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Meet a Westsider:
Betty Baker

      Profession/Occupation... I worked as a commercial underwriting specialist and trainer of underwriters for 32 years. I am now the co-president of the Old Colorado City Historical Society where I've volunteered since I retired in 1992. I've helped in every capacity as a volunteer there.

      What I like most about the Westside is... It is more like a family here than it is on the east side. When we moved here in 1955, it was secure and we didn't have to worry about the children playing outside on their own. I love the whole atmosphere of the area, the older trees, mountains nearby and the people.

      If I could change anything about the Westside, it would be...to go back to the way it was, bring back the family feeling. The caring of one another, that is what has changed a lot in the years. The buildings are the same or renovated so you can't tell from the outside that anything has changed but the family feeling is not the same. For example we used to be able to let our kids go down to the neighborhood store without worry and knew that people were looking out for each other. And it was fun going to Bancroft Park to watch a movie as a family.

      A good movie I've seen recently is... I don't watch movies at the theatre or on TV. I do enjoy the old movie series at the history center in the summertime. One of the movies last summer that I liked was “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” with Lon Chaney.

      The worst advice I've ever gotten ... and which ended up making me money, was to never buy rental units. The first one I bought was for my parents on 11th Street. I would buy older homes when they were really cheap, renovate them and rent them out and eventually sell them.

      If I could meet someone famous, I'd like to meet... I met someone famous when I worked for the Red Cross as a Gray Lady (the group name for ladies that helped the returning military). It was Bob Hope! I was assigned to help him on his visit at Fort Carson (Camp Carson at the time) to entertain the soldiers. He was very friendly, kind and personable.

       The next time I travel, I'm going to... I was going to go with my nephew to Kenya, Africa, this coming May to help him set up a ministry for widows. Sadly, he passed away last September. Although a date hasn't been set, I still plan on going with his wife in the future.

      My favorite childhood memory is... Getting to go to my grandmother's house and helping her cook breakfast for her roomers. She had a boarding house, and I really enjoyed helping her make the biscuits that she'd bake in her wood cook stove.

      My favorite fall pastime is... I really enjoyed snow skiing. The whole family skied. Now I stay inside, watch the snow fall and knit.

      Something good I've read is...I've read several of the Colorado History books that I get from the History Center. Currently, I'm reading a book about Red Rock Canyon.

      My pet peeve is... people who offer to do something and then don't show up and don't do as they said they would.

      If I didn't have to work for a year, I'd… I am retired, but I love to volunteer and do so at my church, the History Center, and sometimes at the ESM (Ecumenical Services Ministry).

(Posted 1/16/14; Opinions: Meet a Westsider)

       "Meet a Westsider" is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you would like to be a Meet-a-Westsider (or know someone who should be), please give us a call at 471-6776.