Tag Archives: Julesburg

Daddy’s Home

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My dad was born on October 31, 1924. He passed to new Life on July 9, 2012. He is survived by my dear mother and his loving wife of 65 years, and by my two bothers, two sisters, 14 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Dad grew up doing the usual things – swimming, fishing, hunting and sports. He graduated from High School in 1943 and immediately joined the US Marine Corps. He served his country from 1943 until 1946 when he returned home and joined his father and brother in the family business. Dad was a volunteer fireman, active in Lions Club, and a member of the Christian Church where he served in most elected positions of those groups.

Here’s a little of what is was like for me growing up; a tribute to my father:

Can you hear that? That’s the six o’clock whistle. People can hear it from all over town. I’d better get for home quick, he’ll be there soon.

I’m standing by the front door now, all out of breath. I see a green GMC pickup truck barreling down Main Street. It downshifts, takes a wide turn at the corner, and slides to a stop out front. Someone jumps out and swings the driver’s door shut hurriedly behind them. The handsome young man walks briskly out around the truck, and in just a few quick stiff-legged-strides, he’s heading up the walk. I can finally catch my breath again and I howler, “Daddy’s home! Mommy? Daddy’s home!”

Growing up for me was special, because I was special. To my dad, I was “Tiger Tom.” I was the number 76 written on a piece of cardboard hung around my dad’s neck on parent’s night at a high school football game. I was, “that’s my boy,” and “rawr, rawr, rawr,” and “go get ’em Tom.” Whether I was on the field or on the sidelines, I could always hear him cheering me on from up in the stands.

The year I graduated High School they held our annual awards presentations in the middle of the day during school hours, which makes it kind of tough for working parents to attend. I know it wasn’t easy for him to get away from work to be there for me. He probably had to work it out with my uncle, changing lunch hours around and all. Lord only knows everything he gave up for me, but he was there. He was there for Me. I can still remember walking back to my seat, after actually receiving an award, and looking up and seeing him sitting there watching me. I didn’t know ahead of time if he’d be able to make it, but there he was. It felt so good and I was so proud that He was my dad, and to have a dad like that.

I remember when Dad used to take me along on the Lions Club trips to Bears Stadium in Denver to watch the Denver Broncos play. Now That was back in the day. We had some great times together, just us. And then 20 years later, my oldest son and I had the honor of attending a Promise Keepers Men’s Conference with Dad at that same stadium. Of course by then it was renamed Mile High Stadium. Those trips to Denver hold some great memories for me, and I know my son has special memories of his trip there too.

Another thing about growing up with my father is that I could never lie to him. I simply could not bring myself to do it. It just was not in me. Although, I have to admit, I tried it once. It did not work. Suffice it to say, he knew I was lying. Which is partly why it didn’t work. But mostly it didn’t work because I didn’t need to lie to him. My dad always believed in me, even when no one else believed in me. I just could not make myself look at his unconditional love straight in the eye and not be honest with him.

I will miss him. I know I will miss him. I already do. I love you Dad.

Shhhhh! Can you hear that? It’s the six o’clock whistle. Daddy’s home. Daddy’s finally home.

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Sheriff’s Log

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Every once in a while, a Sheriff’s Log will pop up on my Really Simple Syndication (RSS) reading list from one of the small-town newspapers that I subscribe to. Sometimes a little humorous, these police logs almost always include high-drama episodes such as the cows are out, someone is playing loud music, someone is sleeping in their car playing loud music, dogs are barking, someone is shooting at dogs, suspicious vehicles, speeding, weaving, driving erratically, and the usual car horn alarm going off.

This morning, one such feed hit my reader and also hit my funny bone.

Sheriff’s Log

October 4

Report of possible threatening gestures at local business.   Deputy responded  Case under investigation.

October 6

Report of concern over party driving a “scooter chair” in the middle of the street.  Reporting party indicated the scooter was hard to see and the person could be hit.  Deputy talked with the operator of the vehicle.  Request for welfare check to be done on individual.  Party located and everything was fine.

All’s well that ends well, when “everything is fine.” Happy Thanksgiving!

Box Lunch

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Growing up in a family with five kids my parents had to be frugal to make ends meet. We always had everything we needed, and one day a year, one of us kids got everything we wanted, sort of. During my early childhood, our family did not get to go out to eat very often, but I remember that for each of our birthday’s we always got to go out to a restaurant for a Sunday Dinner celebration.

The first order of family business after we would arrive at a restaurant was setting our spending limit. We would always ask with eager anticipation, “How much can we spend Daddy?” With five children, my parents knew all about setting limits, although the birthday boy or girl had no dollar limit at the restaurant. Unless of course, you wanted to order the most expensive thing on the menu, in which case Dad would have to impose a birthday maximum amount. This haggling was all part of the fun, which took place before the waitress came to take our orders, and usually ended with my father pulling out his wallet to double check the amount of cash he was carrying.

Back in the 1960’s, everyone knew the best place to go for Sunday dinner in Julesburg Colorado was Whitten’s Cafe on West 1st Street, a square shaped building painted white, just past Obermier’s Mobile station. They had broasted chicken.

One of my family’s most retold and laughed about inside-stories of all time is the one about a funny thing that happened at Whitten’s Cafe. Trying to save money and help Dad out with his budget, my older brother poured through the menu determining what he could order to get the most food for the money. To remain under his spending limit when it came his turn to order, he orded the “Box Lunch.” I was too young when it happened to understand why it was so funny to everyone but funny it was, and oh how we laughed. Back in that day and time, take-out was a menu item. If you wanted take-out at Whitten’s Cafe, you ordered the “Box Lunch.” My brother still contends that the “Box Lunch” was the best value on the menu, and I think that maybe it was too.

When I was old enough to have my first summer job, Alvin and Agnes Whitten hired me to be a bus boy at Whitten’s Cafe. I worked for them a summer or two, even learned how to run the broaster. When the Interstate Highway opened in 1970, traffic began bypassing 1st Street in Julesburg. I got my drivers license when I turned 16 the following summer and took a job bussing tables at a new truck stop restaurant out by the interchange.

On Monday, Agnes Whitten passed away. She was 92.