Meet a Westsider:
Joyce Cheney

Profession/Occupation... Retired writer, museum exhibit developer and textiles curator. Currently, an environmental activist, plus a toddler’s goddess-mother.

What I like most about the Westside is... the neighborhood’s closeness to trails, walkability, interesting architectural mix, OCC library and friendly mix of people.

If I could change anything about the Westside, it would be... to improve transportation by drastically increasing public transportation and making cyclist/pedestrian paths/trails safer: (1) add real bike paths and not just streets with painted “sharrows” which are death traps for cyclists, (2) make street-trail intersections safer, and (3) fill in trail connectivity gaps, especially from Ridge Road to Manitou.

A good movie I’ve seen recently is... “Gasland II,” a daunting documentary exposing the health and environmental consequences of fracking.

I'd like to discover... a way for us all to be able to walk in each other’s shoes so that we work together from compassion, rather than work against each other from fear.

If I could meet someone famous, I’d like to meet... the Dalai Lama – inspiring and uplifting. Or Nelson Mandela, who has maintained the courage of his convictions for decades in the face of danger and massive opposition. For someone “not famous,” I’d like to re-meet my mom. She died when I was a teenager, so I never got to “meet” her as an adult.

The next time I travel, I’m going... Cottonwood Pass for one more fall hike above treeline. Farther afield, I’m going East at Thanksgiving to see geezer friends and relatives and to meet two new babies in the family.

My favorite childhood memory is... singing alto in our church’s youth choir. Sharing music feels so good – and harmonies are fun! Also, swimming in a Michigan lake at the end of summer when the water was finally warm.

My favorite fall pastime is... hiking with my dog and a human friend under a crisp blue sky; then cold water, an orange and a little chocolate…and a nap in the sun.

Something good I’ve read is... the Colorado Springs Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Block Captain’s Handbook. I’m hoping to start a Neighborhood Watch on our block; it’s one way we can make our street safer – and more helpful and friendly.

My pet peeve is... when people use male pronouns as the default – man-made, man in the street, chairman – there are tons of them! That leaves out the 51 percent of us who are females. Some say, “Oh, man! Don’t get worked up about it!”, but words shape thoughts, and thoughts shape attitudes and actions. Try using just-female pronouns for a week and then tell me it doesn’t matter!

If I won the lottery I’d... help local investors and the city collaborate to buy the Goodwill property in the 2300 block of Colorado Ave and put in affordable housing for seniors, plus a little cafe and a big (Olympic-sized) indoor swimming pool for the whole neighborhood to share.

Enjoy living on the Westside? You can tell the world why! Call our ‘Meet a Westsider’ editor at 471-6776.