The real story of the ‘ice cream man’
This is an open letter about the “ice cream man” who used to sit in his truck at West Middle School, behind the buses on 19th Street, selling ice cream after school.
This man's name was Sirus Rouhani (pronounced Seer-ruse Rue-han-ee). On Dec. 18, 2006, the day of a very bad snowstorm, he passed away from a heart attack while sitting in his easy chair at home. The paramedics were called; however, they couldn't get to his house in time to save him.
This man was so much more than an “ice cream man,” and I felt compelled to tell you his story. Sirus was born in 1942 in Najafabad, Iran. He finished high school, no easy task at that time in Iran for a member of the Baha'i Faith as Baha'is were being denied education, citizenship, ownership of any property and pensions they'd earned -some were even being executed. He was a persecuted minority in his own homeland. In those days, it was difficult to be accepted into college, especially if you were a Baha'i. He applied for and was accepted to the school of agricultural engineering. This was doubly impressive because there were more than 20,000 students trying for a mere 200 openings the year Sirus was admitted.
Sirus received his Master's degree and eventually became the CEO of a large corporation managing the states of Fars and Isfahan. He worked for that company until the Islamic Revolution in Iran. At that time, because he was a Baha'i, he was dismissed without an explanation. He took what money he had saved and started a flower shop. When it became apparent that he must leave Iran or be jailed or executed over his religion, he decided to come to America with his family. He was 58 when he came to Colorado Springs and had to start his life all over again. This was very difficult for someone who had worked so hard and had accomplished so much against such great odds; yet he never complained, he just kept working at anything he could to make sure his family had their needs met. His wife, who had been a registered nurse in Iran, took a job at a local fast-food chain to help their family once they settled in America.
So, in case anyone has missed him lately, this is his story. I hope someone cares and has missed him, and if so, now you know what happened. He was an honorable and decent human being, this “ice cream man.”
Nadine Kirby (a family friend of the Rouhanis)
‘They so rely upon and trust you’
Thanks so much for the excellent coverage and explanation in this week's paper (March 8 Westside Pioneer) regarding program location at the Old Colorado City Branch Library. I cannot tell you how many people ask when we are closing. When we say we don't know but will let them know when we do, their response is that they know they can get good information in your paper. What a compliment to you guys that they so rely upon and trust you for their information needs! Thanks for all your support of us and the community.
Old Colorado City Library Children’s Specialist