Meet a Westsider:
Joel Beck

Profession/Occupation... Retired operating engineer. I currently volunteer on the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) board, with Care and Share and as a member of the Colorado Springs Labor Council. I also donate blood platelets two to three times a month.

What I like most about the Westside is... People here have a rather independent mindset of how things should be. One thing I noticed when I moved here from Milwaukee in 1972 is how much Westsiders were interested in helping their neighbors. But that's been changing.

If I could change anything about the Westside, it would be... It would definitely be the condition of the streets, which I've been working on. Every street I drive on has a deficiency. One of the things you see is dips in the asphalt. I don't think street crews always compact the ground properly.

A good movie Ive seen recently is... My wife likes to watch "Titanic," and for some reason when she does I watch it too, and it makes me cry. I also like history and murder mysteries (primarily TV shows).

I'd like to discover... a way for people to get along with one another easier. Sure that's a pie-in-the-sky dream, but I would like to see that.

If I could meet someone famous, Id like to meet... I've met President Obama and Melvin Laird (former Secretary of Defense under President Nixon), and when my son was at UCCS making B movies, I met some people in the entertainment industry. If I was to meet anybody else famous, I'd like it to be someone who is a humanitarian, such as the late Albert Schweitzer or Bill and Melinda Gates.

The next time I travel, Im going... I'd get on a plane for Alaska and go fishing. It's the last one on my bucket list of states. I went to Hawaii last summer. It was second to last.

My favorite childhood memory is... I had my first job when I was 11 years old, a paper route. My family was rather destitute. We made a Christmas tree one time out of construction paper rings and hung it on a wall. Several years there were no presents. But that helps the kind of person you actually become.

My favorite summer pastime is... Probably taking grandkids and neighbor kids to the park and miniature golf. I get pleasure seeing the smiles on their faces from something Im doing for them.

Something good Ive read is... I don't read many books anymore. But I'm still interested in technical issues on particular projects. For example, when the Uintah Bluffs development went before the OWN board, I read the engineering report from cover to cover.

My pet peeve is... people who don't do what they say they're going to do they don't take responsibility for their commitments.

If I won the lottery Id... I'd donate a major portion of it to education and scholarship funds. I started a scholarship through my union one time. I can't tell you how many thousands it gave away.

Meet a Westsider is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you would like to be a Meet-a-Westsider (or know someone who should be), please give us a call at 471-6776.