Thursday, May 25, 2017

Good Neighbors?

When the Washington Park Profile comes out each month, I immediately turn to the University Park News and Views column to find out what's happening in my neighborhood.  I was happy to see that the University of Denver's quarterly Good Neighbors Meeting was going to take place Wednesday, May 24th.  I missed it last time because they moved the meeting to the previous evening, which was a great disappointment.  I want to attend these meetings because DU says it's number one priority is to move the DU Light Rail Station to the corner of University and Buchtel Boulevards, which is where my condo building sits.  Therefore, I requested the night off at my part-time job and showed up yesterday at the appointed time.  I saw on the events sign at the entrance to the Chambers Building that the meeting was to take place in room 160.  I hurried there, and it was empty.  Fooled again.  What is the deal with this?  DU wants to be good neighbors, but they don't seem to want to meet with the neighbors whose neighborhoods they want to take over for their own use.  Surprise!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Shooting For The Stars

I just finished reading Shooting for the Stars, the second book in the Gil Malloy mystery series by R.G. Belsky.  Like his first book, The Kennedy Connection, and his latest effort, Blonde Ice, it was an excellent story, featuring hard-driving newspaper reporter Gil Malloy.  These books are a fun read, written with good humor and a compelling story.  I suggest you order all three from you local bookseller today.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Even More Wedding Nostalgia...

Last week on this Blog I posted some photographs taken at the weddings of several Hatch's Bookstore employees back in the 1980s.  But before I moved to Denver, back in the late 1970s, my entire family and I attended the wedding of our cousin Betty.  My parents drove up from Stuart, Florida, and we once again all got together as an extended family like we used to in the good old days.  I think this was probably the last time that ever happened.  I moved to Denver, soon to be followed by my sister Susan and brother-in-law George, and my parents for the most part stayed put in Florida.  In the photograph on the left (from left to right) are my sister Susan, my Uncle Jack (my mother's brother), my father Nelson, my mother Mary, and my cousin Byron, Betty's baby brother.

Betty, by the way, was married to Tom for many years and they had two children, Carrie and Sandra.  Tom worked as the Lumber Manager at Gee Lumber, a popular lumber yard and home improvement chain in the Chicago area before places like Home Depot and Lowes put them out of business.  Tom had a major stroke while still in his forties, was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, and could no longer speak.  I am not sure how much he was aware of us and his surroundings, although he let his youngest daughter Carrie help him. After a year or two, Tom passed away, and a few years after that Betty met Frank at her church, and they got married.  We were all very happy for them, and they were happy together for the rest of their lives.  My sister and I never saw any of our Chicago relatives again after we moved to Colorado, although my mother went back a few times to visit with them. Years ago, people would remain in their neighborhoods, such as our south side Chicago community of Brainerd, for their entire lives.  Now everybody is spread out all over the country.  Just a sign of the times. I guess.  And in a way very sad.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Couple With The Yellow Ducky

I live across the street from the University of Denver's Ritchie Center, an athletic facility on the University of Denver campus.  This time of year the facility hosts high school graduations - dozens of them, almost every day of the week.  There was one of these graduation ceremonies that took place yesterday morning, and I took the above photograph of a couple leaving the Ritchie Center with a huge yellow ducky.  What I want to know is what they were doing with it?  Was it a graduation gift that they took with them to the ceremony?  If so, I would think the people sitting behind them would complain.  Perhaps they were simply using the facility's El Pomar Nataorium (the swimming pool) and were just heading home.  It is indeed a big pool, so I suppose a huge yellow rubber ducky would not be out of place.  I suppose they could have been selling little rubber duckies to the graduates and the big one was just an advertising tool, but when did little rubber duckies become a hot graduation gift?  I myself got a dictionary for college when I graduated high school, but that was Chicago, and we were a different breed.  A whole different generation, too, I might add.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Giving Notice At My Part-Time Job

As regular Blog readers know, I have been working at a part-time job in the evenings and weekends at a local grocery store to help with expenses.  Fortunately, I was able to rent my sister Susan and my condo in Stuart, Florida for the year, which was my biggest expense, and the day before yesterday was able to mail the final installments for the property taxes for both my condo in Denver and the 40 acres of forest I inherited from my father just south of Herbster, Wisconsin (a long story).  And so, I felt it was time to give notice at my part-time job, where I shop for groceries ordered on the internet and deliver them to customers at their cars when they arrive at the store. In addition to the above reasons for giving notice, I can't help but mention that much of the time over the past four months or so it has been midnight, like last night, or after 9:00 P.M., as it was when I took the above photograph, when I finally get home.  It is sometimes hard to remember what the place looks like in the daytime.  In any case, I gave my final day as June 30th, to give my boss time to replace someone who is essentially irreplaceable.  And so it surprised me that 15 minutes later she had a post-it note with the name and starting date (July 2nd) of the person she wants to replace me sitting on the desk. Evidently everyone in the grocery store wants to transfer to our department and start living the good life.  Of course, I am sure the fact that they were able to replace me in 15 minutes doesn't mean they won't miss me, right? Who wouldn't?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Historic Buchtel Trail

I used to think that the Historic Buchtel Trail, which runs for almost a mile along Buchtel Boulevard starting just east of my Denver condo, was historic because of the early yuppies, who walked or jogged along it to Washington Park without the benefit of either bottled water or cell phones.  As great as those hardships were, it turns out that the trail is historic because it is the last remaining prairie in the City of Denver.  I learned this by reading the historic marker seen in the photograph above.  I suppose I could have read this years before, but each time I approached it my eyes were drawn to a huge sign warning of wild coyotes roaming the area.  When I took this particular photograph, I saw no such warning, and so was able to read the marker without worrying.  Which begs the question - are the coyotes gone, or does the city just assume we all know about the danger and doesn't feel the need to warn us about it anymore?  Good question.  Any answers?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Snow In Late May? Oh No!

Actually, it is not unusual to have snow in Denver this late in the year, although this is the latest snowfall we have had in 10 years.  I have personally seen it snow in Denver on June 6th, which was quite a shock to the system, even if it melted as soon as it hit the ground.  Yesterday's storm was far more messy than anything, and the snow melted as soon it hit the streets.  Of course, the local news stations claimed that the snowfall was much heavier to the south and north of Denver.  And Evergreen, a small town in the foothills just to the west, received 14 inches.  However, since the local news channels always make such a big deal about these storms, I think they often are just trying to justify their rather hysterical coverage.  But then again, as everyone knows, I am a cynic and a curmudgeon, so who knows?