COBWEB CORNERS: Funny thing the conductor said
By Mel McFarland
I was reading a newspaper from 1914 when I saw this and laughed. It seems one August morning on the streetcar to Manitou, a tourist with several cameras in hand asked the conductor what the white on Pike's Peak was. The conductor must have heard the question many times before and responded with, "Madam, that is not snow you see. They paint the peak white to keep the insects from eating the red rocks and lowering the altitude on the mountain."
On the Pikes's Peak cog railway only about 15 years ago, two ladies were arguing about the white on the ground near the top. One said it had to be snow, the other said, no it must be styrofoam put there to impress the tourists. The conductor, overhearing this discussion said, "No, it is whipped cream, we are on the big red cherry, taking all the nuts to the top." No good conductor forgets this lesson.
On the Midland railroad nearing Glenwood Springs, the tracks went past an area where coal was turned into a high temperature material called coke, which was used in the steel-making process at Pueblo. As the train passed in the evening, the glow was quite impressive. A harried conductor was asked what it was. His reply was, "You are going to Glenwood Springs for the hot baths aren't you?" Quickly followed by, "This is where they heat the water!" The PR department in Denver was not impressed!
Manitou and Colorado City motels used to hire tours for the guests, using 1950s Cadillacs. An old friend used to drive these tours. Once he took a group of Kansas ladies into the mountains for the day. Coming down Ute Pass in the late evening. they spotted the fires at what was then the Manitou landfill. Asked what that was, he answered, "That is the Manitou Volcano." This was followed by, "No, it is not open at night." The next morning when he came into work, the boss had a question for him. "What the heck is the Manitou Volcano?" It seems the ladies had called in early in hopes of seeing it! Fortunately the boss had heard worse and my friend kept his job, but he was told to be more careful with remarks like this!