BARBWIRE BOB 4-28-22

BY BOB SWEENEY

The war rages on in the Ukraine, and I wish that there was some way to rescue those brave soldiers and civilians trapped in that steel mill complex.  The brutality and insanity rages on from the Kremlin and it appears that the military goal is to take over the entire seacoast and isolate Ukraine from any seaports strangling the economy based upon shipments of major grain exports around the world.

Embargoes on Russia  won’t be enough  to halt the invasion as India and China continue to purchase oil and natural resources from the evil empire.  To charge a leader or country with war crimes the war must be won, not lost, or stalled.  At best, the present conflict might be a standoff with the Russians carving away the eastern portions of Ukraine and having another Berlin situation of Eastern Russian Ukraine and Western European Ukraine; entirely unacceptable to the present Ukraine leadership and population. 

Maybe a miracle can occur, but this invasion is a blight on the free world that such brutality cannot be tolerated in today’s modern world.

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Visited the historic Railroad Museum in Golden on April 21 at the invitation of John Payne, general manager of The Table Mountain Inn, one of Golden’s top restaurants located at 1310 Washington Ave.  The restaurant has become the food purveyor for the famed railroad museum.  They presented a delicious buffet of menu items that will be featured at the new dining facility that was sampled by media and invited guests.  The outdoor dining facility is an excellent site for profit and non-profit events with full food service, along with tours of the spectacular museum.  In addition, a great venue for families to ride the special trains circulating the rail yard. 

Railroads have always been famous for excellent food in pullman dining cars and now expanded to the outdoor food court.  In addition to the fine dining area, protected from the weather, the restaurant has a mobile gourmet taco van that will be open  at regular hours for museum visitors.  Info: www.tablemountaininn.com

The railroads are the history of the growth and success of Colorado industries spurring mining and agriculture to this day.

This museum is a world-class tribute to the historic Colorado railroad industry and a walk back in the history of the Centennial State created in 1876.

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Kudos to Arlene Mohler Johnson and her late husband Don Johnson on her endowed chair gift to the University of Colorado for ovarian cancer research to be held by Christine Walsh, MD. MS. in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology.  

The announcement was made at a special celebration held for the Johnson family and guests at the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek hotel April 19.  Arlene has been a wonderful leader in the non-profit and social  and business circles in Metro Denver. (See full Villager story by Scottie Iverson on page 8.)

Arlene has opened her home in Cherry Hills countless times for charitable events and worthy causes.   A wonderful giving person, she continues to leave large footprints in a world full of her many friends.

Always supporting events,  Arlene is the Honorary Co-Chair of the 2022 Hope Ball “Celebrating Life” event May 7: wwwcancerleague.org 

Congratulations  to Arlene and to The University of Colorado and the research for the cure that will come with the leadership of medical science, and philanthropy.

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Word on the street and confirmed is that Zane’s Italian Bistro is moving from Marina Square, heading for the wrecking ball this July.  Zane’s will have a new location at Citron Bistro, the former Marie Calendar location on Yosemite and Hampden Ave.  Ed Novak revealed last week that they have purchased the building and will be moving to that location in July.  

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Dennis Gallagher has died at age 82.  He was a prolific Democrat leader and author of his famed Gallagher Amendment that was repealed at the last election.  I sat with Dennis two months ago at the Denver Westerner’s monthly dinner and while he had lost considerable weight he was full of his usual Irish “blarney.” 

Famed Denver auditor, state senator, Regis University professor, Irish scholar and troubadour of “Colorado” songs, he was one of a kind and will be sadly missed by countless friends in both political parties.   Tom Noel has lost his cemetery “crawl” colleague and no doubt will have to add Dennis to the cemetery tribute list of notable historic VIPs.  Watch for wake information to honor Dennis.

See his obit/tribute on page 2.

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Nancy Parker Brittain, 82, passed away March 27 in Denver after spending some time in Bartlesville, Oklahoma after retirement from years of service and success working with the Central City Opera. Nancy headed development for decades and served as a board member for the very successful organization.  I knew her well and always enjoyed her good humor and love of the opera organization.  Funeral services were held April 15 with donations welcome in her name to Central City Opera, 4875 Ward Rd. Suite 100, Wheatridge C0. 80033.

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Winter has taken a heavy toil on honored citizens with another death of Willis Carpenter, 93, on April 8. 2022.  Willis was the son of famed Farrington Carpenter, Hayden rancher, his father was one of the founders of the Taylor Grazing Act;  a Princeton graduate, and pioneer Hayden lawyer.  Farrington in  later life was renowned for his polled Hereford bulls and conservation work eventually deeding his large ranch to a Conservation Foundation.

I knew “Ferry” well;  printing his bull sale booklets for years at my Craig newspaper and printing facility.  Carpenter was a legend in the Yampa Valley for decades and a brilliant public speaker. 

I only met Willis once, and always meant to have further communication with him, but failed to do so.  It is one of life’s great regrets when we don’t follow up with people who we respect, wishing to spend more time developing friendships. 

Willis was no slouch in following  in his father’s footsteps, while escaping the duties of a ranch hand, he graduated from East high school, Princeton University and Harvard Law school, was a naval officer, and was president of the Denver Bar Association, just to name a few of his many accomplishments.  

His celebration of life will be held Sunday, June 5 at 1:30 at the History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway. Memorials may be made to the Colorado Symphony, History Colorado, or the charity of your choice. Obituary: monarchsociety.com

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Because of my interest in the Ukraine/Russian debacle I’ve missed some of the deaths of friends and Barb Wire Bob travels. Kudos if you made it through the Colorado Springs, GOP Assembly epilogue.  Dick Wadhams, former state GOP chairman, had plenty to say in a Denver Post column about some of the assembly nominations  raising  some GOP eyebrows.  Wadhams is a highly respected and influential political pundit and has been a very successful campaign manager. 

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Some memories about departed Janet Mordecai, 79, who was married to a very close and dear friend of mine, Dan Mordecai. I first met Dan and Janet when arriving in Denver in 1980; as he was promoting a Bronco Super Bowl trip to Pasadena and Gerri, and I,  joined the trip. The Broncos got trounced, but the trip was great. We became lifelong friends. with the Mordecai family.

Danny was a world class bridge player and mathematical genius.

Later in life, he founded U.S. Nursing and sold it for millions.  He called me from New York one day and said, “Sweeney, I just got a death sentence, I have terminal cancer.”  He was a chain smoker.

His wife Janet was a head rehab nurse at Porter Hospital  and mother of two sons, Adam and  Ryan.  Danny, myself, my son Patrick, and his two sons, enjoyed attending Bronco football games together for years. We would meet at the Mordecai home in South Denver.  Janet would pack a huge picnic basket of snacks, and we were off to enjoy Danny’s season tickets that we shared together.

After his death, Janet suddenly became wealthy and shared her  new fortune with many charitable organizations. One of her favorites was the Children’s Garden at the Denver Botanical Gardens where she made a major gift for the development of the new garden. I attended the ceremony in her honor with family members present.

She earlier  founded the Janet and Dan Mordecai Foundation and donated heavily to cancer research wherein she suffered, but died at Denver Hospice March 9, 2022, from a head injury, resulting from a fall in her home.

A celebration of life for Janet will be held June 5 at the Children’s Garden that she so generously funded.   

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Make everyday count;  the clock is ticking for us all.