Random Thoughts From a Psychotic Schizophrenic

I’m back.  I’m in a bad frame of mind, so if mindless ranting, random bursts of profanity, or crazed ramblings bother you, I’d suggest clicking on this link now.  http://www.cathomepage.com .  They have some nice kitty pictures there.  That’s the only warning, so if you are offended by any of this, call your congressperson.

I recently got an email request from a young lady who writes for The Pulp, which is a monthly newspaper kind of like the Colorado Springs Independent, or Westword in Denver, except it’s just getting started.  This lady, who said she had read this blog, wanted to ask me some questions about Bojon Town.  I agreed for one reason, because she actually called it Bojon Town in her email.  So, she sent me a list of a few questions and asked me to answer any or all of them.  I chose all.  She also said that she was really interested to hear my responses because of my last post here.  I took a long time, more than a few hours, to try to answer all of her questions.  It seemed to me that she may want some things like facts, so I tried to include as many as I could.  I also put some of my personal views.  I looked forward to the article, and they published their October edition and released it about the last day of September.

The article quoted five people.  Joe and Pam Kocman, a guy named Wade Broadhead, the young lady’s grandfather, who she didn’t name, but said he was a Bojon from Bojon Town, and me.  First off, I asked myself who Wade Broadhead was.  The article listed his connection to Bojon Town as this.  He approved Joe and Pam Kocman’s garage when he was with the Pueblo City Planners office.  That’s it.  He approved a zoning change for the founders of Eilers Heights, and that makes him an expert on Bojon Town, in the eyes of the writer of this article.  Frankly I don’t even know what he said, because his opinion fucking means nothing to me.  Joe and Pam said the usual nice things.  Everyone lives a long and healthy life, and it’s all perfect.  The young lady’s grandfather said that there was nothing wrong with the neighborhood because everyone there lived to be 100, or at least 90.  And here’s me, bitching about sick people.

What a pathetic pile of shit this turned out to be.  First off, let’s get past Wade Dickbroad, or Dick Broadwade or whatever this guy’s name is.  His opinion means less than the UPS driver that delivers to the neighborhood.  He just drove through a few times.  Joe and Pam?  They are what they are.  They own property.  They like high property values.  They even fucking annexed St. Mary’s Church as part of Eilers Heights.  How big do your balls have to be to annex a church into a fake neighborhood?  Ask Pam.  As for the nice young lady’s grandpa, she wouldn’t give me his name, so I can just make a generalization.  Old Bojon men exaggerate.  Especially to their dumbass grandkids.  My grandpa told me he saw jackrabbits bigger than deer.  Everyone lives to be 90 or 100??????  What fucking planet do you have to be from to bite on that shit?  Christ, if everyone there lived that long, why weren’t people flocking to buy land on poisonous smelters everywhere?  Maybe I’m mistaken, but the father of one of the people mentioned above died at a very early age, while that person was probably not even out of high school, but hey, everyone lives to be 100.  Nothing to see here.  If you close your eyes.  Everything is all good.

Shit.  I am fired up, but I’m tired.  Just an update for some friends.  I had a heart procedure in June.  It worked well.  Some small issues that are finally clearing up, but no atrial fibrillation since June 29th.  I have a heart monitor implanted in my chest, and every night it uploads all of my EKG info to my doctor so he can look for problems daily.  It wasn’t fun, but I feel better knowing that someone is looking out for me.  I’m down to 7 different drugs, from a high of 10.  I’m supposed to get off of 2 more soon, and I’ve cut dosages on some of them by more than half.  I think I’ll be on at least 5 of them for life, but that’s a whole lot better than it was.  I learned a lot more about the medical system.  If you can live through some of the shit that they do to you, sometimes it helps.  I have one problem that some people are envious of.  I can’t stop losing weight.  I weigh less than I did when I was in the 10th grade.  My doctor and the nurses at hospice have me on a special diet.  Anything I can eat, plus a few milk shakes every day.  So, life is getting better.  I’m still a huge burden to my wife, since she’s active and loves people, and I’m exhausted and hate everyone.  I’m still kicking, and I may just have some surprises in store for her.

I have a ton of things that I still need to say, but I think I’ll wait a bit and rest up.  I tend to turn into a diva when I’m tired or hungry, so I think I’ll go and get a Snickers.  Thanks for all of the prayers and kind thoughts that people sent my way.  It helped immensely!

 

 

 

Life in the Eilers Superfund Site

As I recently stated, I am suspending the part of this site that deals with good memories and replacing it with sad, scary truth.  This is the first part of my final crusade.  I’ve fought hard over something as stupid as what my neighborhood was called.  Imagine how hard I’ll fight for a matter of life and death.  Dramatic, you say?  Hang on.  It’s a horror movie.

 

If you are not aware of the Eilers Superfund Site, I’ll give you a bit of background.  The area is on the southeast side of Pueblo, near the steel mill.  It includes parts of Bessemer, a bit of the Grove, and the neighborhood formerly known as Bojon Town, now known as Eilers Heights.  In the late 1800’s, it was the site of the Colorado Smelter, a large smelter used to process silver.  When the silver industry slowed down, the smelter closed, and the owners sold the land as home sites to individual homeowners.  The area was a very nice area, and back then, no one really thought about the dangers of building a home on a toxic waste dump.  And don’t fool yourself.  This place is a toxic waste dump.  The EPA has admitted it to the point that they are doing cleanups on this area that they haven’t done at any other Superfund site.  They are scaring the crap out of the residents about the levels of lead and arsenic levels, but if you know the government, they don’t do extraordinary things unless something extraordinary is going on.  There’s something that they’re not telling us, and given their record of handling this problem, anything is possible.

 

They are telling the residents that children can be harmed from exposure to this problem, and now something needs to be done immediately.  Well, excuse my Slovenian, but where the hell were you sorry son of a bitches when this neighborhood was full of Slovenian kids?  Kids like me.  Kids that have so many health problems that they pray every morning for it to get better or just let it end.  It may sound like I’m kind of pissed lately.  It’s probably because I’m pissed.  I can’t make it through 3 hours of light activity without ending up unconscious for 3 hours after I’m done.  I’m getting veins in my heart frozen to keep it from screwing up.  I’m having afib and seizures at the same time.  I’ve got a neuromuscular disease and glaucoma, and on top of that, I’m not that good looking.  I have a right to get pissed.  And I’m better off than a lot of people I know.  My Grandma Medved grew up in the middle of this chemical cesspool, and they started hacking cancerous parts off of her when I was 10 years old, and they didn’t stop until she died.  Both of my grandfathers had cancer.  Not too many in that neighborhood died of old age.  Some ugly crap killed them first.  And the EPA told us all to go to hell, because the real problem is the kids living there now.  Well, I’m the kid that used to live there and I want some justice.  For my grandma and grandpas.  For the neighbors that died of cancer.  The ones that died of crap that they didn’t have a name for.  For the old people still sick and trying to make it.  For my mom, who was a walking encyclopedia of shitty medical conditions.  This is just a start of the war for me.  It took me 4 times longer to write this than it would have 2 years ago.  But I will not stop and I will not shut up.  I’m sending letters to politicians, who just use this crap for a way to sucker in an extra vote or two.  I’m sending them to newspapers, magazines, TV stations, whoever will listen, and even those who won’t listen.  I’m about to become someone’s pain in the ass.

 

I’m going to ask for some help.  I’m starting to compile a database of everyone that lived in this area, worked in this area, or went to school in this area for at least 5 years, and any unusual medical conditions that they may have had.  If this is you, or a relative, or a deceased loved one, please help me.  I’m going to be working hard on this.  Whatever it takes.  I’m still going to use this site temporarily, until I can find another site that works better.  I will be posting more information in the near future.  Please email me if you’d like.  Thanks.

It’s a Wrap!

I’ve been doing this for a while now.  Not as much anymore.  Not at all in the future.  This is my last post here.  It’s been tough for me to come to grips with, but I think I finally got it straight in my mind.

 

Bojon Town isn’t a place.  It’s a time.  It’s the past, a past that I miss more and more each day.  But that time has passed.  I realized it a while back, but I found it tough to admit it to myself.  My Bojon Town died, and has been replaced with something that sort of looks like the place I remember.  It took a major slap in the face for me to admit it, and it happened in the oddest way.

 

Last week, my wife and I went to a Pho restaurant in Pueblo West.  It was early, and there was only us and one other table, and at that table were Pam and Joe Kocman.  Pam and I have had some differences over the Bojon Town/Eilers Heights thing, and I took it too far.  I was never mad at her personally, but I probably said some hurtful things and it always kind of hangs in the background whenever we talk.  She asked me if I’d be interested in attending a meeting of the Eilers Heights Neighborhood Association at St. Mary’s School.  I’ve been wanting to fix things with her, and I really like going into the old school once in a while, so I told her I’d be there.

 

Due to a scheduling conflict, that meeting was cancelled, because the EPA scheduled a meeting concerning the status of the Superfund site designation.  My dad is square in the middle of that mess, so I went with him.  There are 1900 residences in the area that is designated as the Superfund site, which is the former Smelter that turned a few square miles of beautiful land into a toxic waste dump.  Out of the 1900 homes, about 200 have agreed to have the EPA test the yards and in some cases, the houses, for lead, arsenic, and other heavy metals.  19 of the 200 tested homeowners have agreed to have the EPA come in and clean up their houses and yards.  My dad is one of them.  His house and yard are so contaminated that they are putting him in a hotel for 5 days, and treating his house like a hazardous materials spill.  They are paying for everything, including new carpeting.  They may also dig out a few feet of soil from his yard and replace it with new topsoil and re-landscape it.  The government is taking this very seriously, and this is the first time that the EPA has ever paid to clean the insides of homes in a Superfund site.

 

They are terrified that the children in those affected houses are going to be exposed to a variety of health issues from living in these places, 100 years after the ground was polluted.  My question is “Where were they 50, 60, 75 years ago, when the pollution was even more concentrated, and I and people my age were playing in the slag dumps and climbing in these dirt piles”???????  They didn’t warn us at all.  Why now?  Well, the meeting that I went to kind of gives me a clue as to why now.  I walked into a room at the library where over 100 residents of Eilers Heights (I will no longer refer to that neighborhood as Bojon Town) were seated, and I recognized my dad and 3 other people.  They had a table in the back where you could get a set of headphones to listen to a Spanish translation of the meeting.  I know this will come off wrong to someone, but the hell with it.  I just realized that my past died, and I don’t really give a  crap that much.  In my version of that neighborhood, which obviously no longer exists, no one needed a translator.  Not the Bojons, not the Italians, not the Mexicans, no one.  Because we all spoke English outside of our house.  We may have spoken Slovenian, Italian or Spanish at home, but when we met as a community, we spoke English.  I don’t want to sound racist, but when people assimilate into a community, the community obviously works better.  There is no argument on this.  Not on my blog, anyway.

 

I listened to a few of the questions, and the people aren’t the people I knew.  They were rude, they were self-serving, and they obviously gave zero of a shit about the neighborhood past their property line, and most of them don’t really care about the property either.  Take a ride through that neighborhood.  There are maybe two dozen nice houses, and the rest are shitholes.  And the shitholes are next to the nice houses, so those poor people get to live next to these scumbags like that asshole that live at 1205 Bohmen, next to my dad.  The place looks worse that the dump, and the worthless city just turns a blind eye to it.  There have been at least 3 meth busts in the neighborhood in the last year, with weapons and huge amounts of cash being seized.  I’ve faced it.  It’s a slum and it ain’t going to get better until it gets worse.  It’s no longer worth writing about, and it’s not worth reading about either.  I’m 60 years old.  I’ve been fighting a medical condition for 40 years.  In the last 2 years, I’ve been also diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, seizures, something called a complex sleeping disorder, glaucoma, and some other things I can’t even remember.  Maybe if the EPA was around 50 years ago to clean the lead and arsenic out of my mom and dad’s house, I might not be in this nightmare.  Sucks to find out that the place you write about so fondly is actually a toxic waste dump.

 

 
To the good residents of Eilers Heights, good luck and my God help you out with this mess.  To the people that are ruining it, do us a favor and move out.  Or die.  It matters little to me.  To the people that humored the meanderings of a sad old man for these last few years, thank you.  Thanks for giving up your time to read my words, and thanks for the kind things that you all say.  Thanks to those of you that are part of these memories, those that helped me to be able to be here to remind you of how good we had it in that time when we made these memories.  I’ll be writing, but it will not be here.  This place is officially closed.

 

 

 

 

 

Update on Life

Sorry for the inactivity.  This might clear some things up on why.  I’ve struggled about whether to post this or not.  I’m writing it mostly for me, as a sort of therapy, but I think that there may be some things in here that may help some people with some things.  I’m probably going to be boring, stupid, paranoid, and a lot of other bad things.  Hopefully I can balance it with a bit of insight and some positive thoughts.

I’ve been having some health issues.  I have a theory about health issues.  Every health issue is a major health issue to the person that is having it.  Minor surgery is something that happens to someone else.  Major surgery is any surgery that I have.  It’s just the way people are, I guess.  With the exception of family and close friends, no one gives it more than a quick prayer or some nice wishes.  People just don’t realize how bad some people have it, health-wise.  But when it comes knocking on your door, it’s a game changer.

Things have been knocking on my door in that area for a few years.  I like to still think of myself as kid.  I’ve never had issues with a second childhood.  I never left the first one behind.  So, when my heart and head started telling me that I’m not a young man anymore, I tried to shut the door and keep them out of my life.  About 2 weeks ago, they kicked down the door and moved right into the spare bedroom of my house.  I can’t get rid of them.  I woke up 2 weeks ago today in full atrial fibrillation.  It happens to me, a lot lately.  My doctors have been treating me with drugs that slow my heart rate and drop my blood pressure.  My heart rate is almost always between 58 and 60.  My blood pressure is usually on the low end of normal.  When I get the afib, my blood pressure shoots up and my heart rate changes constantly between 110 and 200.  Some people get it and it doesn’t bother them.  I’m not one of the lucky ones.  I can feel it coming, and it stops me in my tracks.  I’m usually looking for a place to go flat about every half hour, but eventually it stops, usually when I go to sleep.  That Saturday it didn’t stop.  I woke up with it Sunday and again Monday.  So I’m at about 50 hours straight when it finally goes away.   I feel like the dogs dragged me through the dog door, and we don’t have a dog door.  I woke up Tuesday morning feeling tired, but not really bad.  I went outside and raked some leaves for about a half hour, came in to the house, and sat down with Velma.  About five minutes later, I went to take my blood pressure and my upper body went numb.  I couldn’t feel anything for about 30 seconds.  When the feeling came back, it was like someone was shoving electrical needles through my whole body.  My vision got dim, and I was seeing bright flashes in the corners of my eyes.  I  usually just try to hang in when weird stuff happens, but my first words to Velma were ‘dial the 9 and the 1 and get ready for the other 1 if it gets worse.’  I managed to get to the bed and I finally got some feeling back, but it was obviously not right.  I jumped in the shower and got dressed and went down to Parkview Medical Center.  It took them about 30 seconds to figure out that I wasn’t right, and before I could even figure out what was going on, I had an IV in my arm and EKG leads all over me.  I heard the words that I dreaded most.  Acute stroke.  Don’t be too offended, but my first thought was, and I quote, “Fuck me!”.  I’ve seen that shit.  Now I’m praying.  I know I say some bad things about religion, but I am able to separate religion from God, and I find myself praying a lot.  Thanks to Sister Caroline, because she taught me to be an altar boy, and those lessons in praying came in really handy that day.  They kept me in the ER for a pretty short time before they transferred me to the Cardiac floor.  This is Tuesday afternoon sometime.  Days and times got confusing for me.  I was never in the hospital for more than a day or two before, and I ended up there for 8 out of 10 days, so it really got confusing.

Enough about me for now.  That was some boring background.  This next part may help you if you ever find yourself in this situation.  I have very mixed feelings about the medical profession right now.  Very strong feelings.  I hope I don’t offend anyone too much.  The people on the front lines in that profession are some of the most incredible people I’ve ever come across.  The nurses, the CNAs, the lab techs, the housekeepers, the cooks, the people that deliver the food, the people that move you from one place to another, the xray techs, the MRI and CT Scan people.  The EKG and EEG people.  Saints.  They take such good care of you that you’re almost embarrassed to have them waiting on you hand and foot.  I probably missed someone.  They did anything they could to make me more comfortable and less anxious in a horrible situation.  The only people in the entire situation that dropped the ball are some of my physicians.  Not all.  Some.  I had two ‘hospitalists’ that I spoke to often.  I don’t have a primary care doctor now, so these guys were my go to guys.  I’m not mentioning any names, because I don’t want to color someone’s opinion one way or another, but these two guys were great.  I ended up also seeing a neurologist, because it was eventually determined that I had a seizure and not a stroke.  Prayers work.  The neurologist was quick and to the point, but he gave me the information that I needed.  Now for my wonderful cardiologists.  I’ve been seeing a cardiologist for my afib issues for almost a year and a half.  He put me on a drug to slow my heart.  A year later, he put me on a second drug to slow my heart down.  I was in to see him 6 weeks ago.  He knows me.  I was in the hospital for a total of 7 inpatient days and one day more in the ER.  He was in the hospital for 5 of those days.  I saw him walk past my room 3 or 4 times.  He never so much as looked in.  In fact, I got discharged after 5 days, went back in less than 24 hours later, stayed another 2, got shocked 4 times to try to get my heart in rhythm or started or whatever they did to me, and I never saw a cardiologist until 2 hours before they sent me home for the 2nd time and it wasn’t my cardiologist.  He told me to get a followup as soon as I can, and this sorry prick scheduled me for April 19th.  39 days after my discharge, for a heart related issue that put me in the hospital for a week.  I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious, because I may not see the sumbitch for a year.  I’d say he dropped the ball, but that would be giving him credit for even picking it up in the first place.  Take this as a lesson.  Try to know your doctors.  If they turn out to be uncaring assholes, find another one.  I’m trying right now.

I’m going to slip some Bojon wisdom and values in here, given that this place is kind of about all things good and Bojon.  Be a good patient.  I learned from my Grandma Medved and my mom.  I watched them go through some ugly stuff in hospitals, and they endured it with a smile for the people taking care of them.  My mom would be in the hospital for a week, and when she’d come home, she’d be crocheting blankets for the nurses.  I try to be that way to honor them.  I smile, I thank them after they shove a needle in my arm.  I thank everyone from the guy that brings the newspaper to the people that wake you up at 3 in the morning to take blood.  I couldn’t do their jobs.  I’m not cut out for it.  They put up with enough shit from bad patients, so make their life easier, and I’m pretty sure that they treat you better.  I had an old man in the bed next to me for a day and a half.  He was a gigantic prick to everyone.  I’m pretty sure my food didn’t have spit in it, and I know those lab guys stuck him pretty good a few times ‘by mistake’.  Don’t be that guy.

Pray.  A lot.  Pray for yourself.  It’s ok.  Pray for the people that are standing by your bedside with worried looks.  Your family and friends go through some major stuff watching their loved one in a hospital bed with tubes and wires all over the place.  Pray for the people taking care of you.  I want God guiding the hand of the person sticking things in me.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Pick someone and ask for a favor.  I ask Michael the Archangel to wrap his strong hands around my heart and protect it until it gets better.  It has a calming effect on me, kind of like he really does.  I’m not a great person, but I know where to ask.  Maybe if I get through this it will make me a better person.  One thing I can guarantee is that I will forever be a different person.

I got out of the hospital after 5 days, on Saturday afternoon.  I was kind of unsteady, but I put that on laying in bed for 5 days, 3 of which they would not let me stand at all.  I slept pretty well, and got up in the morning in full afib again.  My blood pressure meter wouldn’t even take a good reading is was so bad.  I resisted my family, like a dumbass, got mean and bitchy, started several problems with my loved ones, and eventually came to my senses and went back to the ER.  That was my first mistake.  I probably should have opted for staying home and chasing everyone away for a day.  They did the usual stuff.  IV, and a medicine to slow my heart.  Mind you, I already take two separate medicines to slow my heart, and now they’re using a 3rd.  My usual rate is under 60. and I’m in the 120’s to 180’s again.  No problem, says the doctor.  One dose of this IV medicine will fix you up.  Half hour later, I’m hitting 200.  I did mention to them that having shrieking alarms going off doesn’t have much of a calming effect when you’re trying to get your heart slowed down.  No problem, says the doctor.  We can still give you 2 more doses of that wonder medicine.  Two hours later, I’m past the 4th dose of the 3 that I can get and they’re rolling in the cart with the paddles.  I’ve been trying to avoid this one since I found out about the possibility.  We’ve all seen the shows on TV with the ER doctor and the paddles, and the schmuck bouncing off of the table when they turn on the juice.  I was about to be that schmuck, only bigger.

“We’re going to shock your heart back into rhythm, but we’re going to give you a wonderful anesthetic first”.  If you ever hear those words, just fucking run.  Please.  It would be on my conscience if one person that reads this actually lets them do this to you.  They give you a speech.  This won’t hurt a bit.  The medicine will make you feel like you’re having a nice warm, fuzzy dream with kittens and bunnies and you won’t remember a thing.  And then someone whispered ‘some people have a reaction to the medicine, but it doesn’t last long.’  I had a reaction.  It will last the rest of my life.  They stuck two electrodes about the size of a clothes iron on me, one on my chest, one on my back.  My wife, my sister Julie, my daughter Jennifer and my son in law Mike were there with me.  They made them leave the room.  I’m glad.  They put the anesthesia into my IV.  The doctor asked me if I felt anything and I said no.  A few seconds later, he asked again and I said ‘kind of like nitrous oxide…………….ohhh….times 100………Oh God!’.  I can still hear my voice.  It wasn’t like this little whimpering ‘oh god’.  It was like Charlton Heston in the Ten Commandments.  It was truly Biblical in a sense, like someone just showed me everything and I wasn’t ready to see it.  It came from a place inside of me that I didn’t even know I had.  I got sucked into this white light, and the noise was coming from inside of my cells.  It was so loud that I truly thought I was going to explode, and then it all kind of came to a point.  The noise stopped, I stopped, and I remember just barely being to whimper another ‘oh God’, but this one wasn’t really that impressive.  More like, ‘oh God, this is it and I’m no where close to ready’.  I started to hear voices, and they sounded anxious.  One of them said ‘stay with us, just stay with us.’, and I just kind of clung to that voice.  All of this time, I had no vision.  Just white.  And slowly after, or maybe it was a month, time didn’t seem to matter, I started to see dark shapes in the white, and I kind of started to remember where I was.  I felt a hand on my cheek, and I couldn’t really see or hear, but the minute I felt the touch, I knew it was Velma, and I knew it was ok.  Her touch was like being touched by an Angel.  Right then, I had one of the greatest and probably worst experiences I’ve had in a long time.  For about 5 seconds, I could feel every part of my body.  I had absolutely no pain.  Not one ache, nothing.  5 seconds of something that I truly hadn’t felt for over 40 years.  No pain.  It was an incredible feeling, and I’m glad I got to remember, but I’m also sad because I remembered something that can’t really happen anymore.  But hey, you gotta take what you can get.

Enough bad and weird.  I woke up.  And I got funny.  My lips felt about 4 times their normal size, but that didn’t matter.  I wanted to talk!  I had all of this stuff in my mind, and every thought I had was incredibly stupid.  I knew it was stupid, and yet, I just blurted it out.  The nurse is laughing her ass off, and I kind of had a feeling that my sister was recording me.  She didn’t disappoint!  She has some of it on her phone.  I tried watching it, but after 10 seconds I had her shut it off.  I’m not quite ready to see it, but if you get the chance, it has to be worthy of YouTube.  I remember having a craving for cheese enchiladas.  My sister told me  that it smelled like barbecue in the room.  It turns out that they were going to shock me no more than 2 times, but they ended up doing it 4 times.  I thought that I’d smell like klobasi, but it was more like carne asada.  I’ve still got burn marks on my back and chest that look like someone ironed my shirt while I still had it on.  But I lived.  I’m grateful.  I’ll never sign the papers for that treatment again.  Oh, did I mention the fact that it didn’t work?  When they told me that I’d gone through that for nothing, I kind of thought about Mom and Grandma Bear, and before I knew it, I was laying there laughing my ass off.  What else could you do?  I’m ok now.  Just waiting, kind of apprehensive, but I’m going to get back in gear on Monday and start doing some light yard work.  I’ve learned something from Dirty Harry.  A man has to know his limitations.  I’ve learned mine.  Don’t forget to pray.  Not for me.  For anyone in this situation.  I’m learning from my niece Sarah.  I get up every day and pray for everyone that’s sick and suffering, hoping that they get some relief and comfort.  I hate to say it, but I never thought of it until I was the one that needed it, but I won’t forget to do it ever again.  Anyone of us could be there in a moment.  Oh, yeah.  Long live Bojon Town!

Another Small Victory for Bojon Town!

We all realize that I can be a big pain in the ass when it comes to the issue of Bojon Town vs. Eilers Heights.  For those of you that don’t have the background on this, Eilers Heights is a name that certain people tried to hang on Bojon Town, without the consent of people from Bojon Town.  My mom got me started on this crusade, and a lot of you have joined me.  We just wanted our neighborhood called by the name that it was always called.  Granted, Eilers Heights sounds more sophisticated than Bojon Town.  Just like Fulton Heights sounds more classy than Salt Creek.  Eastwood Heights and Dogpatch, and so on.  But if you ask the people that live in Fulton Heights where they live, they say ‘Salt Creek’.  Same with Eastwood Heights.  They’ll tell you they’re from the ‘patch’.  So, the same with Eilers Heights.  We’re from Bojon Town.

We have written comments in the Pueblo Chieftain whenever they misnamed our neighborhood in one of their articles.  And all of that hard work has paid off.  The Chieftain finally gets it.  In a recent article concerning a meeting of several neighborhoods that are affected by an EPA Superfund program, the Chieftain listed the neighborhoods involved.  They actually mentioned both Eilers Heights and Bojon Town.

As a person who has taught a college class titled “Logic”, my sense of logic tells me that the Chieftain finally believes that Eilers Heights and Bojon Town are two separate and distinct neighborhoods.  I think it makes perfect sense.  In one of my previous posts, my map of Bojon Town actually includes Eilers Heights, but I’m perfectly willing to leave them out.  It’s a one block long street, the 1100 block of Eilers Street.  It’s so obviously different from the rest of Bojon Town that they probably don’t want to be included, so in the future, I will no longer include that block in my stories.

On a slightly different note, I have been working on piecing together several small maps from 1904 and 1905 to make a large map of Bojon Town when the Smelter was still in existence.  It’s very interesting to compare what was there then to what is there now.  As soon as I get it all together, I’ll try to get it here for everyone to see.  Sorry for the shortness, and sorry for not writing a lot lately.  I’m trying to plug away, and hopefully we’ll get it back on track now that the warm weather is coming.  Anyone up for a big party this summer?  I’m thinking about something on the lines of ‘The First Annual All-Purpose Bojon Town Reunion Party Celebration or something a bit shorter.  Wouldn’t it be cool to see everyone that ever had a connection to the Bojon Town that you remember?

I Don’t Even Know What to Call This

Not a day goes by that I don’t long for how it was when I was a kid in Bojon Town.  It was a different world, a much simpler one. I’m sure that bad things happened back then.  People got killed, bad things happened, and there were problems in the world.  We read it in the newspaper in the morning when you got the Chieftain, maybe later in the afternoon if you got the Star-Journal.  You watched the news at 5 and 10.  That was it.  No 24 hour news channels, no live updates from a mobile satellite truck, and most of all, no internet.  You got your news in small doses, unless you really searched it out.  Now, you can’t avoid it.  The four television channels that we had back then have become 400, and 100 of them are devoted to showing us bad things.  It is to the point that I got so inundated with it that I shut off my cable almost 2 years ago, and my only television spent at least 6 months in storage this year.  I couldn’t watch it anymore.  I’d start on the top, surf the entire channel list, and end up watching reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies.  Now my TV is back in it’s place, but I still don’t have cable.  I bought a twenty dollar antenna, and now I get about 10 channels, and the best part is that I still get to watch The Beverly Hillbillies every morning.  They come on right before Perry Mason and Quincy, ME.  Seeing a pattern here?  I miss the past.

I’m sickened by the shootings.  All of them. T he Planned Parenthood shooting, the idiot that shot all the people in a movie theater that I took my grand kids to at times, Columbine, all of them.  But I’m going to focus on one, and try to relate it to the topic of this blog, which of course is the amazing neighborhood of Bojon Town.  I’m going to just talk about the shootings in San Bernardino.  I almost hate to call it a shooting, because it was so much more.  An act of terrorism, an act of cowardice, an act of war……pick one and you’re right.  A battle in a war perpetrated by cowardly terrorists is probably as close as I can come.  Done by people that have come into this country legally.  The man, and I use that term loosely, was born here, but it appears that his family came here within the last 30 or 40 years ago.  The woman, if you can call her that, came here on a legal visa 2 or so years ago.  Kind of sounds like a lot of Bojon families back in the early years when our neighborhood was being formed.  Just a nice young couple, here from a different country, trying to get a piece of the American dream.  But something went completely wrong, and I don’t believe it could ever happen to our people in our neighborhood.  Why?  I’ll try to explain.

Bojons made a community.  They were of shared background, shared values, shared religion, and they shared a new situation.  And they were good people and they looked out for each other.  Not just to make sure that people were doing well, but making sure that they weren’t up to no good.  They policed themselves.  If someone got out of line, police weren’t needed. Courts weren’t necessary.  The leaders in the neighborhood took care of things.  If a young man was moving in the wrong direction in his life, family and friends were there to correct the situation.  They didn’t look the other way and ignore problems.  And if they couldn’t fix things, they went to the next level, and let the legal system deal with it.

The Muslim community is hugely to blame for San Bernardino.  They have been looking at these terrorist attacks for years and turning a blind eye.  They’ll give lip service about how it’s wrong, but it’s nothing more than lip service, when their mosques welcome these animals with open arms.  The leaders know who the bad people are, but they do nothing but tell us to be tolerant.  Take a look at the interviews with the family of these two animals who killed fourteen people and were killed themselves.  No real emotion.  Normal people would be distraught beyond belief if one of their family did this, but these people are missing some of that inside, it appears.   They needed to police themselves long ago.  By not doing it, they implicitly agreed with the terrorists.  In my eyes, they have all become terrorists by their inaction and silence.  Bojons would have never just sat by.

Imagine Bojon Town in 1960. A young couple moves in.  They have a baby. People are coming and going into their house at all hours of the day and night.  There is noise coming from power tools in the garage, and it looks like they’re being a bit sneaky.  What happens next?  Do people ignore it because they don’t want to be politically incorrect?  Bojons are not exactly politically correct if you haven’t noticed.  That crap would have been looked into.  Why?  Because we were proud of our neighborhood, and we didn’t want anything or anyone to screw it up.

Bojons came to this country because they wanted to be Americans.  They heard of the American dream, and they wanted a piece of it.  They fought for it, they fought for America.  They loved America.  They were , but they didn’t consider themselves to be Slovenian-Americans.  They were Americans with a common heritage in ‘the old country’.  We kept a piece of our identity, but we didn’t let it define us.  We practiced our religion without fear of persecution, but we never thought that another religion would try to kill us for it.  We’re not about to start now.

One more thing. Bojons aren’t the only group that wouldn’t have put up with this nonsense.  The Italians across the bridge?  No dice.  Irish?  Nope.  Germans?  Not a chance.  Any ethnic group in Pueblo would have dealt with animals like this the same way that Bojons would have.  They wouldn’t have let it happen to two kids that they should have been responsible for.

Sorry that this seems kind of off topic, given that I try to stay pretty positive in my blog.  But I’m positive about one thing. I’m not afraid to be politically incorrect.  If you disagree with any of this, please feel free to comment.  I have to approve all comments before they appear, but I promise that I have never disapproved of one yet, and I’m not about to start.

Random Thoughts

I took a ride through Bojon Town today.   As I got part of the way down Santa Fe Hill I saw a huge bird walking across the road.   At first I thought it was a peacock, but when I got closer, it was a turkey.  It was on the west side of Santa Fe, about 40 yards from the stop light at Santa Fe Drive.  I have a hunch that there are more of them down there.  I’m going to take a hike down there soon and take a look.

 

Turkey

He’s just to the right of the electrical box.  Proof that turkeys live in Bojon Town.

 

I saw a few signs that were promoting the ‘Bojon Town Frolic’ this coming Saturday.  I believe it involves a running race up Santa Fe hill and some other things.  It is good to see those words being used.  When we were kids, we hardly waited for the St. Mary’s ‘Frolic’, as they used to call it.  Best hamburgers in the history of hamburgers, games for kids, and all around Bojon fun with a few of the old guys like John Pauchek playing the accordion and a lot of polka dancing.  I’m not sure what this new Bojon Town Frolic will be like, but given that it’s not called the ‘Eilers Heights Summer Soiree’, it should be good.

 

I mentioned the crappy condition of some of the houses in Bojon Town in my last post.  One of the main reasons is obvious to me.  The owners got old and died.  They left it to their kids, who now lived in Regency and University Park.  The kids wanted nothing to do with it, so either sold it to someone that rented it out, or they rented it themselves.  The original owners loved their houses and yards, and invested a lifetime in them.  The new owners?  Not so much.  But there are exceptions.  My nephew and his girlfriend bought my Great Grandpa Anzick’s house, and it looks better than it has in years.  I think that the neighborhood is going to go through some changes in the next decade.  With this EPA crap hanging over people and their property, I think you may see some people picking up some really cheap houses and fixing them up.  I hope that is the case.  The place could use some sprucing up.

 

My wife had a flat tire on her bike a few weeks ago.  I just bought a tube and put it in.  When I was a kid, I had bike tubes that had more patches than tube.  I remember my Uncle Dan letting me use the tire patching stuff in the garage.  If I paid for every patch that he and my Grandpa Bear gave me, I’d still owe them money.  I kind of had to laugh at how lazy I’ve become.  I never even bothered to look at the old tube.  Speaking of bikes, how many of you had motors on your bicycles?   And by motors, I mean a clothes pin with a playing card or a balloon pinned to the bike so that the spokes hit it every time the wheel spun.  I think that most of the noise that you heard in Bojon Town in the summer came from some kid with a playing card slapping the spokes on their bike tires.  And how many of us rode on the handlebars of a bike that someone else was riding?  Or standing on the back axle bolts?  That was a common mode of transportation, and an even more common cause of childhood injuries in Bojon Town.  I remember standing on the back axle bolts of Tommy Pechek’s bike and he hit a bad spot in the sidewalk and my foot went in the spokes.  It almost ripped off my toes, and the bike went from 10 miles per hour to stopped in a flash.  We had a lot of bike accidents.  And guess how many of us wore a helmet?

 

On the east side of Santa Fe Hill, there are probably 15 houses, starting at Tezak Street by Cernac’s Blacksmith Shop and ending down by the entrance to Chicken Village.  The sidewalks in front of the houses were cracked and broken, raised and sunken, and every variation in between.  I rode a skateboard from the top to the bottom without falling off.  I attempted it at least 200 times and I made it once.  Bojons are persistent, though our knees and elbows don’t always appreciate how persistent we are.  I remember Pigeon Golob lived pretty close to the bottom, and he’d sit on his front porch and watch us and laugh.  If we got close to the bottom, he’d encourage us.  The only time I made it was when he wasn’t there.  I always wished that he was there to see it.  He was such a nice man.  Come to think of it, there were a lot of nice people there.  Bojon Town.  My home forever, no matter where I live.