Meet a Westsider:
Jack Ekstrom

Profession/Occupation... freelance artist.

What I like most about the Westside is... its real Wild West character (and characters), not unlike Deadwood, but this place is much better, it's a very unique community in a very historic location.

If I could change anything about the Westside, it would be... to bury all the utility lines.

A good movie I’ve seen recently is... “Deadwood,” which actually is a TV series I've been renting.

The worst advice I’ve ever gotten was... to move to California. After several years there we finally left and ended up here by accident, but this is a great place to be, far better than California.

If I could meet someone famous, I’d like to meet... Uncompahgre Ute Chief Ouray and his wife Chipeta, who certainly often were through the Westside. I was born near his home in the San Juans and always have felt akin to him. His history is even older than the Westside, and I love his spirit.

The next time I travel, I’m going to... to cruise to Mexico to bask in the sun of the Pacific Riviera. This has been a long, cold winter and it's not over yet.

My favorite childhood memory is... standing in Ridgeway when I was 3, hearing the cry of the Galloping Goose narrow-gauge train as it came down Red Mountain into Ouray. We ran to the back of our property to scream as the black 1926 Buick engine and passenger/cargo car roared past on its way to Montrose, honking its horn.

My favorite year-round pastime is... painting and drawing scenery and people in Colorado and New Mexico.

Something good I’ve read is.. “Red Thunder, the Last Free Days of the Ute Indians,” by Val Fitzpatrick. I learned a lot about Colorado west of the Westside in the same era as this community's beginning.

My pet peeve is... people who still propagate the “manifest destiny” westward expansion movement.

If I won the lottery, I’d... rebuild all the narrow-gauge railroads throughout Colorado and use them as a statewide light rail system.

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.