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!

 

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11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tami on November 11, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Glad to see Bojon town lives! I was brought back to my Bojon childhood sitting in St Mary’s at the gathering of those that loved your mom. I am glad to know you will be sharing your tales of our life as Bojons.

    Reply

  2. Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your sweet mother. She was something special!! I am one of your Mom’s first cousins. One of the Samples girls, Kay. I have been following your blog since my son Matt, who lives in Tucson AZ, Googled Bojon and found it. He embraces his Bojon roots. I live in Springfield IL and I have enjoyed your postings. You come from a long line of great storytellers starting with my Auntie Gela your grandma. My Auntie Anna was also great and had her own style of storytelling. So keep up the good work!! You honor the memory of your mother, grandmother and aunts and uncles with everything you write. I was in Pueblo in August for my nephew Danny’s wedding and I went to see Audrey and Chuck while I was there. When I heard that your mother had passed, I was so glad I had a last visit with her. I wanted to ask your Mom about our grandparents, since I am starting to do some geneaology on the Kocmans. I am planning a trip to Slovenia next year and I want to have some background about my grandparents origins before I go. Of course, your Mom gave me lots of great information. I told them I followed your blog and really enjoyed it. We talked about the Bojon town controversy as well. Two of my sisters were at your Mom’s funeral and told me that excerpts from her book on her life were read. I would love to have a copy of her book. Please consider sharing it. Audrey talked about writing it for her family. What a great gift she left you. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family as you try to cope with your loss. Keep writing!!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Nicola on November 11, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Keep writing dad I love reading your stories!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Betty Williams on November 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for writing your story. I grew up in the Grove, but most of my friends and relatives lived in Bojan Town. Your Grandma and my aunt, Mary Salvo, were sisters. My brother and sister (Russell DeSalvo and Rose Jennings) spent a lot of our childhood with your Mom, aunt, and uncles at our Aunt Mary and Uncle Sam’s farm on the Mesa. I really enjoy reading about your family. Keep up the good work. Betty Jean Williams.

    Reply

  5. Don’t stop writing! Write as long as you can hold a pen or type on your computer. You do an amazing job of it! I was so very sad not to be able to come to Pueblo and celebrate your mom’s life. If you have a moment send me your address too. I have a card here I have wanted to sit down and write in for your dad and the phamily. Live through the stories you heard from your folks. Keep the heritage alive and make sure no body ever forgets that we were bojons! Sometime I will tell you the story of Debbie Lepik and the beating she gave me in the 6th grade for a crime I never committed! I need to write down all my stories. They are all so vivid in my mind. A friend of mine, Edna, is 72 years young. She has turned her blog stories into a book. She always says she will help me get started to preserve mine too. I told her I would need Bill Gates money to pay for my blog book because I am close to 1200 posts! HaHaHa! Saying I have encouraged you to continue the blog made me smile. I was honored to be in there with your mom. Gosh, I close my eyes and hear her laughter ringing in my mind. I want to ask you and your phamily if I may borrow your mom’s photo at Facebook.so I can add her to my Strong Willed Women Page at pinterest. Once I get back into my garage and locate all my photos I will dig out her wedding photo so I can share it. I will head over to FB tomorrow and post my sister Pat’s wedding photo. I will show you another example of what a fibber that aunt Jeanne of yours really is! She was in Pat’s wedding and was and always will be pretty as ever! Her kids know how much I liked Les. That guy was amazing and man could he tell us stories too! I sure miss him because when I was a little kid he was always so kind to me. I was so shy and I never forgot that! I am done with this winter stuff already! Crazy drivers here. From warmer climates I imagine. This post was a long time coming and I know how life can be. Just keep putting these stories here. We know where we came from. We don’t need the “Eilers Elite” to tell our stories for us. We are capable ourselves and we have alot of storytellers who join us here. Love to you and yours. Keep writing bojon cousin! Love and Blessings, Anne

    Reply

  6. Posted by Scott Massey on November 15, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I had Leonard Kalal for a humanities class. I always thought it was funny for a guy who worked with Oppenheimer and such would teach English and Humanities at Mines. That’s Mines though. In my technical writing class we formed groups and built a motor then wrote technical papers and reports on our progress etc. Even in English you get hit with math and science.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Deanna on November 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Although I was a part-time member of “Bojon Town” (based on all the time I spent at my cousins and Grandparents growing up)…I am proud to be a full-time member of this great Bojon family. Thanks Mike for keeping this alive!

    Reply

    • Being a member of Bojon Town is a state of mind as much as anything. I get tired of all of the arguments with some people over the boundaries and the name and all of that crap. Bojon Town is in my heart, and it’s where I want it to be. I know it’s in your heart too, because when you have a mom like you do, you can’t help it to be anything but a true Bojon. And no thanks are necessary. It’s my honor and pleasure to be able to do it. Bojon Town will never die as long as one person remembers.

      Reply

  8. Humanities! That’s crazy! But I also had Fritz Brenneke as a gym teacher. I think he was the blocking back for Whizzer White back in the 1800’s or so, but he was still at it in the ’70s. Even gym class was old school. We had tumbling, wrestling and boxing. I hated the tumbling, but boxing was awesome. A good way to get some aggression out on the kids that were blowing away the curve in all of my classes. I’d get a 56% on a test and pray for the curve to save me, and three nerds ended up getting 100%. Knocking one of those guys out from time to time felt good.

    Reply

    • Posted by Scott Massey on November 17, 2014 at 9:50 am

      One of my gym teachers there was Gail Klock from Pueblo. Her father was Don Klock a fellow chess player and member of the Pueblo chess club. I was a Sigma Nu. My fraternity was the unofficial frat for the wrestlers. 5 of the 10 team members lived there. We usually never got the best of them as they would come out of nowhere and grab the other guys and put us in all sorts of wrestling holds and pound on us. We could then hold our own against other non wrestlers. We dominated the intramural tournament. We also had several swimmers. We won the intramural swim meet as well. I still have the t-shirts we got for winning. I also won the annual chess tourney, so that was pretty cool. Turns out you really can’t do Mines and play chess too. End up mediocre at both.

      Reply

  9. When I went, the head of the Physics Department was Tom Brown, who graduated from Central. The first time I met him was at E-Days at a drunken party as Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, and I was wearing a shirt that we made at Central that said “Bessemer Tech”. He saw the shirt and said that he wanted it. I thought he was some weird drunk guy, so I just gave him the shirt. The next day he showed up with a bag full of shirts and sweatshirts from the Mines bookstore. That’s when I found out who he was. He just loved that shirt, and he always remembered me while I was there. That didn’t stop him from flunking me in Physics though.

    Reply

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