June 27th, Live from Donkey Derby Days

Oops.  Not so live.  It seems that the internet connection in Cripple Creek is still a bit fickle on some days.  Couldn’t connect, and given the awful state of computing today, my computer is almost useless without a connection.  So, sorry for the slight delay!  Think of it as having Saturday off from me.

If you are reading this and you aren’t reading the comments, you’re missing out on the best part.  There are so many different memories from so many different people that it’s going to take me a week to go through them all and another week to reply.  It’s incredible how Bojons interact.  Tell a story in a room with 9 other Bojons and you might as well get ready to hear 20 stories.

Growing up like I did, in places like the filling station and the pool hall and the bars, you got to hear a lot of stories from a lot of good story tellers.  And there were some world class story tellers that came out of that neighborhood.  Sammy Burin would stop by his mom’s house and the filling station every day after he got off of work.  Not just some days.  Every day.  He had a story for every day, and he could tell them.  Depending on who else was there, you may need a pair of chest high waders to get through the BS.  Jimmy Papish is still one of the funniest guys I ever met.  His stories were epic, and I got a chance to talk to him a few weeks ago, and he pulls out a goose story that had me rolling on the floor.  All of my mom’s brothers are world class story tellers.  If Ray, Danny and Kenny get into the same room, you can bet you’re going to laugh until your sides hurt.  Bojons have great senses of humor.  They’re not afraid to make fun of themselves or of anything, frankly.  We’re a happy sort of people, from what I’ve seen.

When we were in about the 5th or 6th grade at St. Mary’s, something happened at some of the other schools, Mt. Carmel and St. Leanders, I think, where some of their kids ended up going to school with us.  Most of the kids were from the Grove, and some were from the East Side.  They really changed the makeup of our social group.  Most of us had known each other since Kindergarten and the first grade, so it was pretty cool to get some new kids.  Chuckie Hernandez lived in the Grove right down by Runyon Field.  He was a little guy and all the girls liked him.  He was pretty funny, so he fit right in.  Alberta Valdez could hit a softball further than any guy in our school at the time.  If you’ve ever played at Benedict Park, imagine this.  She hit a fly ball to left field that we never found.  Ever.  We looked for a long time because it was the only ball we had.  That’s a shot.  We got two girls that took me a while to know.  Carolyn Flores was from the Grove, and Carol Martinez was from the East Side, if I remember right.  They almost had the same name, so it took me a while to figure out which one was which, and I was pretty shy with girls back then anyway.  Carolyn was really nice.  She never got into trouble.  Always obeyed the nuns.  Carol was awesome!  She was funny and sweet and nice.  Actually, she still is!  We also had some kids that we knew when we were little that moved away.  I remember a kid named Benito Valero.  He had a bad leg and it was kind of twisted and he limped really bad.  And somehow, he could kick a football further than anyone we ever saw.  He moved away about the time we were in the 3rd or 4th grade, and I never saw him again.  Venko Dragovich lived with his Uncle, Matha, who was one of the funniest characters ever to live in Bojon Town.  Venko was almost blind.  He had glasses that were about an inch thick, and he would hold a book right up to his face and was still barely able to see.  He was from Slovenia and his English wasn’t that good.  He moved away about the same time as Benito, and I never saw him again.  In fact there were more than a few of those kids.  Billy Spinuzzi.  A girl named Sherry, that I can’t even remember her last name.  The more I think about this, the more I seem to remember, so I may manage a story about it one day.  Billy Mramor and Jimmy Zunick!  Man, I miss those guys.  I haven’s seen Jimmy since grade school.  I saw Billy at the St. Mary’s reunion a few years back.  That was a treat!

The Divje Babe flute is considered by many to be oldest musical instrument ever discovered.  It was found in Slovenia.  It is made out of a hollowed out bear’s femur.  I’d love to hear the guy that killed the bear tell that story.  If he’s a true Bojon, it would be a good one!

Well, Cripple Creek is now connected again.  I’m going to make this one official while I still have access to the outside world.  As a side note, about 6 or 7 years ago, someone cut a fiber optic line somewhere on Fort Carson.  It literally knocked out all communication to Cripple Creek for 6 hours.  Nothing.  Land lines, cell phones, internet, nothing.  No dial tones.  No internet traffic.  Just dead silence.  People thought the worst.  The police came to the casino and saw me and knew I was the IT guy and were asking me for answers.  I knew something was up when even the cops were out of touch.  They actually sent an officer down the hill with red lights and sirens and had him find out what was going on.  I’m sometimes amazed at how much we rely on a lot of this stuff, but that really drove it home, seeing people standing out on the sidewalks, looking nervously into the sky……

Until tonight, when I bring you the latest news from Donkey Derby Days!  Here’s a teaser.  “There are still donkeys, and they are still crapping everywhere”.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I figured the system was acting up or something! I think our country is in for a rude awakening. Lots going on and I have no comment other than I am trying to pray about everything. I love revisiting our childhood. You should give a shout out to Sammy Cosimano, Juliane Cosimano Barden and Jessica Clark (daughter of Juliane), Sam’s wife would like to know all the stories of Auntie Millie and the family She is Beth Talbert Cosimano. I told him to share his own stories of his days in Pueblo in bojon town. He is in the hospital right now so a prayer or two is always good. I love remembering dressing up for All Saints Day. My auntie Mary Mishmash had a basement filled with nun costumes. She was a good little seamstress and nine out of ten saints that were women were nuns! Laugh Out Loud! I remember Michael Dovgan dressing up at Michael the Archangel. Man oh man where his mom found those red and blue tights with a huge cross on the chest! I think it was Dorene Drobnick came as Christ the King! Ok who the heck is going to beat her in the best dressed costume department?! She had a king’s cloak of velveteen with a fur trim and a crown on her head and the world held in her hand.My friend Karen Mesojedic went as Pocahontas. Oh did the nun give her H E double hockey sticks over that get up! Karen tried to reason with her about history and all but the nun, Sister Beatrice (4th grade) or The Big “X” Xavier (8th grade) would not listen to reason! I remember she was a rebel because she choose the name “Paula” for confirmation and they said that was no saint. Karen said, it was from Saint Paul, the apostle ! We went to school with many orphans from the Sacred Heart Orphanage as you already know. Some of the nuns were brutal to those kids because they could get a way with it. I remember telling a friend of mine, lots younger than me, I went to school with kids who came from Cuba and the Bay of Pigs crisis and she did not know what that was! Hellllllloooooooooo…..hardly anyone seems to know their history these days. When we were in the 6th grade a girl from the orphanage named Maria Perez told us she shaved her legs and we all just wanted to die! I guess that is a major girl thing and I was so jealous of her. She looked older than the rest of us too. You mentioned John Michelich in the basketball game pulling out his comb and getting tossed from the game by my big brother Bill! When dad was in ICU in 1983 John’s mom worked as a volunteer at Corwin hospital. I asked her about John and he had recently taken an air traffic controller job . She said he had a family and was living in New Mexico and got the job at the Pueblo airport over hundreds of other applicants. Says a lot about our education. I remember all the nuns told him he would burn in hell with the devil because he was “bad”! Boyd Damkoehler was smart as snot when it came to Math, me, not so much! One time he tried to help me when the Big “X” sent me to the board to solve a problem she wrote out. She caught us, hit me on the back of my head repeatedly with the metal edge of her wooden ruler and backhanded poor Boyd across the room! He says he does not recall that, Catholic school repressed memories, I guess! But to me it was a clear as it happened yesterday! Boyd was quite successful in what ever line of work he was in because he owns a cabin he built near Salida and I know that is why so many young chicks flock over to his Face Book probably looking to inherit the place! I wanted to mention before I close for today that your post about your great grandmother touched my heart. we raised by such decent human beings. I look around at what our world is today and I know know my folks would be glad to say, glad we are no longer alive! Our country has no moral values. We have come to allow what ever makes one feel good in the current culture. No manners. No respect for God Himself. Only their own stinking opinions. I hate politics, I hate all the PC in America and I will continue to take my chances with the Almighty Creator like our ancestors did! My dad told me when I was a young woman, “when you are old like me, you will see the world will be backward. He took it right from the Scriptures :
    2 Timothy 3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    “Difficult Times Will Come”

    3 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [b]godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who [c]enter into households and captivate [d]weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the [e]knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 9 But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as [f]Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.

    It’s coming and when I hear things like the blackout in Cripple Creek and the fact that my credit union has the worst IT department and can not keep their system up and running on the weekends I know God is watching and He is not happy about our choices in this world.

    Keep writing Mike, you do an excellent job and enjoy your Donkey Days. You need to post some photos. Take care.

    Hugs cousin, Anne xo


  2. Posted by Mike Deverich on July 3, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I keep rereading the posts and comments so my reply is a little late. Anne you are absolutely right, we have become a country of uneducated, amoral individuals an evil society. Your quote from scriptures is extremely appropriate. Thomas Jefferson wrote a similar statement concerning the future of the USA experiment, it would only succeed if the masses were educated, moral, and God fearing. Something like that anyway. I worked as a financial advisor for almost 30 years and see no way out for the country economically. We are so far in debt and we keep printing 40% of the budget annually. This entire experiment that held so much promise and was gifted with all the recourses God could have given us will implode. We have elected evil, greedy and amoral politicians to run OUR government. It started with Woodrow Wilson in the 1920’s followed by FDR and the liberal takeover of the education system starting after WW11. We were a meritocracy and our Bojon ancestors loved it here. They worked hard, learned the language, valued education, saved $ and thrived. They solved their own problems with the help of neighbors and friends and the Church, they didn’t look to the government for solutions. Our government was never intended to provide a living for individuals, it was installed to make things equal, you earned what you could with the God given talents and intellegence . Excellence was rewarded not diminished. We are given the right to equal opportunity NOT equal outcomes.. The board is always tilted in somebody’s favor, by economic circumstance, I.Q, upbringing, physical tools, etc.. Life is not fair and nothing can make it fair. We tried in education by eliminating harder classes for smarter students, putting all levels of intelligence in the same class and destroyed the best public school system in the world. Look up a graduation test for 8th graders in the early 1900’s it will astound you, Now we graduate kids that read at the 3rd grade level and send them to college, how can they survive? For all the physical and psychological abuse in the Catholics school system I would not give up the 10 years I spent there. You could not just show up, I did more homework in a month at Roncalli then I did in 3 years at Central. Nobody worried about your self esteem, they worried you wouldn’t learn enough. I am ranting and need to stop but I am afraid of what we have done to the future of our children and grandchildren. We have set ourselves up for another civil war but it won’t be states vs. states, it will be more government vs. people or a race war. The grand misguided government systems set up by FRD, LBJ and Obama will cause the government to default and all hell will break loose as we fight over limited supplies of food, medicine and shelter. The dollar will be worthless and we will fall from the position of he world’s only superpower. To be determined is will we get up together or break into smaller lesser nations. God have mercy on us.


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