Meet a Westside Pioneer!
Mike ‘Spanky’ Rogers
What kind of career have you had?
Owned Rogers Bar at the tender age of 21. Then M & R Painting, a drywall and painting company from 1994 to now.
Can you tell us about your marriage? Married Vickie (Hoskins) in 1996.
Did you have children? Grandchildren? We have three daughters between us. Five grandchildren from 7 months to 16 years old.
Any of your family members still here? One daughter, a brother and a sister (other sister is in Guffey.)
Can you tell us about your parents/grandparents? My grandfather, James D. Rogers, came to the U.S. from northern Ireland in 1909 and moved here in 1910. He worked for Spencer Penrose building roads (including Pikes Peak Highway) and was made superintendent of roads in the ‘40's. He also helped bring water from Rosemont to the Broadmoor. My grandmother, Nora (Daly) came here from southern Ireland in 1911 and met my grandfather here. She worked for the Woodmen Sanitarium as a cook (she came from a long line of cooks). Grandfather Ed Lynch and Grandmother Clementine (Maxwell) moved here from W. Virginia in 1929. He worked for Colorado Interstate Gas. My mother, Margaret Anne (Lynch) was the fifth of eight children and married my dad in the ‘40s. My dad worked on the Midland Railway shoveling coal, and he and my mom later owned a coal yard, Colorado Ice, Coal and Commission Company. They bought a bar, renamed it Rogers Hitching Post, sold it, and opened Rogers Lounge in the early ‘40s (now the Keg) in Manitou. Dad then sold it and worked for a time setting tile in the Broadmoor area (late ‘40s early ‘50s) before he bought the Frontier Tavern (west of Rogers Hitching Post) from Chuck Murphy's aunt. This became Rogers Bar.
What are your best memories of growing up on the Westside? Riding our bikes. We used to go everywhere. I enjoyed the freedom of being away from the house. If you stayed home, you had to work!
What is gone from the Westside now that you wish had stayed? Schoch's Hardware, Cooper Lidke Pharmacy (used to have a soda fountain in the back) and Rogers Bar. It was a meeting place for not only Westsiders but everyone from the Broadmoor area to bikers. Also, the St. Patty's Day Parade… although I’ve heard through the “Westside Telegraph” that we might have a Westside parade this year.
What has stayed that you wish had gone? Mill Hill Tavern….I can not drive down 21st street without stopping in!
How about the way things have changed? The traffic has gotten worse. We have to lock our cars and homes. A lot of mom-and-pop stores are gone.
Overall, is the Westside better or worse than when you were a kid here? Worse, because of all the people moving here. The Westside is being ruined by all the houses being built on all the vacant “dirt. “ The more people that locate here on the Westside, there's less of a close-knit, neighborly feeling.
“Meet a Westside Pioneer” interviews people who were born, raised and still live on the Colorado Springs Westside. If you meet that criteria (or know someone who does), please give us a call at 471-6776.