Day 19. Writing on Fumes

Crazy day, so don’t expect much.  Got up early and ran a few errands before leaving town at 10 for Cripple Creek.  Coming down the stretch in this process to sell this house.  One final inspection at 4 this afternoon.  The last time they came, I had changed a piece of PVC pipe that was leaking, and an hour before they came, the entire plumbing system went up in a spray of water.  So, after replacing every pipe with brass and PEX, I get the water done.  We’re on propane and the tank was empty for a year and a half, so I knew it would be an adventure lighting the water heater and furnace.  So today I had to fire up the pilot lights and turn up the water and after the way it’s been going, I was more than apprehensive.  So, I pull the brand new water valve on, and everything sounds good.  No leaks, no puddles, no drips!   On to the furnace, which in the past has taken me hours to light.  I pull the gas line, open the valve for a few seconds to bleed the air out, and bam!  It lights on the first try.  That never happens.  Now I’m two for two, and getting scared.  This whole mess has dragged on since early March, and I’m starting to feel cursed.  The last thing I need is a water heater problem.  So, I push down the pilot light button, hit the button and count to 30.  I say a little prayer, and I turn the valve to on.  Two singed eyebrows later, the water heater is lit!  Not sure what was up with that 4 foot flame that shot out of that hole, but hey, you can’t argue with results.  Now I’ve got the furnace running, the water heater is humming away, and the water is on.   An hour to spare before the inspector comes by.  I’m about ready to high five myself, when I notice a minor detail.  Water is entering sinks and bathtubs, but not leaving in a timely manner.  Yep!  Drains are plugged.  I jump in the Jeep, drive to the hardware store, buy a 25 foot drain snake, and at that moment, I’m glad you can get to anywhere in Cripple Creek in three minutes or less.  I go down to the basement, open the cleanup in the sewer line, and the 25 foot snake reaches the clog with about 8 inches to spare.  For once my luck holds out.  I mop up some water and clean up the mess and head upstairs.  Five minutes later, the inspector comes in, takes some pictures of the water running and the flames in the furnace, and gives me the thumbs up.  Can this nightmare be coming to a close?  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  In a way, I hate to give this place up.  In many other ways, my life will become much simpler.  Practicality has to win out over sentimentality on this one.

I like to write, but I’m lazy.  I knew that this would be a challenge for me, to put in 30 days in a row.  But the part I didn’t count on is you guys and your awesome comments!  I’ve spent as much time reading comments and replying to them as I have writing the stories.  I’m a few days behind, but I’ll get caught up this weekend.  Maybe.  Driving to Cripple Creek at 6 in the morning.  Coming back at 2:30 for a party that I wouldn’t miss for the world.  Leaving again at 6 on Sunday and coming back Sunday night.  Maybe I should get a secretary and just dictate this stuff while I’m on the road!  Next weekend in Cripple Creek is the best weekend of the year.  Donkey Derby Days.  If you’ve never been to it, give it a try.  It’s a true celebration of the old west, and it’s a lot of fun.  They have good music, and a street dance and stuff for the kids.  And a good old fashioned Cripple Creek parade that lasts at least 7 minutes.  And the stars of the weekend are our beloved wild donkey herd.  Especially beloved this week, because they round them up and they’re not tearing up my trash and crapping on my deck.

One more thing about the Creek.  The town has a huge problem.  I had access to data from one of the most successful casinos in the city, and I also had the data from one of the worst.  They both had one thing in common.  90% of the gaming revenue came from the top 10% of the players.  I checked with other IT guys and that was pretty much the norm.  The huge problem is found when you dig one layer deeper in the data.    The 10% of the customers that spent 90% of the money, their average age was……….drum roll please……….77 years old.  It makes sense.  They have disposable income and they have time.  But unfortunately, they’re old and they won’t be around long.  I used to beg my boss to do something to bring younger people in.  They just don’t come up for some reason, and if they don’t get them soon, that town is going to fade away.  Well the town finally got it.  They are establishing an ‘Entertainment District’.  They are going to make the area where most of the casinos are into a big party spot where you can carry alcohol, which has always been strictly off limits outside of the casino.  But even better, they’re going to serve alcohol 24 hours a day instead of cutting sales off at 2 am.  That’s going to bring in some younger people, especially late when the old folks are gone.  The first good move I’ve seen that city make in 10 years.

I helped to put in plumbing in my house.  I put in hardwood floors, built a deck, tore down walls, moved walls, installed toilets, and cleaned drains.  And I’ve had absolutely no formal education in any of those things.  But I’m a Bojon, and I grew up watching Bojons.  We don’t shy away from work, and we’ll try anything once.  In my case, more than once, after I rip out the first effort.  But we’re not lazy, and we’re not scared of work.  When a Bojon needs a job done, he doesn’t go to the Yellow Pages to hire someone.  He goes to the White Pages and calls friends.

I have a lot of non-Bojons that read this post, and it’s an honor to have them here and an even bigger honor to tell them about my people and my neighborhood.  But I hope no one gets the impression that I think Bojons are better than any other group of people.  We’re just as good, but we’re not better.  I’ve played in neighborhoods where most of the kids were Italian.  We did the same things, and the people there were the same as the people in Bojon Town.  Same values, same lifestyles, and the same attitudes.  I had friends in Bessemer, white kids and Mexican kids, and it was the same there.  We played the same games, drank out of hoses, got food from someone Auntie, and often times the food was a tortilla warmed on a gas stove with some butter on it from a lady we called Tia Rosa.  Damn if it didn’t taste as good as a piece of potica from a lady called Aunt Julie to a hungry kid!  Kids are kids, and good ones are raised by good people.  We were blessed to be from Bojon Town, but we sure weren’t the only ones blessed in Pueblo.  There were a lot of good neighborhoods and good neighbors.

Thewordsareallrunningtogether.  Imustbegettingtired.  See you tomorrow.


One response to this post.

  1. Wow! This was an excellent post! You find the words no matter what the day has been. You had a busy one and need a good night’s rest. You are amazing and talented. My dad did so many things with help from a friend or two also. You are right, depending how you are raised, there are so many good people everywhere although if you watch the main stream media you won’t believe that for a second! We use to do a lot more stuff by ourselves and it is getting harder because we are getting older. I’d love to know a landscaping expert, deck experts, it seems the more we do, the more there is to do! One thing, than another. Yesterday I took our car in for an engine flush. We do it every two years. The guy called and said the radiator hose was shot also. He knows I am not working, money is tight, but who wants to chance driving in this heat wave we are having with a bad radiator hose?! Acck…so they took care of it. Good thing too, because that hose is underneath the engine. Life is a wild ride. I am just glad we were raised with good values. Always good to be here and see what is next. Have a great weekend anduntil next time…Hugs, Anne xo


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