COBWEB CORNERS: Potato chips and cameras

By Mel McFarland

       In this job, I am occasionally challenged to support something. I did a column about aromas. Here is one for you today, and it fits in with one of my favorite streets: “The Avenue.” Ever go walking down the street and pick up an aroma you had not sniffed in years?
       In 1949, when the Golden Cycle Mill closed, my father, like many on the Westside, found himself looking for a job. He had worked in a bakery in the Army and in Colorado Springs before he got his mill job. A few of the guys heard that a new factory was hiring in Colorado City. My dad ventured over and was hired. Frank Lynch needed good help. He had started his business downtown behind Goodyear Tires. Now, on the south side of the 2300 block of Colorado Avenue, across from Safeway on the north side (today's Goodwill Store), he built a large factory. This spot had been the site of the Safeway Garage. In his modern building, Lynch set up an assembly line. What did the factory make? Potato chips! Golden Flake Potato Chips. I loved to go visit. The smell for a 6-year-old lad was heaven. There were even buckets of rejects you could have! Unfortunately it turned out to be only a temporary step for my dad. Today the building is part of the Goodwill complex. The factory was bought out in 1960, moved to Sinton Road and eventually closed.
       Someday I will talk about where some of the guys had lunch (the Merri Lane), but between there and F&L Foods, Bill Henderson had a camera shop. My dad knew Bill, and so would I as I grew up. Anyway, around this time, Bill had a young man working in his photo lab. One day a few of the fellows invited him to join them down at the other end of the block, at the drug store. Little did he know this was going to change his life!
       There was a nice young waitress down there, and the fellows sort of liked her, and they thought Tony ought to meet her. Before he knew it, there the two of them were, and the other fellows were gone! The two of them hit it off, and they have since celebrated many years of marriage. Today Bill's camera shop is gone, but he also started one of the Pike's Peak Region's last truly hometown banks in Old Colorado City. And Tony - he has had a very fine camera shop downtown for many years. He has a spot where he can watch, through telescopes, my trains on top of the Peak!