What do you do?
Roberta Hardy

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I’m retired from a 40-year teaching career (high school and college Eng-lish, speech and journalism). Now I volunteer at the Old Colorado City Historical Society, where I’m currently president of the OCCHS Board.

What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       My responsibilities as president include providing the agendas and chairing the monthly meetings. This year I’ve also taken on the bookstore ordering and staffing, and I’ll be on the committee for our Holiday Tour fundraiser this December.

How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       My husband David and I moved here from Liberal, Kansas. We’d both taught in that area for many years. I came to Colorado Springs in 2012 and the OCCHS was the first thing I joined. I’ve volunteered in the bookstore and for various fundraisers.

What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       The history of Old Colorado City. We are so fortunate to have this special place with all its past preserved. Working in a 127-year-old building in a 159-year-old town really brings the history of this area to life. Add to that the fact that many people who are OCCHS members can relate personal experiences from their own or parents/grandparents’ lives here, and I can literally learn from direct sources. Reenacting OCC characters for Haunted History and Founders Day has also given me opportunities to research people and events that shaped our little corner of the world.

If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       We’d have more volunteers. OCCHS has over 300 members, but only a few volunteer in the bookstore or for fundraisers. OCCHS is staffed and operated solely by volunteers who serve as docents, run the bookstore, secure and present monthly programs, write and edit a newsletter and maintain the building and grounds.

What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       I always loved history, and the OCCHS offers an opportunity to learn regional history and to read, write and speak about it. I don’t know that I was never prepared for any part of OCCHS except for having to deal with homeless potty breaks on our property. That wasn’t covered in my education classes or my teaching career.

What makes working on the Westside special?
       The people, the opportunities, and the wonderful history.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.