Welcome to Bojon Town

Bojon Town.  My neighborhood.  The best neighborhood in the world for a kid to grow up.  I may be a bit biased.   I may be a bit nostalgic.  But I’m not lying.  It was the best neighborhood in the world for a kid to grow up.

First, some explanation for my non-Bojon readers.  A Bojon is a person of Slovenian descent.  The term Bojon was a derogatory term for the Slovenians that settled in Pueblo, Colorado, in the early 1900’s.  It started as a derogatory term.  It kind of grew on us.  I’m proud to be Bojon.

Bojon Town was where a lot of them lived.  The neighborhood is located in the south side of Pueblo.  It is bordered by the Steel Mill and Northern Avenue on the south, Interstate 25 on the west, Santa Fe Drive on the north, and Blende on the east  In my opinion, the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Mesa Avenue is the heart of Bojon Town.  I can go on and on about the history of the area and the people, but there are already web sites that do a very good job at that already.  My intent isn’t to write the history of Bojon Town, but merely the history of one little 3/4 Bojon boy.

(As I’m writing this, I’m really livid about an article I read in the Pueblo Chieftain a week or so ago. city planners are working on historic preservation for neighborhoods like Bojon Town, but they don’t like the name Bojon Town.  They took a vote and people in the neighborhood came up with Eiler’s Heights.  Eiler’s Heights!  Excuse me for just a second while I vent.  There is no Eiler’s Heights.  It’s a fake name, like Invesco Field or Sports Authority Field, or whatever fake name they try to stick on Mile High Stadium.  It’s Bojon Town.  If you people that moved in can’t deal with it, move back to whatever cookie pusher neighborhood you came from.  And if you don’t know what a cookie pusher is, stick around.  I’ll get to that some day.)

My history started in 1956.  Well, depending on your philosophy about when life begins, you can make a case that it started on a nice August night in 1955, when Chuck and Audrey were feeling a bit frisky.  I’d like to think that I was conceived at the Mesa Drive In, but you never know.  But 9 or so months later, I made my grand entrance.

My dad is Chuck Barnett.  He lived in Bojon Town.  He was the oldest of 3 sons born to Charles Barnett and Stephanie Anzick.  My mom is Audrey Barnett.  She lived in Bojon Town as well.  She was the oldest of 5 children born to Anton Medved and Angela Kocman.  My mom and dad lived about 3 blocks from each other when they were growing up.  I think that set an example for me.  My wife, Velma, grew up on the same block as I did.  Why go far to find good women when they are so close!

My mom and dad were the first couple to be married in the new St. Mary’s Church on Mesa Avenue.  That kind of made them Bojon Royalty.  Maybe that makes me a Prince.  Who knows.  We lived in the places that struggling young couples with kids live.  The Medved basement.   A rental on Santa Fe Avenue that I don’t remember, except for old movies and pictures.  And then, the house!  My mom and dad bought a house on the corner of Bohmen and Mesa, literally a half a block from the heart of Bojon Town.   It’s an old, huge two-story house that they’ve virtually transformed from a scary old haunted house looking place to a beautiful home for themselves and their 5 kids.  They still live there today.  When I walk in, I still feel like I just came home.

I should clarify something.  My mom and dad had a baby girl before I was born.  I never spoke to my mom and dad about her.  Her name was Anna Marie, and all I know is that she is buried in Roselawn Cemetery, and has a little angel on her headstone.  I still go and walk there every few years or so to look at the angel and say hi.  I wish she were still here.

I have 4 sisters.  Julie, Janet, Susan, and Marie.  They are all awesome women in their own right.  Each one a success in their field.  I’m proud of all of them.

Back to the little Bojon boy.  I was the oldest kid.  On top of that,  I was the oldest grandkid for both sets of my grandparents.  I’ll just say this.  I was spoiled.  Rotten.  It was fun!

Again, this isn’t my life story.  Most of you would find that to be boring and mundane, and the parts that didn’t happen in Bojon Town won’t be in here.  What you’re going to see next is kind of like “Tales From the Crypt”, without the Crypt Keeper and the scary stuff.  Just some stories.  Some sad, some funny.  Some may even be unbelievable, but would I ever lie to you?????  Stay tuned.

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15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by cindy on March 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Hey Mike. glad to read this. I am cindy. cindy delgado. I was Julies ( your sister) best friend growing up on bohmen. its fun reading your stories. keep it up

    Reply

    • Wow! Hi Cindy! Sorry I haven’t been more active here. I didn’t see your post for a while. I spend a lot of time with a girl that used to live next to you guys 😉 I’m going to write more soon. I’ve been really lazy. I remember all of you guys. Your brothers were really cool guys to me when I was little.

      Reply

  2. Posted by John on May 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Nice read. Bojontown forever.

    Reply

  3. I love this blog! I attended John Neumann in the 1980s when it occupied St. Mary’s. So, this was well after the hey-day of Bojon Town but I loved the neighborhood. I still remember walking across the bridge to Gus’ for a Dutch Lunch and a trip to the candy store.

    I moved back to Pueblo 2 years ago after a 25+ year absence. Among other things, I’m working on a project to map Pueblo’s neighborhoods so it’s great to find your blog and read your geographic definition of Bojon Town.

    Would you be able to attach addresses or approximate locations to “The Places” you list in the “What Makes Bojon Town Special” post? Also, would you be willing to name and describe the location of some of the other historic neighborhoods in Pueblo?

    Thanks for your help and thanks for sharing your memories! Great stuff – looking forward to reading more!

    Best regards,
    Justin

    Reply

    • Thanks for the nice words, Justin. I’m actually doing some research on addresses and such right now, so I’ll try to get that out there. I’m writing about bars and places that we used to get alcohol, and in the research, I found an article about Gary Knafelc, who grew up in Bojon Town and went to high school at Central. He went on to play for the Packers in the NFL and was their PA Announcer for years after he retired. In the article, it mentioned that his dad owned a bar at the corner of Northern and Eilers. I think it’s an empty lot now, but I never knew about that one. I’m finding more and more, so I’ll get that to you as I come across it.

      Reply

  4. I am going backward and looking over posts that I missed! Drat!Drat!Drat! Anyway keep up this great work and please contact me if you need anything. I believe bojon ton runs from Hill Place all the way to the bridge at Mesa and St. Marys School. We need a map to color in bojontown and always be damn proud of it!

    Reply

  5. Posted by Lauren Dodge on October 31, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Hello 🙂 My name is Lauren Dodge and I’m your 2nd cousin! Haha, your dad is my Uncle Chuck and your mom’s my Aunt Audrey. My mother is your uncle David’s daughter. I stumbled upon this while creating a genogram for my Child & Family Devlopment class I’m taking as a student at San Diego State. My mother actually rented out the house next to Grandma Stephie’s on E Mesa Ave for a year from 07-08 after my parents got divorced. Well anyways, just wanted to say hello and that I enjoyed your article!

    Reply

  6. Posted by Lauren Dodge on October 31, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Hello 🙂 My name is Lauren Dodge and I’m your 2nd cousin! Haha, your dad is my Uncle Chuck and your mom’s my Aunt Audrey. My mother is your uncle David’s daughter. I stumbled upon this while creating a genogram/family tree for my Child & Family Development class I’m taking as a student at San Diego State. My mother actually rented out the house next to Grandma Stephie’s on E Mesa Ave for a year from 07-08 after my parents got divorced. I think we have met at your parents house during a gathering when I was younger. Well anyways, just wanted to say hello and that I enjoyed your article!

    Reply

    • Hi Lauren, I remember meeting you at Grandma’s birthday when she turned 90. I’m glad you got the chance to read this. Good luck in school. Tell your mom I said hi.

      Reply

      • Posted by Lauren Dodge on November 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm

        I’m glad you remembered me 🙂 & No problem it was an interesting post! I let her know and she said Hello and hopes your doing well.

  7. Do you remember a Tony Adamich?

    Reply

    • Yes, I remember Tony. He was maybe 4 or 5 years older than I was. He lived in the house across from St. Mary’s School that my sisters used to call ‘The Birthday Cake House’. It had a flat roof and was always painted a bright color. Tony was super smart and a very good athlete. He was a nice guy, too. I haven’t seen him since I was a kid. I think he had a sister named Susan. His dad was a nice guy too.

      Reply

  8. Yay Bojon Town! I’m one of the Ziatz sisters who lived at the corner of Mesa and Taylor, about 4 or 5 houses from Carla and Tony Adamich, 2 houses from the Kochevars, directly across from St. Mary School! You’re my sister Susan’s age, so you probably knew her. We were part of the Starcer family. My mom was a Starcer. You can’t miss the Ziatz’s or Starcers – we kids covered all the generations! What are some of the other Bojon Town websites? Also, the other poster was right – Bojon Town extends all the way to The Tracks (Mesa and Northern St. bridges). My sister Cheryl and I drove through that part (Taylor) when I visited Pueblo for my cousin Frank Starcer’s funeral in Jan. 2014 and it’s a mess! It’s contaminated from the mill and can’t be rebuilt or renovated. So sad.

    Reply

  9. By the way, Tony was living in San Francisco, but I’m not sure if he’s still there now. I live in Southern Calif., and my sister Susan lives in Sonoma County, CA.

    Reply

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