Tuesday, October 25, 2011


picture courtesy of Disney

We got another small job, so we are in the office for a day till a bigger one comes :)

We are thankful for the small and large jobs :)

We spent our off time cleaning up the leaves from the front yard, six bags worth. Our ash tree has a lot of leaves, its beautiful but cleaning up the leaves makes a busy day for us :)

I've been reading Bambi Venatucci's book "Take my Hand". It transported me back to the time I spent at The Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind. Good and bad things, as always with memories.

I leave you with a magical picture of Snow White and we can say together "don't eat the apple" :)

take care

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Things about Colorado

We get a magazine from the Colorado Sheriffs every month. It is fascinating.

This month they did a 2 page article on Colorado's symbols and emblems. I will be sharing each day on a different one.

You would think that I would know all this stuff, a few things I did but not all of it.

Today is about the state flag:

The flag was designed by Andrew Carlisle Johnson. By an act of the General Assembly, it was adopted on June 5, 1911. The act was amended in 1929 & 1964.

The flag is to be used on all occasions when the state is officially and publicly represented.

All citizens have the privilege to use the flag on occasions as they deem fit and appropriate. Laws pertaining to the use of our national flag are also applicable to our state flag.

1929 the General Assembly stipulated the precise colors of red and blue as the same as the national flag.

Neat, so that's it for our flag. Of course, you know me, my brain starts turning and I wonder, 'why does each state have their own flag' :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bambi Venetucci

picture courtesy of Fountain Valley News

Yesterday, I re-posted the story of Nick Venetucci, the Pumpkin Man. Today, I thought I would share about Bambi, his wife.

Since birth Bambi has been blind. She attended the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind as a student, then became a teacher for the school as an adult and before marrying Nick.

She still lives in Fountain, Colorado. She was the guest speaker at the senior fellowship group of Faith Lutheran Church in Feb 2011. She had her audience rolling with laughter as she shared the funny parts of her life story.

Bambi wrote her life story and it was published in 1996. It's called "Dammi La Mano - Give Me Your Hand" by Bambina Marcantino Venetucci. And yes, it is in English.

Her life was not an easy one but she faced it with courage. Her book is a good read :)

Bambi and Nick were famous here in Colorado Springs and beyond because of their pumpkin give away each year in October. Bambi's beautiful and giving heart matched her husbands. And just as Nick is remembered in October, so is she.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Pumpkin Man

This is a re post from 2009, a tribute to Nick Venetucci
Fred Darpino did the sculptures of Nick Venetucci and these are his pictures. The sculpture stands in front of the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum.
Nick Venetucci was a hero to hundreds of kids in Colorado Springs. It was a sad day on September 7, 2004 when Nick passed away at the age of 93. To all of us, he was known as The Pumpkin Man and goodness lived in his heart and soul.
As a boy Nick dreamed of becoming a pro baseball player, he even made it to the New York Yankee's farm system as a catcher. But, in the 1930's he came home to Fountain, Colorado to tend the family farm. (Fountain is on the outskirts of Colorado Springs and you have to know when one ends and one begins because it all blends together).
Nick became a farmer of corn, alfalfa, asparagus and pumpkins. He married a wonderful woman and teacher from the Colorado Springs Deaf and Blind school by the name of Bambi, who was blind. In 1951, Nick was driving down the road with a truck full of pumpkins, he noticed that kids would watch with eyes glued to the truck. So, he stopped and gave every kid a pumpkin that walked down that road.
The next year, a teacher asked if she could bring her kids to his farm to see a pumpkin patch. He said yes and gave each child a pumpkin. And thus a tradition was born, every year school buses loaded with children would come and pick out and a pumpkin. Parents would bring their kids and they could pick out a pumpkin. Nick was crowned the Pumpkin Man from that day on and every child in Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas loved him.
Lisa Gazarek was 4 years old and attended the Deaf and Blind School when she went to the Venetucci farm. Bambi was her teacher, Nick lifted Lisa up over the fence so she could see what a pig looked like. In her tribute to Nick, she recalled that time and said Nick had "gentle larger then life hands".
Nick and Bambi had no kids of their own but they had a town of children and their children and their children and their children that loved them. Nick was their hero and the goodness of his heart made Halloween a special time.
When Nick died he left his farm to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. They still have and grow pumpkins. And children still come to pick a pumpkin.

Elementary children started a fund to have a statue done of Nick, the pictures are of the statue that was done.
And every year we think of Nick and the goodness of his heart. We miss you Pumpkin Man but you are in our hearts forever and every time we see a pumpkin.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Grand Dame

I have waited awhile to comment on this but you knew that I would at some time.

The Grand Dame has a new owner and I know that he will be good to her. She will retain her president, who is a good man and she has flourished under his care. Tho, I can say that I have not enjoyed the changes to her during the Gaylord ownership but we all, as we get older, have to do things to keep up our appearances. The Grand Dame is no different.

She has sat overlooking her domain with quiet dignity.  She has welcomed all who have taken shelter under her wings. She has given nourishment to the body and souls of all that have sought her out.  Her calmness and beauty added to their stay.

And under her new owner she will continue to do so. I love The Grand Dame and will always love her. She is a part of my soul, I feel her heartbeat everytime I visit her. And I will continue to do so.

I know Mr. Anschutz will take good care of this jewel and I wish The Grand Dame the very best under his ownership.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Exploring The Past

I was reading the newspaper the other day and saw an older house for sale. The paper had done an article about it and said that one of the owners of the house had been friends of my dad. Soooo, I had to research it.

The house is at 1830 Wood Ave (it is beautiful and selling for 1.1 million) The article said Berne & Portia Hopkins were friends of my dad, they might have been but Portia never lived in that house. This is what I found out:

Berne Hopkins was married to Isabel in 1908, they had one son by the name of Winchester. Berne made his millions in oil but started out in the railroad. They bought the house on Wood Ave in 1915.

By 1923 Isabel has filed for a separation, which she  got $600,000. That was a LOT of money back then. The gazette paper printed that Berne married Portia in 1924, there are even pictures. Butttt, Berne & Portia's marriage certificate says they were married April 16, 1927 in St. Louis, Missouri.

See, that's what I like about our newspaper, they can predict the future and even include pictures, lol.

The house on Wood Ave was sold in 1923 to William Ehlers. Isabel disappers from the pages of history. Berne, in 1923, has bought a farm in Iowa, the name of it is Ben Marks Farm. He has announced that he will be living there.

By 1925, Berne and Portia are living in St. Louis. Berne owns, what is called, Family Hotels on Armour Blvd., its what we call an apartment complex now. It has become part of the historic district in St. Louis but is not called Family Hotels, its called Pre World War ll apartments.

The last I find of Berne is from the gazette paper in 1956, saying he has passed away. I do not know what became of Portia.

The house by the way, was sold to Don Alexander in 1938. He is another colorful person in Colorado Springs history but that is another story.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Al Davis Owner of the Oakland Raiders

Picture courtesy of Raider.com

The Autumn Wind is a Raider and on Saturday it whisked the owner of our team to the heavens.

Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, died at his home Saturday, Oct. 8th. He was 82.

Mr. Davis was a great man who had a great love for football and its players. He was the first NFL owner who hired a black quarterback, a black coach, a latino coach and a woman as CEO.

He had vision for the game and as he told Coach Jackson "believe in the players not in the play" sums up how he looked at football.

Al Davis had a big heart and he will be missed. My husband (who has been a Raider fan since his teens)
and I send out our condolences to Al's wife, Carol and her son, Mark.

A Light has gone out in Oakland but the Flame lives on. Rest in Peace Al and thank you for giving us the greatest football memories of all time.