EDITOR’S DESK: History in the remaking
In his informative and enjoyable Meet a Westsider this week, Mark Arnold reiterates a theme that all of us seem to share on the Westside, and that's our enjoyment
of its “small-town atmosphere.”
In going over various notes and other materials for this issue, I became aware of another common thread for us Westsiders: the history we have over here. I can guess what some of you might think in response to that assertion, and that is, "Of course we have history. And don't we have our very own History Center to keep track of all that?" Well, yes. But only to a point. And it was stories in this issue that got me wondering about it.
Take for instance the Coca-Cola article. How much more gratifying it would have been to find photos from the early 1900s, when the beverage was first being bottled here. Or perhaps descriptions of how the machinery worked (or didn't). As it is, with the scantiness of records, the only "proof" that Coca-Cola was here at all back then is the antique bottle with "Colorado Springs" on it that sales manager Jerry Mayes bought from a collector a while back. The few images from all those years of bottling are Polaroid snapshots of a former employee - and those only turned up because longtime Westsider Bob Edgar, after getting a call from this quarter, drew on his keen memory for locals who might have worked there. This is not a criticism of the Coke folks there now; but unfortunately the company had no tradition of preserving the past when they came in.
A different example is Rock Ledge Ranch. Twenty or so years ago, the place looked nothing like it does now. It had historical value, true, but much of it was crumbling. Fortunately, with a big boost over the years from Kathy Read of Old Colorado City's Holly Berry House - putting on the annual Folk Art Festival to benefit Rock Ledge (this year Sept. 15-17) - that situation has turned around. The old ranch is a treat now for the whole community. And a fine tribute to our historical small-town atmosphere.