EDITORíS DESK: Words of wisdom from Ed Schoch

       In the article/obituary on Ed Schoch this issue, he is eulogized by those he knew him for his wisdom, bravery and business sense.
       Thus, it might be worthwhile to consider a comment he made a few years before his death. In a presentation at the Old Colorado City History Center, Schoch said, "The thing that disturbs me most about Old Colorado City is that the cost of owning or renting property is getting so high that the overhead costs are getting out of proportion to selling your space. So you could be putting yourself out of business pretty easy."
       He was talking about commercial property, but his points could apply just as well to residential property. Is there anyone you know (excluding Bill Gates and professional athletes) with enough money to buy a house and start a business - as Ed and Edna Schoch did on a soldier's pay - without taking out a loan? Ordinary folks could do that 50 or more years ago, if they were hard- working and thrifty. Yet today the idea seems as unlikely as Colorado Springs deannexing Old Colorado City.
       I don't understand the dynamics at work here. I've talked to real-estate people about why Westside values keep going up. The responses seem to be, why worry, higher property values are good for everyone. But are they? The house next door is being sold for the fourth time in eight years. Each owner makes minimal improvements, then sells it at a fat profit. We're talking prices zooming from $80,000 to $190,000 in that time, while the house deterioriates. Is that good for a neighborhood? What do we tell the kids growing up here? Save up like the Schochs did? Not any more. And that's too bad.

- K.J.