I’ve been asked about the “Barb Wire Bob” column name. I’ll give you a brief explanation. As a youngster, growing up on a pioneer cattle ranch, I had a horse. My horse “Nancy” was my first steed at a very early age. She was a very gentle old mare that tolerated a very young rider. One afternoon I ventured out to see Nancy in the pasture taking her some oats. She saw me coming and lowered her ears and chased me out of the pasture to my utmost surprise. She died that night.
My father later purchased me a large black and white pinto pony that I adored. He was a gelding that could run like the wind. So, here’s where the BWB name comes in. The first week I grabbed some oats and ventured out into the horse pasture where there were a half dozen horses grazing. Paint was glad to see me. I grabbed his mane and climbed on his bare back without a saddle or bridal. Almost immediately the small band of horses became spooked and Paint took off running, I was hanging onto his mane for dear life.
The horses started running along a trail next to a barbwire fence.
I looked down and my bare leg was only inches from the sharp barbwire fence that could saw off my leg, and even worse, I could have tumbled off the horse onto the jagged fence. I hung on and the horses reached the end of the pasture and I slid off his back.
I don’t know how that ever became a column title, but it deals with riding out a challenge, facing adversity, and surviving. I needed better foresight in climbing on a new horse without a bridal or saddle.
(BTW, I have many more horse stories coming up). Anyway, it’s an unusual column title that has a connecting theme.
Now, the events of last week were a learning experience and somewhat remind me of the runaway horse tale.
Last Monday night was disappointing. For whatever reason, with no explanation, Councilmember Presley successfully moved a resolution moving Greenwood Village public notices to The
Littleton Independent, the same day that the historic newspaper was sold as part of Colorado Media News to The Colorado Sun, a Denver based digital online newspaper group.
I have nothing but respect for Jerry and Ann Healey who sold their newspapers to the non-profit group that contains The Colorado Sun and involves “The National Trust for Local News.”
I have read and followed the Independent going back to Ed Bemis, Haus Waring, Garret Ray, and Vern Bangert. Bob Tisch took a spin at the newspaper helm before taking bankruptcy. I attended the court auction of the newspaper several decades ago where it was sold to The Sentinel Newspapers. Years later it was sold to the Healeys who masterfully built a newspaper chain of local newspapers across multiple counties. They had some historic newspapers, including the Douglas County News Press and The Golden Transcript, along with the Littleton Independent that were century old publications. It was publisher Ed Bemis who engineered the Colorado Press Association to start publishing delinquent tax lists in the 1930s, still used by counties to collect delinquent taxes. The Bemis Library is named in his honor.
Where this new sale leads will be interesting to say the least.
In other activities The Villager leadership had a positive meeting with the outgoing and incoming Cherry Creek Schools superintendents. The leadership also met in a nearby park with impressive student leaders to listen and learn. Another productive meeting was with the Yip Foundation new board president, a new board member, and the executive director. I also attended a lunch with the incoming officers of the Monaco Optimist Club at Zane’s Italian bistro.
Thursday morning I had a coffee meeting with Arapahoe County Commissioners Nancy Sharpe and Carrie Warren-Gully to assure them and all county employees, that The Villager is sincerely sorry to have offended anyone in our April Fool’s parody.
Saturday afternoon I attended the 10th anniversary of John Elway Chevrolet and met general manager Jeff Silverberg and visited longtime friend A.J. Guanella, who once owned the General Motors facility. A.J. still shows up for work every day with decades of auto history and customer service experience. A very fine gentleman.
It was a pleasure to see my colleague in auto journalism, and former Villager auto scribe Bud Wells and wife Gen, at the anniversary celebration who were visiting with A.J. One reason I still subscribe to The Denver Post is to read Bud’s Saturday car reviews; not to read the New York Times or Washington Post editorials.
Saturday night Gerri and I tuned into the Cancer League virtual Hope Ball and watched with envy some of the wonderful trips donated to the Cancer League for the live auction. Scottie Iverson will have a report on the fundraising from the virtual ball event. Kudos to the Cancer League President Gary Reese and wife Barbara for their unending support of The Cancer League of Colorado. A huge thanks, also, to the Doug Moreland auto dealerships for donating a 2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport Willys for the raffle; they have made this generous gift for decades. We also loved to see the honor and love bestowed by the organization on Glory and the late Dave Weisberg; Dave being the first male president of the League. Glory made an uplifting video statement as the 2021 honoree.
As the week progressed I recalled hanging onto that horse’s mane for my very survival and finishing the ride.