I’m going to reverse the sequence of events this week starting with this past Monday morning. Gerri and I returned from a weekend reunion for classes of the 1950s and 60s from Moffat County high school in Craig, Colorado. For newcomers that is in far, far, away N.W. Colorado where and the deer and antelope still play like in the song, “Home on the Range.”
Railroad titan David Moffat built his railroad as far as Craig and then ran out of money, so Craig was the end of the line that was heading west to Salt Lake. Historic U.S 40 that runs right through the center of Aurora still winds its way to Craig over Berthoud Pass, Winter Park, over Rabbit Ears Pass, thru Ski Town USA Steamboat Springs, then passing thru Craig onward to Vernal, Utah and beyond.
The graduating class of 1959 hosted the event and it was well attended with receptions at the historic Moffat County Museum and the restored Luttrell Barn at the fairgrounds. Sadly, 37 members of the class have left this earth, leaving their classmates to carry on without them. Dick Winder’s name resounded with us because we purchased his parent’s home as our first residence. Winder’s Uncle developed “Magic Mountain” in Golden back in the 1960’s. He was a stellar athlete and became a very successful football coach in Texas and ended his career coaching at Oklahoma State.
The drive to Craig was spectacular with mountain flowers in bountiful full bloom and the hills still in springtime green. Usually this time of year the grass has turned brown and we can thank the summer rains and deep snow for restoring our lakes and reservoirs back to abundance.
Reunions are very memorable and not to be missed.
Having said all that, Monday morning started with a bang with meeting Fitsum Arego, Ambassador of Ethiopia to the United States, at the Heritage Eagle Bend Golf Club in Aurora. He was escorted by fellow Denver Lions Club member Mel Tewahade, Infinity Wealth Management, and Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni, Consul General of the F.D.R. of Ethiopia serving the Western region of the United States, and Daniel Teguo of the Aurora Global Organization of Health Education. There are 30,000 Ethiopians living in Aurora and 1.5 residents in the United States. They are largely Christians, well-disciplined and hardworking, and assimilating into America culture at a rapid and successful rate.
The Ambassador spoke to an audience of 1500 residents Saturday evening on his American tour of 12 cities in 100 days. He is promoting tourism, industry, and trade. Ethiopian coffee is one of the best coffees in the world and served at many Starbuck locations.
He presented to me, for the Denver Lions Club, a presidential certificate thanking the Lions for visiting his country and taking 1200 eyeglasses to rural areas of the country this past year.
Monday afternoon Villager governmental reporter Freda Miklin covered the appearance of former UN Ambassador Nicki Haley at AMG National Trust Bank in Greenwood Village speaking on behalf of U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, candidate for re-election in 2020. She was also attending a local fund- raising event later in the day. Freda was very impressed, and you will find the complete story elsewhere in this week’s Villager.
I had coffee with Centennial Mayor Stephanie Peko and council member Kathy Turley at the Corner Bakery at SouthGlenn Tuesday morning talking about news coverage challenges for this growing city of at least 130,000 residents, stretching across 14 miles from West to East. I like to call Centennial the “Happy City,” because they seem to get along so well. Doris Truhlar covers that city for The Villager and just suffered the loss of her daughter.
The Corner Bakery Café is a very busy place and I saw Greenwood Village council member Dave Kerber with many locals having their morning coffee. A very good place and the coffee was excellentm, along with the good company,
Wednesday noon I joined one of my longtime friends, Bob Pulcipher, for lunch at the Café De France that was located on Orchard road in the Marylyn Hickey complex. It has now successfully moved to 2730 S. Colorado Blvd. next to the King Sooopers store. The menu is very creative and has a French theme with excellent onion soup. Pulcipher is a historian who published the history of the old First National Bank of Denver.
He owns a gold mine in Cripple Creek and last Wednesday attended the opening of the new mining exhibit sponsored by Newmont Mining that now owns the Cripple Creek strip mines that are going strong with the rising value of gold. He was very impressed with the exhibit and the mining is headed towards his ten acres of deeded property with a gold mine shaft deep in mother earth. He’s an active member of the Denver Westerners Posse of writers and historians.
While my wife tells me, I go to too many luncheons, it is a fine place to meet and have great discussions with friends and new acquaintances. A real treat occurred Thursday noon at Del Fresco’s while having lunch with Wil Armstrong, owner of Three Tree Capital, located in Greenwood Village. Wil and his family founded and operated Cherry Creek Mortgage for over a decade in Cherry Creek.
Bottom line, I knew of Wil from my longtime friendship with his father, U.S. Senator Bill Armstrong, but I had never met him until lunch last week. He is a chip off the old block of his wonderful father. Bill Armstrong, in his final years, put Colorado Christian University on the map as one of the best Christian Universities in America with over 8,000 students and growing fast.
Wil, on the CCU board of directors, ran for Congress against Mike Coffman 11 years ago and came in second in the primary election. That was his last bid for public service, and he has spent his time and energy developing his business enterprises. He related to me that our columnist Mort Marks, who he admires greatly, did not support him and endorsed Mike Coffman, who won the congressional seat, now the leading candidate for Mayor of Aurora.
Armstrong perhaps should start a new political career in the State Legislature where his dad first became a State Representative from Aurora, rising to become one of the most influential Senators in Colorado and U.S. history.
He does live in an open Republican Senate seat with the retirement of Senator Jack Tate.
That’s not all, but enough for this week.
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