Thursday, September 13, 2012

1959 Phoenix Skyline

This was once the Phoenix Skyline view from Van Buren St. There is a sign for the Sahara Hotel, which, became known affectionately as the Marilyn Monroe Hotel (now a parking lot,) The Valley National Bank building (which is supposedly back on track to becoming a boutique hotel,) The Adams Hotel, currently the site of the Renaissance Hotel, and wait.... What is that... a car on a Pole? with a mannequin? No, is looks like a real real person. Indeed! That was Lonesome Long John Roller a KHAT radio personality.

If Roller could live in the car and break the world's record for flagpole sitting, he would receive a FREE car. He never left the car in 244 days. How did he do it? Three meals a day were delivered via a tray on a rope and pulley system. Bath was done 3 times a week in a plastic kiddie pool. The '59 Ford Sunliner was equipped with a mattress, portable TV, PA system, his guitar, several pairs of long underwear,  and his cat. Visited in the car by Al Casey a legendary Arizona Guitar player and Al's wife, to record 2 songs "Hay Mama" and "Flagpole Rock". The later could be purchased from John at the Flagpole. John succeeded and won the car. Though, afterwards the sales staff were have said to have overcharged him for food and supplies. So much, in fact that he immediately sold the car to pay those bills. 

We are looking for John Roller. If you have information let me know? Special Thanks to John Dixon and Charles Phoenix for their assistance.


  1. How cool is that??!! and I am so glad you know Johnny D-he's a cool guy and knows SO much about music!!

  2. I was in 3rd at Saint Mary’s elementary school , at recess we would look up there and wave, and wonder how he would go to the bathroom