BARBWIRE BOB – 3-7-24

My loyal column readers may recall a recent grocery shopping episode for my wife, Gerri, giving me a list of groceries to purchase at our favorite King Soopers store. I hope they don’t succeed in merging with Safeway, I like the two separate entities.

Anyway, a second episode emerged last week that is worth relating about transportation guidance in Arapahoe County, my proud homeland, and yours.

I was doing Wednesday afternoon newspaper deliveries to some select locations and one of my favorites is the city hall in Cherry Hills Village.  My smart phone rang, and it was Gerri with an errand for me to perform. It wasn’t going to the grocery store with a long list, but a delivery pickup she needed.

She related, “Bob, we have a UPS delivery that they have delivered to the Southglenn office several times when the office was closed.  They will send it back in three days if we don’t pick it up.” COVID forced us to allow work from home and as a result we have become far more digitalized and computer oriented to publish not only at the office, but remotely for staff, so office hours are shortened. In the old days, newspapers sold office supplies and did commercial printing, not anymore, leading to a major loss of revenue for newspapers. 

We have shared office space with South Denver Metro Chamber for several years and love the entrepreneur spirit of free enterprise and supporting private capitalism. We have not joined the parade of failing newspapers rushing to become nonprofit entities seeking funding from foundations with similarities to public radio. We remain one of the last locally owned family newspapers in the metro area.

My wife needed me to go to the UPS store and pick up a large bindery box of last year’s award-winning newspapers as we keep these bound binderies for history of the county. We have a complete set of binderies dating back 42 years during our publishing business in Arapahoe county.

She related that the bindery book shipment was located at the UPS Englewood office on Casey Blvd. Since I was near Englewood on Broadway, a few miles away from Cherry Hills Village, I thought “slam dunk.” I was soon to learn a lesson on navigation.

Using my smart phone, that I rely heavily upon for street locations, I asked the Siri male voice to take me to the UPS address in Englewood.  He obliged immediately showing me my location.

Heading out of the Cherry Hills parking lot I turned left to University. I was expecting to turn right to Hampden and then west into Englewood. But the Siri map pointed to turn left on University. “Okay, I thought,” the UPS store is somewhere South on Broadway.” I followed the arrow on the map across Belleview and at the Arapahoe road stoplight the arrow on the map pointed eastward to my surprise and displeasure. I reasoned that the UPS office would be close to the DTC area, so I continued following my smart phone map as it carried me under I-25 still heading east, all the way to Peoria St. with the arrow then pointing southward. It was almost becoming amusing. I had passed through the edge of Greenwood Village, now traveling through Centennial, heading to the Centennial Airport, making sense, but not in Englewood.

The Siri map took me past the entrance to the airport, Bronco stadium complex, and finally turning to the south entrance to the Centennial airport. I had been to that area the prior day to cover the Nikki Haley visit at the Wings Over the Rockies. The arrow continued turning south to Lincoln Avenue. Finally, with Lincoln Avenue looming in the distance, emerged a massive UPS facility. A guard instructed me to the UPS customer service office in a corner of the complex. I was so happy to be at the Englewood UPS office, it might even be in Douglas County on the edge of Parker. I noticed a lack of cars around the office as I joyfully approached the entrance to read a sign stating that the office was closed from 3:15 to 4:45. The lights were off, the office dark, and I was very flustered. My thoughts then, and now, why don’t we identify the city of Centennial as a postal and map destination and stop using the Englewood moniker for directions and mail. Nothing against Englewood, that city has really come alive in recent years with car dealerships, a home owned drug store, great frame shop, clock store, and an active Chamber of Commerce.

However, I made good use of time delivering newspapers to Centennial city hall, the SMDRA real estate offices, and I stopped to see my friend “Ali” at his car dealership on Arapahoe Rd.

Soon, it was 4:45 so I trekked back to the UPS office that was now open. I received a cordial welcome from Carl, the store manager, who was there alone and was most accommodating. I gave him the lengthy ID number for the shipment, hoping for the best, but fearing for the worst, maybe the shipment was still on the truck?

But good things happen to good people. Carl found the bindery box and my mission was finally completed after three hours.

The message I wish to convey is that we need to update our map locations and identify our city locations. Centennial is not Englewood, nor Cherry Hills, or Greenwood Village.  Each city should be identified separately.

I did complete my task.