Your Westside is my Westside now
By Sarah L. Pottenger
Editor’s note: The Old Colorado City Library held a writing contest this fall, offering a $100 prize for the essay or story that best embodied the theme of “My Westside – Our Voice.” The following piece was judged the winner.
I'm a third-generation Colorado Springs native, and I've never wanted to live anywhere else. I grew up near Academy Boulevard, but some of my best memories are of visits to the Westside, whether to visit my parents' old haunts, see the house where my grandmother was born, or just to take the car to the mechanic. Driving to the Westside was an event, taking half an hour.
I lived in that same house off Academy for twenty years. Then my family downsized from our house to a duplex just north of Old Colorado City. We moved here in 2010, and though it was a terrible move, we were here. For my parents, returning to the Westside was like coming home. For me, it was a dream come true. Every week one of us remarks that we still can't believe we get to live here, even after nearly four years.
As a lifelong reader, I love the Old Colorado City library. We can drive there in just a few minutes, or walk in half an hour. I probably visit three times a week, and it's the prettiest, friendliest library in town. We're also just minutes away from Fire Station #5, housing the wonderful firefighters who not only came to our rescue when my bedroom flooded during the September 12 storm, but also arrived within moments when my dad suffered a heart attack right before Christmas last year.
When we were children, my brother and I loved to come to the Westside. The Creamery was (and still is) our favorite ice cream shop. We liked to visit souvenir stores, dipping our hands into wooden bins brimming with polished rocks. My parents pointed out houses belonging to friends and relatives. My mom told stories about running downhill from school and spending nights with her grandparents, one set on Cooper and one set on Uintah.
I have always loved it here. I pinch myself every day, hardly believing that I get to live here, that every time the car heads west, I'm going home.