Meet a Westsider:
Elaine Radney

Profession/Occupation... I’ve had several working phases in my life. I started out as an elementary school teacher, then I was a stay-at-home mom when my three sons were young, then I spent about 10 years as a travel consultant. In my 50s, I was a teacher’s assistant, after which I taught English at Mitchell High and Pikes Peak Community College before deciding to spend most of my time researching my own family’s history. These days, I am a freelance copyeditor, sometimes genealogist, and am working on what I hope is the final draft of my family narrative.

What I like most about the Westside is... the sense of community. I was gone a long time and lived in a lot of different places, but this part of town still feels like home. Memories of my childhood are everywhere. Here, it still feels like a small town.

If I could change anything about the Westside, it would be... This one is a hard question for me. There have been many positive improvements since I’ve been back, much of it focused in embracing our own history. I guess if I could change anything, I’d tone down the tacky tourist shops along Colorado Avenue – you know the ones I mean.

A good movie I’ve seen recently is... “Les Miserables.” I teared up at the Overture and blubbered throughout the whole movie (three hours!). I loved it.

I'd like to discover... who my Scottish ancestors were. After years of research, I still have no idea who our “over the water” folks are. My father’s family has been in America since the 1700s, my mother’s since 1800. I know the two clans were in close proximity in the Highlands. I’d love to know more about those early years.

If I could meet someone famous, I’d like to meet... the true Shakespeare.

The next time I travel, I’m going... Seattle. Two of my sons live there, and after all our dry weather, it’s wonderful to see so much green.

My favorite childhood memory is... driving up Ute Pass for Sunday afternoon picnics with my family. We’d often stop to fill our “little brown jug” with Manitou water and use it to make lemonade. Dad and Mom would tell us about their families on the way into the mountains. I think those trips sparked both my brother’s and my own respect for and interest in history. (My brother is Mel McFarland, the local historian.)

My favorite pastime is... long walks in falling snow.

Something good I’ve read is... Oh dear, how do I choose just one? I read a lot. Non-fiction: “Shakespeare by Another Name,” by Mark Anderson. Fiction: “The Winter Sea,” by Susannah Kearsley.

My pet peeve is... narrow-minded people.

If I didn’t have to work for a year, I would... I always said I’d write a book, but now that I am doing that, I’d have to say I’d travel to and around Scotland. I’d have to win the lottery first, which is a problem since I’m of Scottish descent, so I don’t “waste” my money on lottery tickets.

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.