Meet a Westsider:
I’ve been a homemaker all 43 years of our married life, with an occasional volunteer stint here and there with several charity groups, church and the PTA throughout our daughters’
schooling. I’m also an avid Francophile, having obtained a French degree in 1990. Now that my husband has retired, I’m working as hard as ever... I love cooking, playing bridge, oil
painting, hiking, road trips with my husband, visiting grandchildren and speaking and reading French.
What I like most about the Westside is... the immediate sense of history as one walks or drives in the community. The history of Old Colorado City and most of the Westside is perceptible, tangible and viable. In general, Westsiders have a keener sense of historical attachment to their surroundings than do people in newer parts of Colorado Springs.
If I could change anything about the Westside, it would be... a way to make the “chain restaurants” be more sensitive to the historical Westside surroundings when constructing their businesses as they are forced to in many other resort towns such as Sedona and Santa Fe.
A good movie I’ve seen recently is... “Fanny,” the trilogy by Provençal author Marcel Pagnol. He's more famous for the “Manon of the Spring” novel/movie, but his trilogy of “Fanny/Marius/César” is one of the most delightful love stories ever written. You can believe that I'm a romantic!
I'd like to discover... a perfectly preserved fossil of some unknown dinosaur. Grrrrrr...
If I could meet someone famous, I’d like to meet... (locally) General William J. Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs. On the national level, I'd love to meet Richard Bland, one of my ancestors, whom Thomas Jefferson considered his mentor. Internationally, I'd look forward to meeting the Marquise de Sévigné (1626-1696), who kept a lively correspondence with her daughter, Françoise, during a great part of Louis XIV's reign, giving us an intimate insight into the intrigues of the inner sanctum of the French court.
The next time I travel, I’m going to... go to France, to explore the Dordogne Valley, site of the Hundred Years War (14th-mid 15th century) and Wars of Religion (late 16th century), dotted with more than 1,500 castles as well as to parts of Provence and the Perigord, region famous for it's culinary traditions, pre-historic caves and rugged terrain.
My favorite childhood memory is... picking the veggies and fruits from my grandparents garden in upstate Pennsylvania. It seemed so natural for them to raise, pick and then preserve (by canning) the succulent produce, that I never had any doubt that I too would do the same thing. I've raised almost every veggie and herb, except corn-alas, no room for it.
My favorite summer pastime is... although I do consider myself an “Autumn” gal, loving the rusty reds, ambers and velvety browns of Autumn, I anticipate with glee when I can once again count on tending my potager garden to supply us with fresh savory herbs relieving me of having to buy the pricey ones at the grocers. I also love photographing and painting the Pikes Peak region at any time of the year!
Something good I’ve read is... “Genius” by James Gleick, about the life and science of Richard Feynman, a Nobel prize-winning physicist and one of the funniest brilliant men of the last century. You might find me reading a lot of culinary books about the history of food, wine and famous chefs. I also crave books on the local history of Colorado Springs, such as Irving Howbert's “Memories of a Lifetime in the Pike's Peak Region” (note the apostrophe in Pike's!) and invariably “Newport of the Rockies” (by Marshall Sprague and “Speck-The Life and Times of Spencer Penrose” (by Robert C. Olson).
My pet peeve is... that the younger generations are less and less appreciative of the hard work and foresightedness of the founders of not just OCC but of Colorado Springs in general.
If I didn’t have to work for a year, I would... spend a year living in France, moving about the vastly differing areas, studying the local lore, eating and drinking the products of the local farmers and restauranteurs and painting (oil) the intimate scenes of village life. Of course I’d be sharing all of this delightful event with my best friend/husband, Jim!
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.