June 25th. A Make-Up Double Header

Ankylosing Spondylitis.  I’ll say it again.  If you are of Slovenian or any eastern European ancestry, please have your children checked for this when they get into their late teens.  If untreated, you end up like me.  Missing day 24 of your project because it feels like someone stuck a huge vacuum cleaner into your soul and sucked it dry.  I really did try.  I was lucky that I got what I did written.  But I’m ready to make up for it today!  No excuses!

I’ve been looking into the street names that we talked about a while back and found some interesting stuff.  I’m still digging through piles of old maps, but it’s really a lot of fun.  I found some great resources.  I don’t like to brag…..well, actually I do like to brag, and it’s my blog, so here I go.  I was on the internet early.  Due to the timing of my career change to IT, and my connections at PCC, I had Internet access before most people heard of the internet.  And I learned a few things, mainly the ability to dig up stuff with a search engine.   I even scored a googlewhack, and you have to be beyond an internet search nerd to even know what that is.  So, let’s just say, I dug up some good stuff on street names, and that stuff led me to more stuff, and now I have some stuff to write about!

I found a huge collection of old maps from the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company.  These are detailed maps in .jpg format of historic Pueblo, with various years between 1883 and 1905 being available.  I’m still going over the various years, but here’s a peek at 1905 Bojon Town.  There was Rio Grande, Boxelder, (as opposed to Box Elder on the current maps), Taylor, Berwind, Santa Fe, Bohmen, Mahren, Egan, Arroyo, Roitz and the 1200 block of Eilers.  It appears that the 1100 block of “Eilers Heights” didn’t exist back that far.  There was also no Tezak, School, Russ, Topeka, or Hill Place listed.  I’m still digging and I want to go back further, but this sheds some light for me.  The story about the city changing Bohemian to Bohmen looks like it was just a story.  It looks like it was Bohmen from the start, and given the information that Mike Lamb had about Bohmen-Mahren and the German connection looks pretty good.  I’ll let you know more of what I find.  I had a thought that I’m trying to fill in.  I know that Interstate 25 didn’t exist before the 60’s or so, and I’m thinking that there may have been some streets that disappeared from that area when the highway was build.  I’m looking at the maps so I can see if there was anything there.  Now, the really interesting part to me is that I found all of this info in the 1905 maps.  In the 1904 versions, I have yet to find a mention to any of these streets .  I’m not sure if the maps aren’t complete or if I’m missing something, or if the streets were actually put in between 1904 and 1905.

Speaking of I-25, I was getting on the northbound at Abriendo the other day when I noticed a ton of heavy equipment and a bunch of materials in a fenced in area where we used to play by the old train bridge.  It’s the area kind of east of the old Passkey Restaurant, and from the back of where they have the fence built, you can see the Grove and St. Joe’s Hall.  I’m not sure what’s going on there, but I hope it’s nothing to do with that EPA Superfund fiasco, because they had enough heavy equipment to take Bojon Town down to bedrock.

Old time Bojons seemed to mistrust banks.  The stories about people burying cans of money in their yards are too numerous and widespread to be false.  I know of two cases that kind of give credence to this idea.  When we were about 11 or 12, a kid named Walter Dovgan found some coins buried on the hill behind his house.  He lived on Santa Fe Drive, directly down the hill from the end of School Street.  He saw some coins after a rainstorm, and when he was picking them up, he noticed more in the dirt and started digging.  If I remember correctly, he found about 120 dollars in old coins.  And that was face value.  It was old silver coins and a gold piece as well.  He found most of it in an old rusted tin can.  So, somebody had to trust a shovel more than a bank.  The other story was about an old Bojon lady that never married and lived in the same house by herself.  She worked all of her life and after she died, her niece or nephew or whoever inherited her stuff was cleaning out her house.  She had one of the old brass beds with the tubes for the headboard and the foot, and when they went to move it, they couldn’t budge it.  Each of the tubes was filled with stacks of silver dollars from the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  She’d just pop the top off of the bedpost and drop them in there.  Not too much trust for banks, and she felt better sleeping on that money.  How many of you were in a house in Bojon Town when you were a kid and saw one of those big quart sized metal juice cans with a slot cut into the lid that was full of coins?  I’d bet almost every one over 50.

Bojons were savers, and they took care of their stuff.  Especially their cars.  I started working at my Grandpa’s gas station when I was 14.  I hung around my Uncle Dan and he taught me about cars.  By the time I was 16, I was doing oil changes, belts and hoses, and simple stuff.  By the time I was 18, he taught me to do tune-ups and brake jobs.  So, I got to get my hands on a lot of cars.  And Bojons had nice cars.  Most of them, anyway.  The older guys believed in maintenance.  Car manufacturers recommended changing oil every 3000 miles or 3 months back then.  Not Bojons.  2000 miles and 2 months for some.  1500 for a few.  They didn’t worry about the cost.  As they would always say, ‘5 quarts of oil is a lot cheaper than a new engine’.  They believed that and they lived it.  The took pride in their cars and trucks, to the point that they could be a pain in the ass at times.  I’d be doing a grease job and an oil change.  I learned from the best, my Uncle and my Grandpa.  When I greased a car, I wiped off the excess grease.  I cleaned up any oil drips.  At least I tried to do that.  Most of the time, some old guy was right behind me with a red rag, wiping up after me as I went from one part to the next.  They didn’t even give me time to do it right.  That’s just how they were.  But I was doing this in 1973 and 1974, and I got to work on 1939 Chevys and 1940 Chryslers, and Studebakers so old that you almost expected to see a crank on the engine.  They took care of their cars, and their cars took care of them back, and lasted a long, long time.  Take a look at that neighborhood.  Nice house, nice yard, nice car in the driveway, probably a Bojon in the house.

I read in the papers today that the police busted a large high-tech marijuana grow in the 1200 block of Bohmen.  At first I thought that area sounded familiar, and then I remembered that I grew up in the 1200 block of Bohmen!  Hell, this was on my block!  OK, here’s my disclaimer.  I’m a medical marijuana patient.  It works well for my condition without the side effects of the pharmaceuticals that I used to take.  That being said, there is NO ROOM FOR THIS in Bojon Town.  They were criminals, flaunting the law and endangering their neighbors in the process.  My dad is their neighbor.  I hope they go to jail for quite a while.  There are right ways to do things, and wrong ways to do things.  If the way you are doing things gets you arrested,l you are doing them wrong.  Stay out of our neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned how even Salt Creek has a nice sign commemorating their neighborhood, and all we have is a hokey looking bulletin board with flowers that look like they were created by the illustrators of ‘Yellow Submarine’. I went past the Salt Creek sign the other day and you couldn’t even read it because it’s overgrown with weeds.  I’m not sure if there is a reason for that, but it would never happen in Bojon Town.  Eight men with shovels and nine women with hoes and brooms would have shown up by now and cleaned it up.  Give us a sign, and we’ll show you how to take care of it.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Don’t be shocked because it is the middle of the night and I have so few words! This is the stuff people talk about when they say “something’s are better left unsaid”! Since I have had a migraine headache ready to explode my head, I have to be brief here! But I know the story of the bedpost Bojon lady, her money and two lifelong friends who, the story goes, never spoke again after arguing who had the most money! I personally know a story where a Bojon relative took a metal detector to their family home after the death of the last parent and dug up the yard for money! I knew the street name story had to be something! Your research is amazing! Wow! As for the grove, the government will use eminent domain to secure those houses to run the freeway through. You need to talk to people you may know living there! Such a sadness! I hope I can get home before it all ceases to be! These are the times I hate change and big brother and big business! If these words are not making sense I will come back later and delete this comment and rewrite it! As for the drug bust, get out of Bojon town losers! I have heard that happened by Edison School too on the very last street! Right before the government tossed old bible and cast iron skillet toting ladies from their homes in the Five Points area in Denver, these cast iron wielding grannies ran a lot of gangs out of their hood! It is all upscale homes moving in, people’s heritages being buried and fat cats smiling as they steal your home for a piece of silver the same way Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus! It is becoming the way big business does things. But they can not take away the memories as long as we preserve them! I will be back later today and thanks for the memories! I still try to take care of my car the way my dad did! He always said five quarts of oil was cheaper then a new engine! 😉😉 hope you feel better today! Big hugs cousin! Love ya, Anne

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mike Deverich on June 26, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Mike you forgot how clean the houses were, any Bojon house you entered was spotless 24 hours a day. Those Bojon ladies really took pride in their homes and it showed. My auntie Lila ( Diamond Lil ) purchased new furniture and carpets in the early ’70’s and until the day she passed away there were plastic runners on the carpets and plastic covers on the cushions. You didn’t dare walk anywhere but on the plastic. I think the 1100 block of Eilers was constructed in 1949 when they demolished Slagg Stadium. The new St. Mary’s church was built on the property which saved all the Bojons the walk to the Grove where it stood originally. Grandpa Moon built the first house on the 1100 block followed by my aunt Vivian ( God I hope I have the right name, she passed away not long after Grandpa Moon ) and aunt Lil, The three Glavich sisters lived their entire lives next to one another. Everybody had money in their house, usually several thousand dollars just incase. I am glad you can use marijuana to alleviate the pain from your condition, I have tried to use it but dislike the effect it has on me, never have liked it. 1 other thing you always noticed at church, weddings or parties was how well all the Bojons dressed. Grandpa Moon had quite the wardrobe he looked like a million bucks whenever he went out. Auntie Lila was always dressed to the 9’s even in her coffin. She looked spectacular considering the fact she wasn’t breathing. I know she spent a great deal of time and thought picking out the clothes and accessories she would be buried in. Denis Skender’s dad was another snappy dresser he had that great hair that looked like he just came from the barber shop. Keep writing please, everyday I read your stuff I feel like I’m 12 again reliving the best years of my life in Bojon Town.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Mike Deverich on July 1, 2015 at 7:34 am

    My aunts name was not Vivian but Evelyn. Data storage error.

    Reply

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