Archive for November, 2014

Bojon Town Still Lives On

A piece of me left for Heaven last week.  My mom passed away after being really sick for about a year.  She fought hard, like a Bojon woman, and was surrounded by loved ones when the angels came for her.  I can’t even write about her right now, or I’ll short this keyboard out with tears, so her story will come later.  Now, back to Bojon Town.
A drive-by shooting took place at Lepik’s old house on Arroyo Avenue.  Two women were shot on the front porch.  The police don’t think it’s gang related.  I drove past the house last week, and two women were on the porch.  The looks that they gave us were not the looks that you usually get from Bojons.  In fact, I almost expected them to flash some signs.  If it’s not gang related, I’d eat the shell casings.  Oh, and the wonderful Pueblo Chieftain said that the shooting happened in the “Eilers Neighborhood”.  Now we all know (or most of us, anyway), there is no such place as the Eilers Neighborhood.  The Eilers Neighborhood is a pretend place that exists in the  minds of some people that got a bit carried away.  They misjudged the sentiment of residents of other streets that didn’t care to be annexed into their imaginary neighborhood.  But all that aside, I’m going to give them this drive-by.  It definitely occurred in the Eilers Neighborhood.  That kind of crap would never happen in Bojon Town.
I saw some good old friends at my mom’s Funeral.  Mikey Deverich, who I teamed up with to cause a huge amount of trouble with as a kid.  Phil Pechek, aka Flip, my partner in many an escapade in my teenage years.  Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and a lot of people I hadn’t seen in years.  Some of my early influences, like Johnny Zobeck, Leonard Miklich, Harvey and Dick Koshak, Vic Mishmish……and I got a strong message from a lot of people.  Keep writing about Bojon Town.  And keep calling it Bojon Town.  These guys lived on Egan, Berwind, Taylor, Agram, Russ, and all of the other streets in Bojon Town that don’t start with “Eil”.  They actually used the phrase “We don’t appreciate being annexed into Eilers Heights without being asked first”.  So, I’ll say it again for the guys.  It’s Bojon Town!

 

So, I’m kind of running on empty after the last few weeks, and most of this is just going to be random thoughts.  I’m working on some stories that I’ll post soon, but I want to get them right.  I’ve gone as far as checking out and reading library books on the art of writing, so this could get interesting.  But one thing I need to say about writing is that I’ve been inspired by a few people and I’ve learned a lot from two individuals.

 

My mom’s cousin, Anne Kocman, is really responsible for me writing this blog.  I saw a blog that she does about her family and all I could think was “I need to do this for my kids and nieces and nephews”.  She’s an incredible writer and her passion for her family is awesome.  My mom inspired me to write, because she was the center of my memories, along with my Dad.  I knew she was writing about her childhood, and wow!!!!!  I wasn’t disappointed.  The book that she left for us is better than anything I’ll ever manage to hack out on a keyboard.  What little writing skills I possess can be credited to one of my high school teachers and one of my college teachers.  Mrs. Judy Wodishek was my English teacher in high school at Central.  She’s married to an awesome Bojon, so I automatically listened to her more than my other teachers.  She taught me so much about the fundamentals and she pushed me to excel.  I’d write a paper that I thought was good, and she’d rip it to shreds.  There would be a gallon of red ink on it, and I’d re-write it and get it back with a half gallon of red ink.  She pushed me, and I needed pushing.  I went to Colorado School of Mines for a few years out of college.  I had the math skills of a small chimp, so I struggled until they tossed me.  I got 4 A’s in my two years there.  2 in gym, one in Computer Programming, which should have told me something, and one in Technical Writing.  My professor for the Technical Writing class was Dr. Leonard Kalal.  He was a Physicist who worked with Robert Oppenheimer on the first atomic bomb.  He taught me more about writing in 4 months than I’ve learned before or since.  He took the foundation that Mrs. Wodishek helped me build, and he added to it in ways I never imagined.  He was an incredible man who told frightening stories about a scary time in our history, but he got me to this level.  These four people are responsible for my writing.  Thanks!

 

I had the pleasure of hearing stories from my uncles, Ray, Danny and Kenny Medved.  These guys saw Bojon Town before I did and they have some awesome stories.  And they know how to tell them!  These guys could make the Olympic Team for Storytelling!  If I could write as well as these guys tell stories, I’d be rich.

 

After living in Cripple Creek for 11 years, it’s interesting to see ‘winter’ come to Pueblo.  It’s about 15 degrees today, and it’s wet and snowing.  In Cripple Creek, we used to call that ‘Every day between September and May’.  I don’t want to say it was cold, but I used to take Viagra just to keep from peeing on my shoes.  You don’t know what winter is until you have to get out a snow shovel and a ladder, so you can keep your roof from caving in.  We watched fireworks on the Fourth of July one year in a snowstorm.

 

I’ve been in St. Mary’s Church a lot lately.  I’m fascinated by the brick work and the patterns.  I used to sit there as a kid and just stare at the walls and see the patterns within the patterns.  I probably should pay more attention to Mass.  And when did they put cushions on the pews?  I miss those hard old benches.  It’s hard to imagine how much it’s changed since I was an Altar Boy.

 

My Auntie Jeannie and I got to spend a lot of time together in the last few weeks.  She’s such an incredible lady that she’ll get an entire story one day.  But one thing I have to say now.  She always said that when she was young, my mom was beautiful and she was just a skinny, scrawny little girl.  I saw a family picture of the Medved boys and girls with Grandma and Grandpa Bear.  Auntie Jeannie was maybe 23 or 24.  And she was gorgeous!  She’s such a fibber!!

 

I’m working on a project that may be of interest to a lot of Bojon Towners.  I’ll keep everyone informed in the next week or so.  Until then, Bojon Town Lives!  It lives on physically, and it lives on in our hearts.  No one can take that away.  No one can rename it.  We will not be annnexed 😉

 

Hi Mom!