A new PBS documentary shines divine light on the Spanish priests and colonists who first settled the American Southwest.
The first explorers to put down roots in what would become Arizona didn’t arrive on wagon trains yelling, “Westward Ho!” Long before the earliest English-speaking, fur-trapping mountain men entered the future state in 1825, Bible-toting Spanish pioneers had migrated for centuries from another compass point.
In early 2007, Brad Archer, then curator of ASU’s R.S. Dietz Museum, got a call from a friend at the construction site of a new Walmart store in Mesa. Archer’s friend, a nursery owner who dabbled in paleontology, was excavating a hole for a tree when he turned up bones.
Spanish Trails was to be Dr. Kenneth Hall’s pièce de résistance, the first in a nationwide chain of massive bowling alleys featuring a French restaurant and multiple nightclubs. Set in a Moorish/Disney-esque fortress built from recycled materials without any bank financing, the project fell shy of its lofty goal. “It was our family’s Vietnam,” his son Walter Hall says. “Its craziness only seemed to alchemize more craziness. He took umbrage when my brother told him, ‘Dad, bowlers aren’t really into French food.’”
Dr. Kenneth Hall operated a Sunnyslope hospital with a primate zoo until unauthorized medical surgeries used to illegally finance a nearby bowling alley led to his downfall
Mixing apes and appendectomies seems like an ill-advised business practice, but not to Dr. Kenneth Hall. In 1955, the maverick physician opened Sunnyslope’s North Mountain Hospital, a resort-like medical facility with stunning views of Phoenix. Even more sensational was the bizarre attraction located on the hospital grounds: a monkey zoo.
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Dr. Kenneth Hall operated a Sunnyslope hospital with a primate zoo until unauthorized medical surgeries used to illegally finance a nearby bowling alley led to his downfallMixing apes and appendectomies seems like an ill-advised business practice, bu...