This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Why there is a Ladmo Tree at Boyce Thompson Arboretum


If you were a kid living in Phoenix, Arizona between 1954 and 1989, you probably watched a local children's show called "Wallace and Ladmo". "Wallace" was Bill Thompson, and "Ladmo" was Ladimir Kwiatkowski. They worked together, and they were friends.

Wallace (Bill Thompson) on the top, Ladmo (Ladimir Kwiatkowski) in the top hat, and Pat McMahon (in the character of Gerald)

After Ladmo died, in 1994, his friend Wallace planted a tree at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, which is in Superior, east of Phoenix. It's the Ladmo Tree, and you can go see it. It's a pistachio tree, and it's not very big, so you will probably need to have someone there show you where it is. And if you're wondering if there's a connection between Bill Thompson (Wallace) and Boyce Thompson, there is. William Boyce Thompson was Bill's great-uncle.

William Boyce Thompson, founder of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and great-uncle of Bill Thompson ("Wallace")


Ladimir Kwiatkowski ("Ladmo") on the Arizona State baseball team in the 1950s

By the way, "Ladmo" (Ladimir Kwiatkowski) was on the baseball team of Arizona State in the 1950s. He and his friend Bill Thompson spent their lives making children happy. I didn't grow up in Phoenix, so I have no memories of them, but based on the affection that the kids that they entertained have for them to this day, they must have been pretty great.

So if you remember Ladmo, and would like to see the tree that his friend Bill planted to remember him by, go visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Speaking for myself, I can't think of a nicer way to be remembered.


The Boyce Thompson Arboretum is located at Highway 60 Milepost #223 near the historic copper mining town of Superior, about one hour's drive due east of Phoenix on the Superstition Freeway. Website: https://arboretum.ag.arizona.edu


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