Vistoso 'joke' lasts 12 months - Tucson Local Media: Import

Vistoso 'joke' lasts 12 months

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Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2005 12:00 am | Updated: 7:49 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

March 23, 2005 - Some jokes take on a life of their own.

Otherwise, Mr. Bulris would not be Mr. December, sporting a big grin, ample skin, and a well-placed bow carefully guarding his modesty.

Actually, none of Vistoso Village's distinguished retirees would be posing as pinups for a wall calendar - Mr. Myhr wouldn't be Mr. March, and Mr. Wiczynski wouldn't be Mr. September - except that somebody made a joke.

That somebody was Judy Humitz. She and her friend Diane Uhl were driving in their gated Vistoso Village community off Rancho Vistoso Boulevard, several months ago, when they spotted a fellow resident out scrubbing his driveway.

"What are you two up to?" Mr. February asked, although at the time he was just Jim Aldrich. His tone implied that "mischief" was his guess.

Humitz hated to disappoint.

"We're scouting for male models for the center of our calendar," she quipped. It was the first thought that entered her mind.

Barely clothed seniors were on Humitz's mind for the same reason they've been on minds of movie watchers across the globe since "Calendar Girls" was released in 2003.

The movie's premise is this: A bunch of genteel ladies from the Women's Institute (that's British for "Junior League") pose nearly nude to create a fund-raising calendar. They just want to buy a couch - a memorial for a dead husband - but they end up with a bestseller and an invitation to Hollywood.

As a result of the movie, senior groups throughout England have stepped up to publish their own racy calendars for charity - from gardeners in Glouchestershire to librarians in London.

In the United States, a prim Red Hat Social Club from New Jersey produced "Beach Bums 2005," and models to the south offered "Treasures of South Texas 2005."

But in Vistoso Village, the calendar idea was just a joke - at the start.

"They're trying to put a calendar together, and they want guys to represent different months," said Aldrich to a friend, just months before he became Mr. February. "What would you say if they asked you?"

To Mr. October, then just Larry Keith, that sounded kind of fun.

The tongue-in-cheek conversation took place at Vistoso Village's weekly Friday social, a gathering notorious for inspiring crazy ideas.

The social group was the same one from which someone dreamed up Dilly Duck - the stuffed character that arrives in a basket on your driveway each time it's your turn to be in charge of the community center's lockup.

Dilly exists, now, and sports a knitted hat and scarf because one resident thought he looked cold.

In much the same way, Vistoso Village's far-fetched calendar joke started to come alive.

"What if we made money on it so we could get something we need?" Humitz wondered, after more than a couple of men facetiously vied for prime calendar spots.

Other groups had raised big bucks with nearly naked members hiding behind everything from their pastries to their pets. And Vistoso Village excelled at fund raising. That's why its community center had fans, pool-side furniture, and fine drapery.

Uhl and Humitz got serious about their joke. They scouted out 12 models and recited the stipulations. One prop - a flower pot, or a beach ball, perhaps - was all they'd get.

Two models declined resolutely, taking a there's-no-flower-pot-big-enough stance.

The other 12 vowed they were ready to drop everything for their neighbors.

"The guys will just step up and do something crazy anytime," Aldrich said.

One by one, the models started showing up for photo shoots - their props and their wives in tow.

They ranged in age from 62 to 87. They modeled in their hats and shoes and, yes, shorts were allowed.

Mr. May sported an oversized coffee cup and saucer as his prop of choice. Mr. June sported a bouquet of flowers. Mr. October made himself a skirt of beer cans because he appreciates fermented grain.

The photography was not fine art, and not everyone in Vistoso Village loved the concept. Its raciness raised some eyebrows. Still, the men's "Young at Heart 2005" calendar netted about $600.

Of 150 copies, only one remains. It will be autographed by each model and auctioned off at a community variety show April 6.

Perhaps Hollywood's not going to come knocking at the gate of Vistoso Village, but the community center has a new refrigerator.

And there's talk of more fund raising in

the future.

"The joke that goes around now is that they want to see a 2006 calendar of the ladies," Uhl said.

Some jokes take on a life of their own.

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