Retirement Today after 70 Years

John Beckam, 87, who started work in 1936 for 25 cents an hour at an ice cream parlor in downtown Denver, is finally retiring today after 14 years and three months as a concierge at the Barclay Towers. The Rocky Mountain News sent a photographer to record the event, and Aaron Mosko, 94, a Barclay resident whose sister invented the Barbie doll, remembered working at another establishment just across the street from John's. As residents came and went, offering John best wishes, the two gentlemen reminisced about the passing of many, many years.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Poetic Segway Ride

The photo above was taken by Julie Vick at WESTAF world headquarters at the end of an eventful Segway ride through LoDo. Just when you think a podcast is going to offer little in the way of surprises, the Denver City Auditor accosts you at Wazee and 17th Streets and proceeds to recite part of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Actually, this is just the sort of thing we come to expect here in the Athens of the Rockies.

After being stopped twice by a Denver policeman and told Segways were illegal on city sidewalks, I contacted the Mayor's office and learned that, in fact, they are perfectly legal, because they are considered by the City Attorney as "toy vehicles." Damned expensive toys, I might add, but I'm not complaining about the characterization if it makes them legal.

So here is today's moving Podcast, a Segway ride with alliteration:

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Denver's Best is Yet to Come

Donna Dewey, left, is a Denver filmmaker who chairs the city's Commission on Cultural Affairs. Denise Montgomery, center, has served as Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs; her last day was today, as she is relocating to San Diego after an oustanding two and a half years working with the Commision to advance the arts and culture in the Denver area. Tina Poe-Obermeier, shown carrying the heaviest load, is serving as acting director until a successor for Denise is found.

After this morning's orientation for myself and three other new members of the Commission, I sat down in the lobby of the Hotel Teatro with Donna Dewey to learn more about her new feature film, "Looking for Sunday," which will be in theaters this spring. It's a coming-of-age story, as is the story of Denver's coming into its own as a world-class center for arts and culture. It's an exciting time to join in the work.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Tiger's Tips for the New Year

We saw 2006 in at a party on the 29th floor of our building, which offered terrific views of the fireworks displays at 9 p.m. and midnight. A huge crowd gathered on the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, roaring its approval each time a burst of color looked as if it was the finale, only to be followed by a bigger one until the third one finally took our collective breath away.

In the final minutes of the old year, I interviewed longtime Barclay resident Bill Cox, asking him for tips on how to be a good neighbor in 2006. Bill has been on the Board longer than anyone can remember. His precise, Princeton-inflected speech contains ominous comic tension whether he is telling a real joke or simply reporting on the weather. I could listen to him for hours. In the podcast I posted over at The Barclay Show (and also below), Bill gives tips on what to say to a stranger in the elevator. Resident Rod Greiner's harmonica provides the appropriate musical intro and exit.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

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