COBWEB CORNERS: It’s the law!
By Mel McFarland
We think of the old movies, or TV westerns when the subject of the law comes up. One of my old favorites was “Gunsmoke.” The Old West was certainly not what everyone thinks of, around here in particular. As I read old newspapers, I get a chuckle out of some of the hot news that pops up. True, there were some real, honest headlines, but often some of the news was definitely “back burner” stuff.
Just about 70 years ago, the big news in the summer was traffic.Through the summer, it was fairly common to see cars on their sides. Even in the streets of Colorado City there were some early tragic traffic accidents. Back then when two cars came together, or a car and a wagon, usually one of them wound up on its side. Cars were a lot higher off the ground than today. The streets were not getting much quieter back then. Many of the business owners begged for some kind of traffic control along streets like Pikes Peak Avenue.
The policemen in Colorado City were new to traffic enforcement. There were a couple men who used to walk a beat up and down Colorado Avenue during the day. Law enforcement might turn up people who were not taking care of their sidewalk, or taking care of their ash pits. Yes, everyone had an ash pit, and a trash burner in their back yard. With most of the heat coming from coal furnaces, many had a nice supply of ashes. The ashes were used in the winter for grit on icy sidewalks among other things. Real excitement in the old days might be someone who forgot to hitch up his horse and it wandered down the street.
Anyone who rode a bicycle recognized that there were some specific rules for them. Wheels, as they were commonly called, were to be ridden in the street, not on sidewalks. Woe be it for anyone who rode his Wheel up the sidewalk; he could get a $5 fine. Not only that, but even Wheels had speed limits! I have read of youngsters getting speeding tickets while riding their bicycles down some of the hills in Colorado City!