Water Aerobics, 

Bingo, Community Theatre, Cabaret Theatre (both starring all local talent with a 

playbill that reads like Broadway). Oh, and not to forget Childrens’ Drama Camp for 

all ages with charming performances after their weeks of rehearsals. Our grandson 

Kevin, now 13, has been a “star” for five years and it’s a joy to see him and the other 

young actors develop their confidence on-stage.  There are book discussion groups 

and even a writer’s group which helped me immensely as I was trying to complete 

my novel, “I’ll Always Be With You”. Knowing I had to have material for them to 

critique each week kept me on track.

We bought a town home here in 1996 when we were both working so only came up 

for weekends, trying to find the time when 1-17 was safest to travel. Friday nights 

going north and Sunday nights headed south could make the 2 hour drive into 4 

hours as there are few alternative routes. About 5 years ago, we retired and were 

able to spend most of the summer here.  Our townhome has four units connected 

and because we spend most of the time outdoors on our patios, our neighbors have 

become like second families to us through the years, as we enjoy each other’s 

families when they visit.  Watching all the kids play in the grassy cul de sac on a 

summer night is a joy. Not to mention we have a few adult beverages at nightly 

happy hours.   It’s not uncommon to share what we are cooking or to borrow what is 

missing from our own cupboards, as the nearest grocery store is 17 miles.  Unless 

you want to pay convenience store prices, such as  $2.79 for a can of tomato sauce.

Much of the social life revolves around the country clubhouse with live music on 

weekends, Kareoke nights, casino night, 50’s sock hop—any reason to have fun. But 

probably the best event of all is the small town 4th of July parade with homemade 

floats, decorated golf carts and bicycles. You have to set your lawn chair out the 

night before if you want a seat along the half- mile route.  A beautiful display of 

patriotism that makes your heart sing.

And speaking of singing, I remember a song when I was growing up in the 40’s and 

50’s..something like, “I love those kind hearts and gentle people who 

live in my home town.”  Yes, that describes them perfectly.

Pinewood has always had a special place in my heart but especially this year 

because these kind and gentle people have embraced my debut novel beyond my 

wildest expectations, buying multiple copies for family and friends.  

Thank you dear friends.