Day 14. Just a Bit Late. Most Bojons are Prompt

Slept in Cripple Creek last night in a sleeping bag on an air mattress.  Got up at 5, did a few things to the house, helped Velma out a bit, and left at 2:30 in the afternoon for Denver.  My awesome sister Julie had gotten tickets for Brian Setser and George Thorogood at Hudson Gardens in Littleton, so we were going to meet her and my sister Susan and brother in law Howard at the show.  Show starts at 6:30, so we have plenty of time.  We get to Colorado Springs and a sign says that I-25 is closed at Fontanero.  So, smart guy that I am, I bypass the Interstate, go up Tejon and Cascade, and hit some side streets to Nevada.  It’s around where we used to live, so I save a little bit of time with some shortcuts, but we still lose a lot of time.  We finally get back on I-25 and it’s smooth sailing!  For about 5 miles.  And then it’s the I-25 accordion all the way past Castle Rock.  You’d go 5 miles an hour, and all of a sudden it breaks up and you get up to 30, and then all the brake lights come on, and it’s back to 5 mph.  So, we get to the concert about an hour later than I’d planned, but there’s still 50 minutes until the start of the show.  So, I go to get some food from the line of food trucks. which should be a tipoff, and I notice that it’s cash only.  There’s one ATM, and 7 people in line.  Minor delay.  Right.  20 minutes I get to the ATM, and now I know what took so long.  I can actually hear the modem dialing and connecting.  A frigging dialup ATM for a crowd of 5000.  So, 4 minutes later, I get some cash and go to the food trucks.  Let’s see.  Dialup ATM, food truck, am I starting to see a pattern?  There’s 6 food trucks.  I walk past them all to see what looks edible, and I settle for a Mexican Food Truck.  And there’s 20 people in line.  30 minutes later, my butt hits my chair right when Brian Setser hits his first note.  So much for being prompt.  And after the concert, it’s traffic hell.  Road construction in about 5 different places.  I stop for gas and coffee in Castle Rock.  I pump the gas, go inside, and there’s no coffee.  So I have to drive to the gas station across the street to get coffee.  When I’m inside, Velma sees a Burger King and gets a craving for chicken fingers.  15 minutes later, she gets some really hot chicken fingers.  So this is late, and it’s not all my fault.  Velma passed out instantly.  I don’t know how she goes the way she does.  She’s like the Energizer Bunny, and she makes me look like the tortoise.

The concert was great.  The ride back was brutal.  I’ll spare you the details and get to some good stuff.

I know that there are a lot of Slovenian people in Bojon Town, but I also know that some of the people there told me that they were Croatian.  Given the border changes in that part of the world, I don’t even know how they’d distinguish between themselves, but I’m going to go out on a limb and put some Croatian stuff in here.  It should be OK, since I know that there were self-proclaimed Croatians from the neighborhood.  That, and it’s my blog, so it’s OK.

Joe Magarac was a Croatian folk hero.  He was kind of like a Bojon Paul Bunyan, and he was made of steel.  A lot of his stories were about him rescuing steelworkers that were in trouble, so he was kind of like a patron saint to them.  Magarac means donkey in Croatian.  I know that because my dad used to call me magarac.

I remember the older Bojon ladies, mainly my Grandma Bear, using some really interesting Slovenian words.  I didn’t know a single word of Slovenian, but the first time I heard her say them, I knew that they weren’t nice words.  I wish I had a list of those words, with the proper spellings.  I learned to swear in English at a very early age.  I actually had a real talent for it.  I just with that I’d gone bilingual in that area.

Anyone remember fire drills at St. Mary’s?  They’d march us out a few time a year, but once every year the fire department would show up with the ladder trucks and the pumpers and demonstrate how it all worked.  It was cool to watch them put a guy on the ladder and lift him up onto the roof of the school.

Take a walk through Bojon Town one day.  Go up and down every street and alley.  Count the number of chain link fences.  Now count the number of chain link fences that are installed with the points up?  Bojons weren’t worried about kids getting hurt on the fence.  Bojons were worried about keeping kids off of their fence.  I’ll bet the percentage of points-up fences in Bojon town is the highest in the world.

I’m wearing down.  I guess I’m like the Energizer Tortoise!  I don’t move too fast, but I make up for it by sleeping a lot. .   See you later.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mike Deverich on June 15, 2015 at 6:48 am

    Thanks for reminding me why I go to Denver as little as possible, I gave up club seats for the Rockies and 1st level seats for the Avs because the drive home was hell. Bojons can be very insular or have been in the past. Grandpa Moon asked my dad to bowl in the KSKJ league, he was denied entry because he was Croatian. That is really strange when you think about the history of the 2 countries. They have been allies throughout history unlike the Croats and Serbs that still hate each other today. I am lucky as I am 1/2 and 1/2 ( Slocro or Crovenian ) and have been afforded the opportunity to be included in Slovenian and Croatian activities. I have visited most of my family when the country of Jugoslavia existed. Slovenia was the driving force in the formation of South Slavic states that included Slovenians, Croatians and Serbs, it had 4 other Slavic states added and became Jugoslavia. In ’73 I visited most of the families our grandparents left for a better life in the USA. My dad’s family lived near Zagreb and my mom’s family lived in the mountains outside of Ljubljana. They all drive like drunk 16 year olds ( could be they were slightly impaired every day) and every time you got in a vehicle you would see your life flash before you eyes several times before you were able get out of the car. The separation between Bojons and Croats has loosened significantly as my dad did become a member of Presharian. I know a couple of Croatian swear words but they only come out on the golf course and will not list them here. Mike I do not have your talent or memory to write a blog. Your memories bring back things I had forgotten and allow my addled brain to dreg up memories long lost. The 1 overriding memory I have about growing up in Bojon town was how happy and comfortable I was when I was there, we lived near City Park but I went to school at St Mary’s and my dad picked me up everyday at 4:45. I just wanted to stay.and spent as much time as I could at Grandma Elsies. I can hardly wait for Anne to finish the family tree, that is a enormous task and she deserves much praise.


    • Thanks Mike. That clears up some stuff for me. And as for you not wanting to leave at the end of the day, I didn’t want you to go. You were the one constant friend that I had from the first time we played catch. I didn’t have a brother, so you were the closest thing that I had. My childhood would have been a lot different if it weren’t for our friendship.


  2. Now you boys better be nice to Denver! There are worse places to drive! LOL! I have come to a point in my life that I dislike driving intensely. Anywhere! Both of you Mike’s have given me more info and good memories that I like to keep close to my heart. We were so blessed the way we were raised. When I meet someone with phamily difficulties it is so hard to understand because we had such a wonderful close phamily. I am checking out some of these sites for common words I know in sLOVEnian! I know a few of the bad words too but won’t repeat them here! I was thinking what a small world we live in. When I was expecting my first child, you know I was a single parent. This is an unpleasant thing but I just feel like I had to share. Someone from the neighborhood sent my father a poison pen letter. It broke his heart and it was not until he passed away ten years later that my older sisters told me about it! It reminded me of the meanness we see often in our world. I won’t mention the kid’s mom here but another incident of bad behavior was when Father Blane Beeble was the pastor at St. Mary’s. I often wonder if that poison pen letter to my dad and the attack on the priest were related, given they happened around the same time. In the 7th grade Mrs. Martha Sandstrom was our teacher. Later on her son Gus became Pueblo District Attorney. Father Blane had let the parish know he suffered from,as they say in Ireland ,”the drink” and asked for prayer. Someone sent him a similar poison pen letter. But Father gave it to Gus who sent it to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. They found out who that culprit was and confronted her! All I will say is that she lived on the side they call Eiler’s Hts. I think about that hateful letter that person sent to my dad and I wonder why you would be so brazen. I remember Father Blane was quite kind to me when I consulted him about my single self and wanting to baptize my baby girl. He told me God was strictly my judge, No judgement on his part toward me. I also worked in the County Treasurer’s office at the courthouse at the time and my boss Lorraine Reininger and her deputy Augustine Mariani were both Italian Catholic women. Mrs. Mary Shomer was retiring and she also stuck by my side and they all defended me telling the other workers there if they had nothing better to do than discuss my personal life they would gladly give them piles of extra work to do!I I know I write too much on these comments but I told this story leading up to this one: While waiting for my baby to be born my auntie Ann Petgovsek and Auntie Mary Mishmash worked at the food service at the SCSC college campus. They worked with Auntie Elsie Kocman and Rita Robinson who would later be my mother-in-law. The aunties Ann and Mary told me if I would give them a ride to work along with their friend Fran Meglen they would pay me! It was a sweet deal and I had a little spending cash and we visited all the way to the Belmont campus.. Auntie Elsie worked with my “one day to be” MIL Rita and so while visiting with Auntie Elsie one day I met Rita. She said I would make a lovely wife for her son Avery! I met my hubby three months later, his mom did not know this at the time, on March 9, 1976. We did not marry until May 3, 1984 but he was a free spirit back than lol! I thought of all these things when Mike D. said he dad could not bowl on the league because he was Croatian! Wow! Same part of the world, crazy phamily feuds or something back long ago! I have more of these sort of sad stories in my noggin but my final one today from Ed, the grandson of Auntie Mima who told my sister that the Italians painted the side of Grandpa Kocman’s house black when Uncle Sam Salvo married Auntie Mary Kocman Salvo! People seemed a bit divided back in the older days. I still cherish my old neighborhood and will get there soon so I can take photos to share with the Cosimano cousin . Mike thank you for starting this. I am writing down a few more stories to share. We come from good stock. We are all so blessed.
    Have a good week and glad you had fun at your concert despite all the setbacks!
    Hugs cousin! Love ya Anne xo


    • It makes me sad that someone could do that to your dad. He tried not to show it, but I was around him enough that I know how sensitive he was and that was a horrible thing to do to him. And although you don’t want to think about it, there were some horrible people in that neighborhood. I had someone say something to me about my mom and dad when I was about 10, and I hated him the rest of his life. He was a good customer at the gas station, and I had to be civil to him when I waited on him, but I always remembered what he said. People that say and do things like that may be of Slovenian or Croatian or whatever descent, and they may be from our neighborhood, but they will never be true Bojons. True Bojons would never hurt an innocent person. One more thing relating to bad people in that neighborhood. I was about 5 or 6, and I asked my mom what a Mexican was. She asked me why I was asking. I told her it was because one of the older girls in the neighborhood asked me why I was playing with dirty Mexicans. I didn’t have any idea she was talking about my best friend. I’ll bet she would have shit herself if she knew the first girl I had a crush on was Cindy Elbeck! Oh, and I remember you mentioning one of the Elbeck boys. I worked at the mill a couple of summers when I was in college, and I worked with one of the brothers. I think it was Warren, but I’m not positive. We used to talk together in the lunch shack, and one day he asked me to go and have a beer after work. I got into my car and followed him to the bar. Simmon’s Downbeat. I was kind of apprehensive to go in, but it was just a bar with nice people in it. I think we know that when we’re little, and older people screw us up into thinking that they’re different so they must be bad. And bad people come in all shapes, sizes and races, so it’s no surprise that we have a few in our neighborhood. But they were a small minority.


  3. Posted by Mike Deverich on June 15, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Actually I did not phrase my das inability to bowl in the KSKJ league. You had to be a member of the KSKJ and because my dad was Croatian he could not join the lodge. There was no personal vendetta involved just the rules of the lodge.


  4. Silly old rules. I am a rule breaker when it involves the good of other. The KSKJ Lodge has changed throughout the years. Lots of people with non sLOVenian names now joining. LOL- I guess they married well. Love all these stories. Mike Barnett and I must be the two rebel bojons. Maybe I can get us a couple t shirts. I wonder if we could protest at the Pueblo newspaper?! Hmmm……..I worked with a horrible person. She grew up in Wisconsin and lived for many years in Georgia. Hated black people and once said this to a group of us at work, small office, six employees, all Mexican or half Mexican except myself, her “the evil one”, and the snotty Dr. of Audiology. This included two students doing rotations too that were both Mexican (Hispanic if you are formal) “You can get a Mexican to work but you can’t make a N * * * * * work! Wow! I was stunned. I know many well educated black people and they do work hard and are great successes! But this is a nut case who believes only Catholics practicing the Latin Mass and hating Jews and blacks can go to heaven! Double Wow! Wasn’t Jesus, uh…um….a…JEW! ?? After these meeting she would hurry over to her kids high school, Catholic by the way, and pray the rosary. Why???Which is probably why they let me go there….never worked with racists like that before! YIKES!
    As my friend Chris Goss would say, “This is good therapy, I will never need a shrink at this rate”. Thank you all for listening!!!!

    Hugs Anne xo


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