Meet a Westside Pioneer!
Crystal Rhodes

What kind of career have you had? I was a nurse for 53 years before retiring at the age of 75.

Can you tell us about your marriage? Iíve been married 62 years to Paul Rhodes. My maiden name was Hough. We met in La Junta where I was studying for a nursing degree at the Mennonite Nursing School.

Did you have children? Three boys.

Are your children still here? One here on the Westside and two in Denver.

Can you tell us about your parents and grandparents? My grandmother, Susan Amelia Hough, and my mother, Viola Priscella Hough, moved here in the 1920s when my mother was about 28 years old. My mother worked as a waitress in Manitou and then as a housekeeper and caterer for the well-to-do.

What are your best memories of growing up on the Westside? It was always a loving, cooperative community. We never locked our doors. When we were little, weíd sell boxes of raspberries or flowers to the neighbors. We had chickens, rabbits, goats and geese and grew our own garden and canned everything. Circle and Platte was once where the farmers had their market. The town had 35,000 people until Camp Carson moved here. I was a guide for the tourists that rented from us. We had three cottages and a store that was made into a cottage later that we rented out. We had all kinds of people visit, including an Amish family.

What is gone from the Westside now that you wish had stayed? As a community, I wish the trust of one another would still be here. For example, we now have to lock our houses and cars.

What has stayed that you wish had gone? Weíre pretty well satisfied with the way things are around here.

How about the way things have changed? The Shrine Club used to be Arensdale School, which I attended for first grade. When the Depression came, they had to close three schools and so all the neighborhood children were bused to Whittier. A lot more traffic. We rode the bus and sometimes the streetcar. My husband and I rode the bus the first five years of our marriage. Highway 24 wasnít here. The stores in Old Colorado City arenít that much different.

Overall, is the Westside better or worse than when you were a kid here? Itís not that much different. But itís much more modernized and the people are less caring about each other.

ďMeet a Westside PioneerĒ interviews people who were born, raised and still live on the Colorado Springs Westside. If you meet that criteria (or know someone who does), please give us a call at 471-6776.