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Charity developing Sandra Day O'Connor history project

PHOENIX -- A Valley charity that is dedicated to continuing the lifetime work of Sandra Day O'Connor says it needs your help.

The O'Connor House does its work from the adobe home where O'Connor and her husband John lived. The home is now on the Arizona Historical Society campus. The charity has started an oral history project and is looking to talk with friends, family and colleagues of the former Supreme Court justice.

"Those that may have crossed paths with Sandra Day O'Connor, worked with her in some, way, shape or form are the individuals we'd like to hear from," said O'Connor House President Sarah Suggs.

She said they've been working on the project over the summer.

"We've identified over 200 individuals, including one person who rode the school bus with her," Suggs said.

O'Connor House is also looking for memorabilia -- which, along with recorded conversations, will be used in future public exhibits and in a virtual library honoring O'Connor.

"We are aiming to catalog these remarkable stories of people who helped shape her as one of the most remarkable women in America's history," said Suggs.

For more information on the project or if you have items you or information on O'Connor to share, you can call 602-730-3300 or visit the O'Connor House's website.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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