COBWEB CORNERS: Schochs were Westside landmarks

By Mel McFarland

       Reading this newspaper, I see things that do not appear in other papers - part of my interest in this one! Last week, when opening the Pioneer, I saw the story of the passing of Mrs. Schoch. She, her husband, Ed and the store were Westside landmarks. Today I want to take a moment to share a few memories of the three.
       If you ever shopped in their wonderful store, you understand the unusual nature of the place. If you missed that honor, your imagination may not be sufficient to appreciate the shock (pun intended). I first used their resources as a teenager. I quickly learned, if you want something quick, ask. However, I often went in just for entertainment. I never left the store without buying something I thought I needed. A few of my friends and neighbors often shared similar tales. The store looked like none other: bins piled high with usual and unusual items. It seemed confusing, but Mrs. Schoch always could come up with an item that was requested. In today's big box stores you will not find such a collection of items. If their store had been organized like the big stores, it would have needed a huge building!
       It was fun to ask for something of Ed, and see him wonder. Usually he would then ask her, and she had a quick answer. It was also fun to see her retreat to the hidden back of the store, only to return with your item in hand. I often wondered what treasures lay back there. When I taught shop in school for a while, and I needed tools or odd supplies one visit to the Schochs was all I needed.
       That is the kind of landmark that needs to be remembered.
       Here is another one that may come up. The smokestack for the Golden Cycle Mill is a century old this year. At one time there were more than six others. It is the only one left.
       A landmark that is gone is the Burns Opera House - better known as the Chief Theater. It was also built a century ago. In Colorado City, there were also opera houses. One became a movie theater. The building is still there, it has seen conversion to apartments. Do you know which landmark it is? 2432 W. Colorado Ave.