Welcome to another edition of the "The 12 Songs of Arizona Christmas," in which local stakeholders detail their most cherished holiday songs. Consider this a musical Advent calendar, where your "treat" is a better understanding of the interesting people and organizations from across the city and state.
Seven Swans A-SwimmingFrank Bagnato, Sun City West "Swan Guy"
If you've ever visited Sun City West, you've likely noticed the swans throughout the community. As elegant as the birds are, they've been deemed a "pest," according to resident Frank Bagnato. The community's management has all but left them as easy prey for the community's sizable coyote population. In recent years, Bagnato and several concerned citizens plied the general manager and his staff to help relocate the birds. While the suburb has just a few birds remaining, Bagnato and the company's efforts demonstrate the connectivity and pride exemplifying this tight-knit community.
"If you asked me my favorite holiday song, it's terribly politically incorrect, but it's 'Baby, It's Cold Outside.' It's just a touching song, and one that's totally innocent. Anyone that thinks otherwise is totally just reading into it. Same for Laurel and Hardy's March of the Wooden Soldiers. It's a very funny movie. I think some people might think it's racist because the villain, Barnaby, has these kind of underworld followers who basically look like ape-men. But they just need to enjoy these for that they are. It's sort of like the whole swan thing, where [community management] are making this something bigger than it needs to be. There's three swans left, just stop making excuses and help them."
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.