January 28, 2011 | 8:30am
A screen cap of the Lost Phoenix blog
Note: This blog has been updated with information since its initial publication.
Marshall Shore is from New York, but you'd hardly guess that based on how much he knows and loves about Phoenix. Shore's blog, Lost Phoenix
, highlights historical places and events that helped shape the culture of the Valley, but which are quickly disappearing.
One of Shore's big passions is the vintage signs that once adorned businesses around Phoenix. He blogs about the beauty of signs for places like Buckhorn Baths
, the Kon Tiki motel, and Mr. Lucky's, and seeks to preserve endangered signs, like the neon sign for the recently closed My Florist Cafe
He also holds monthly "Retro Spectacular " events at Phoenix Metro Retro (the January event featured sign maker Glen Guyett, and makes T-shirts adorned with vintage signs from around the Valley, including the Kon Tiki, the diving lady sign, the Log Cabin Motel, and the Sahara Inn. The latter place, as Shore points out, was where Marilyn Monroe stayed when she was filming the movie Bus Stop in Phoenix.
Shore's T-shirts are available at his monthly events, and also at Zinnia's at Melrose (724 W. Indian School Road) and ecOcentricity
(137 W. McDowell Road).
"I've been a librarian for 20 years and thought there was something larger. People were telling me I knew more about their community than they did,"
Shore says of his blog. "I was thinking about all these disappearing buildings and how to preserve our history."
In addition to blogging the history of and attempting to preserve vintage Valley signs, Shore hopes to revive some of the Valley's lost cultural events, like the "Mask of the Yellow Moon" ceremony that was held here from 1926 to 1955. Shore describes the event as being like Mardi Gras, and says one year, the "Mask of the Yellow Moon" event had 157,000 audience members in two nights. He'd like to see it brought back.
Another defunct event Shore discusses on his blog is the "Miracle of Roses" pageant, which he says is being revitalized along with the Old Adobe Mission in Old Town Scottsdale. His blog also pays tribute to the passing of Valley icons like Mary Lou Gulley, who was the inspiration for (and longtime resident of) the Valley's legendary Mystery Castle.
But Shore's Lost Phoenix blog isn't just about sharing information on our vanishing culture -- it's about passion and enthusiasm, and it's Shore's devotion to his cause that makes Lost Phoenix one of the blogs that make us happy.