Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday House Warming

Our Sunshine neighbor, Peter, has been constructing an addition on his house. Last night he had a house warming party for his, almost complete, addition. The guests were an assortment of Sunshine neighbors and folks Peter knows from town. One of our more famous, or should I say infamous neighbors was in attendance.
For those of you who have followed my journal for the last four or five years know that our community of Sunshine was, at one time, a booming gold mine town. The Gold played out and the war came along. The Gold Mines shut down. The shafts and tunnels are still here. So what does one do with an abandoned mine tunnel? Our friend Danny stores his beer in there. The temperature is a constant 54 degrees, summer and winter. Danny is a well known beer connoisseur. This picture was published some time ago in the New York Times. An article about him showed up in an Australian news paper declaring his as a "popular bloat". Danny loves his beer. He even has an attachment to his small pick-up truck that he takes to local functions. The attachment holds 3 kegs of beer, all on tap.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lori's Passing

It is with great sadness that I announce the Passing of our neighbor, Lori. I will lower the flag to Half-staff for a week, in memory of a very good friend.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanks to some great neighbors

One of the items on the Sunshine Fire Protection District's wish list was a pressure washer. One of our great neighbors donated one. Thanks to who ever you are. It is greatly appreciated.

On Memorial Day I went up to the Sunshine Cemetery and placed American flags on three graves. We have two civil war veterans and one WWI veteran.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sunshine Halloween 2009

Dancing up a storm. Look....lights but then, that's another story.
Thanks Kat for putting on such a great party.
While the Sunshine folks partied at the historic Sunshine School house, the band played at the American Legion.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Congratulations to two couples in Sunshine.
Tim and Linda are getting married this upcoming weekend at the historic Sunshine School House. We are glad they moved into the neighborhood.
My close neighbors, Marty and Jean were married last month in Estes Park, Colorado.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sunshine Arts and Crafts show

June selling her books, including "Stories of Sunshine" and her daughter.

The annual Sunshine Arts and Craft show is held on the 3rd weekend of September. It was well attended and serves as the only fund raiser for the Sunshine Schoolhouse. This year there was a little competition as it was held the same weekend as the Great American Beer Fest. Most of us found time to go to both.
I've been extremely busy and haven't had much time to enter a post. Now that the snow is flying I have found myself inside.
I would like to welcome a new reader. Scott flew in to visit the cemetery. He has ancestors buried there. We took some time to find the graves and walked around in the snow. Scott was very active with his camera and we hope to see him again soon.
Milo and I continue to take our morning walks and raise the American flag. We miss Bob, the school bus driver. The new driver is starting to recognize us and has begun waving. Maybe, just maybe he will stop and share a treat with Milo.
We ask for your prayers for one of our neighbors. Cancer can be so cruel.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

You would think all we do is party

Some of the Sunshine boys. Yes, our mayor drinks Coors.

Two weeks ago one of the neighbors hosted a "1888 Party" 6 to 10, I don't think so. I think it went past 2 or 2:30. The only requirement was to dress up like it was 1888. I would have posted this before the party but I don't think there would have been enough parking for everyone.

Tim & Linda

Dee and Steve (not the fire chief)
Hail to the Chief!
Steve is retiring as Fire Chief after almost 8 years.
Come celebrate his ENORMOUS contribution with a party in his honor!
Friday August 28 5-8
Fire Station #1 311 county Road 83
Bring something to eat, drink and maybe a chair.
Grab a sheet of paper or a note card and jot some thoughts about Steve's contribution over the years. We will have a book at the party to assemble these notes and they will make a wonderful treasure.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vacation and Happy Hour

The Oregon Coast

We had another enjoyable trip to the Oregon coast for vacation. This year we stayed in Newport. In years past we stayed in Seaside. My son Michael would have preferred Seaside. He calls it his "happy place". Trying something new was enjoyable. I had forgotten how impressive Mount Hood can be. Uncle Gene chose a couple of great wines. We stopped to visit my Mother and Fathers grave site. I did shed a few tears. I do miss them. As we drove through Boise (in 102 degree heat) we said "Hi" to Rebecca Anne but I don't think she heard us. Next year we are going to the Big Island. Reservations have already been made. Michael leaves for Norway tomorrow. He will be gone for two weeks.

Janice and I figure this was the last trip together as a family. The boys are growing older. We'll see what time brings. Speaking of time, have you heard the words to the theme from "M*A*S*H"?

We had a community Happy Hour last evening. We gathered at Steve and Dee's house. Everybody brought their own drinks and a dish to share. The band assembled and we had an open mike. Neighbors played their instruments and others grabbed a mike and sang. We had a great time.



The Columbia River Gorge

Friday, July 3, 2009

Time flys when you are having fun

The Flat tops in north central Colorado

The summer is just flying by. I'm having a hard time sitting down at this machine to talk about everything that has been going on.

The Weekend of the Summer Solstice, June 19, 20 and 21st was our annual SCSSYYSR (Sunshine Canyon Summer Solstice YaYa Sisterhood Reunion). Those who have followed me for several years know all about it. For those who are new here is the explanation. My lovely wife grew up in Sunshine Canyon. At that time there were very few families living in Sunshine. They were very close. Several of the families have moved away or the children have grown up and moved on. Although there are many miles between them, the families have remained close. Every year, for many of the past years, the families have gathered for a reunion. Except for one year, this reunion is held in the mountains at Dale and Terry's house. We affectionately call it "Hog Hollow". This year was just as much fun and the past years. My only regret is that I relied on Terry to take all of the pictures. She did a great job except that I walked off and left my disk at her house. Maybe, I hope, she'll send it to me. The picture at the top of the page was taken near their house on Saturday.

GREAT NEWS!!!!!! We have electricity at the Sunshine School house. We lost power when the old firehouse burnt down. It's only taken 3 years for the power to be restored.

My youngest son has earned his Eagle Scout award. I am really , really proud of him.

We are leaving for the Oregon coast on Sunday. We'll stop in Salt Lake City on Sunday night and spend time with friends. The next day we'll truck through Boise and then stop in Baker City, Oregon. Tuesday it's off to the coast after brief stops in Mosier (to pick cherries), Camas (to see my brother and his family) and Portland (to visit my parents grave site and then Uncle Gene's Wine shop). We will find our pillows in Newport.
Keep smiling!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Milo and I started our day as usual this morning. We had another “Sunrise Alert”. That is a phrase we use when there is a beautiful sunrise. The sky was ablaze with red, orange and yellow. We performed our morning task and raised the flag. As usual, Milo sat at attention. I almost wish he would learn to play the bugle.
Just then a brand new white Ford extended cab, Ranger approached us and came to a stop. I did not recognize who was inside until the power window rolled down. Behind the wheel sat Randy. I don’t usually talk about people’s characteristics because it’s not polite and my parents raised me better than that. (Also, you never know who’s going to read your journal.) But in Randy’s case, you have to know a little about him to appreciate his new pick-up truck.
Randy has lived in Sunshine for a number of years. He stays mostly to himself. He’s a bachelor in his mid 30’s. Up until today he has been driving an old red Chevy truck. He wears a brown felt “well loved” cowboy hat, Wrangler jeans and a pocket t-shirt (various colors). I did see him on a Saturday evening last summer wearing a “snappy” cowboy shirt. He must have had a date. His cowboy boots are well worn. It’s hard to tell what kind of animal gave up its life for those fine boots. I think he purchased them during Cheyenne Frontier Days.
I believe he fancies himself as a cowboy. I know he sure loves Country and Western music (not that there is anything wrong with that, I do too). I hear it every time he drives by. I used to think he was from Nebraska because of his red truck. Other times I was sure he was from Texas. He will often wear his pants inside his boots. I even remember him saying “all-ya-all” at last year’s community fest. I know he’s not from Wyoming. Unlike myself, he does not get that “far away look” when we talk about sheep.
Personally, I’ve never seen him take a drink, but rumor has it, he can hold his own with the best of ‘em. I’m not sure what he does for a living. He leaves every morning while Milo and I are walking. He returns when we are lowering the flag in the evening. As he passes, he gives us a two finger wave.
I thought it strange that he would stop this morning. He rolled down the window and called me over to his brand new truck. I looked in the window and noticed the gun rack in the rear window. He wanted to show me his “toys’. There, mounted where the back seat should have been, was a microwave, refrigerator and coffee pot. Mounted to the ceiling was a color TV / DVD combination. Randy must be a cowboy from Wyoming. They are awfully proud of their pickup trucks in Wyoming.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mouse story

One of my Sunshine neighbors, Maggie, works in one of the high-rise buildings in downtown Denver. She leaves Sunshine around 6:30 in the morning, Monday thru Friday. She drives down Sunshine Canyon Drive, thru Boulder and onto US 36, the Boulder Turnpike. It’s still called the turnpike even though the toll booths were removed many years ago. Her drive continues onto Interstate 25 and then on Spear Boulevard into Downtown Denver. It is a 35 mile drive that takes about 55 minutes on a good day.
Her office is on the 24th floor. There are 35 people sharing the small space, crammed into small cubicles. There is a large open space where all of the workers share three FAX machines and two copiers. There is also a large bank of filing cabinets. Maggie told me a story about an incident involving a mouse last week. One of the file clerks opened a filing cabinet drawer and saw a mouse. She jumped, uttered the appropriate shriek and slammed the drawer. She immediately ran to her desk and called the building maintenance department to report the incident.
Fifteen minutes later a maintenance worker appeared. He checked every filing cabinet, inside and out. He could not find the mouse. The mouse was probably just as frightened as the clerk and left soon after the drawer slamming. With other jobs to do, the maintenance worker asked the clerk to sign the work order “completed”. The clerk refused, saying she wouldn’t sign until she saw him remove the mouse. The maintenance worker said “Listen lady, the work order says ‘chase mouse’ not ‘produce mouse’ and I did that”. The file clerk thought about it for a minute and then signed the work order. The mouse hasn’t been seen since.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So Long Bob, the schoolbus driver

Milo and I took our morning walk, just like we have everyday for the last 3 years. We stopped at the old Sunshine school house. The flag was raised to full staff; we remembered our servicemen and then continued our walk. We turned and started our return home.
Milo always hears the school bus as it nears us. His ears perk up and his tail wags. We knew our ol' buddy Bob, the school bus driver, would have a treat for him. We knew this was the last day of school for the students. We were looking forward to seeing Bob. Bob pulled the bus to a stop and opened the door. Milo went to the door and waited for Bob's command. "Sit" and Milo was sitting with his tail wagging. Bob threw Milo a treat. Once more, all was well with the world. Before I could tell Bob that we would miss him all summer and would be looking forward to next fall, Bob told us he won't be back next year. He's nearing 70 and is ready to retire. We wished him a fond farewell and he drove on to pick up the waiting students. We will miss him.
So long Bob.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Just a short note. Here's proof, he made it. Congratulations to my son, Michael. Here he is with his girlfriend, Jeanette.
The Party was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Late Spring and an open invitation

Spring comes late in the high country. The other morning I had to stop by the neighbors and snap a photo of their driveway. They planted daffodils all the way to their house. Daffodils are one of the few plants the deer are not interested in eating.

My youngest son, Michael will graduate from Boulder High School on Saturday. We are hosting a graduation party on Saturday, noon to 4PM you are all invited. No need to RSVP...just show up.
You are more than welcome to join us. They say it takes a community to raise a child. We have had a very large community.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Not Bothering a Soul

I was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cheyenne was built along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. As the Wyoming territory grew into statehood, Cheyenne was chosen to be the capitol. One of the main north-south streets is Capitol Avenue. At the North end of the street is the State capitol building. At the south end is the Union Pacific Railroad Depot. Adjacent to the station (west) are the stock yards where livestock is kept before it is loaded onto the train. North of the station and across the street is a hotel with a bar at street level.
When I was in college I use to hang out in the bar. One night I had a little too much to drink and decided to sleep a little before I tried to go home. I walked around the corner and down the block and lay down in the gutter just across from the stock yard. A short time later, a pig who must have broken loose from the stock yard, wandered by and laid down in the gutter next to me.
We (the pig and I) were just laying there, not bothering a soul. Well, this high-tone lady who was staying at the hotel, must have taken a wrong turn and wondered down the street past us. I woke up just in time to hear her say "You can tell someone who boozes by the company he chooses" and you know, that pig got up and walked away!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

To My Mother, on Mothers Day

Happy Mother's Day to you , Mother. Although we haven't spoken to each other for several years, you are always with me. I feel your presence every day. I feel you in every fiber of my body, for you gave me life.

You have given me so much. You gave me three wonderful brothers and a safe home. You gave me a home that encouraged love, understanding and respect. For that I am forever grateful. You took me to church, had me baptized, taught me to pray and continued to worship with me. I still hang the Christmas stocking you made for me every Christmas.

Grandmother Eula and my Mother shopping in Portland, OR

Mother, thank you for teaching me manners, a lost art that I have passed on to my sons. I still walk on the outside to protect my wife from getting splashed by passing cars. Thank you for writing to me while I was in uniform. If it wasn't for you and my father, I wouldn't have received any letters. I will always feel bad for ruining you night of cards when I dropped the hatchet on my foot and cut off my toenail. I think you got to the hospital faster than I did.

Thank you Mother for raising my three wonderful brothers. You supported John through the really hard times, when no one understood his Cerebral Palsy. You loved Dan through every wild hair he had. You gave me my youngest brother, Phil, when I was only 15; and taught me how to take care of a baby. A lesson I used when I had my own children.

You gave me my heritage and a membership in the First Families of Tennessee. (and that's an inside joke that only you and I understand...who needs those old bitties in Virginia anyway)

I love you Mother, and I miss you.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's Derby Day

Our Spring snow storm has come and gone. It left it's mark. There are trees all over Sunshine that are broken. Limbs lay on the ground. Looks like we will have plenty of firewood for next year. One good thing is that we greened up overnight. The moisture soaked into the ground and everything started to grow.

Today is Derby day. The running of the Kentucky Derby is celebrated even in far away Sunshine. One of our neighbors, Jean, is from the Louisville, KY area. She and husband Paul have put together a Derby party for many, many years. The party starts at 2PM Mountain Daylight Time. Jean wants the ladies to wear their finest Derby bonnets. It looks like "I Want Revenge" is the favorite. I always pick a long-shot. This year I think it might be "Join The Dance". We'll see. I'm glad they are not running up here. 2-7 inches of snow are predicted for tonight.

The Hummingbirds have returned. My wife, Janice, is overjoyed.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Springtime in the Rockies

Now don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining about the moisture. We really needed it...and we received it all at once. Our 24" of snow had a good 5" of moisture and it has been a true blessings. As the snow melts, the grass turns green.

It started snowing Thursday evening and continued through Saturday night. We lost electricity Saturday morning around 9AM. Power was restored at 6PM Sunday. For those of us that have gone through a Springtime snow storm, it was no big deal. When one of the neighbors ask how we were doing, I replied "Well, I've shoveled out the gas bar-b-que, the beer's cold, the phones not ringing and the wood burning stove is hot...what else could we ask for?" Janice and I snuggled up with a couple of good books and enjoyed the storm.

When we dug out Sunday, we drove around and looked at the damage created by the heavy, wet snow. Mother nature has her way of pruning the weak branches.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Buddy's awake

If you were reading last fall you will remember that we had an assassin in the neighborhood. He killed two bears and a buck. Our friendly neighbor hood bear, Buddy, went missing. We were afraid Buddy too, may have been murdered. Today we received GREAT news. Buddy has come out of hibernation and has been sighted. We are all overjoyed.
On a different note....Mike's Eagle Scout project went off without a hitch. We're almost there. The only thing left is his board of review. Once that is complete we will plan a party. Of course, you are all invited.

Friday, April 10, 2009

On My Honor, I Will Do My Best

The Good Lord has blessed me and my wife with two great sons. They are shown here with their cousin, Kelcey, last summer. I have tried not to brag or make a big deal over their accomplishments. I am just really proud of who they are and what they do. As far as my part, I have tried my best to be a good father and raise my sons so they can walk proud.
Our oldest son, Nathan (in the middle), is 21 and a music composition major at the University of Colorado. Last month he presented his first public performance of an original composition. He has been using a computer to write and preform the composition. We did not see him preform. He simply hit the start key on his computer and walked away. His partner played the solo violin part while Nate's computer played the accompaniment. I must admit, it almost put me in tears. It was beautiful.
With that in mind, I must mention two things: Nate's second language is Japanese (he's been to Japan twice) and he is an Eagle Scout.
Michael (on the right) is my younger son. He is 18 and a senior at Boulder High School. Along with finishing high school, Michael is completing the requirements for his Eagle Scout. I'm sure some of the parents out there can relate, I didn't think he was going to make it. He was right on track to complete the task until "the fumes" set in. Perfume and gas fumes. A girl and a car! I though a heart attack was imminent. He has to complete his Eagle project before his 18th birthday (April 21th). I must admit that I worry too much. True to form, he was planning and preparing for this for quite some time. We will be completing his project the Sunday (rain or shine). This is a big deal for have both son's as Eagle Scouts.
Mike's second language is also Japanese. I will say that when we all get together for dinner, the conversation can be interesting and mostly in a language I don't understand.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sunshine Ant Man

I should know better than to stop by the Mayor's house. Chris always has a Margarita ready and waiting. Most of the time the top is already off a cold beer. Chris enjoys telling a good story and I love hearing them.
Several years ago there was a Sunshine neighbor known as "The Ant Man". I don't know if anybody knew his real name, he was just "The Ant Man". Chris has been around here for a long time, therefor he either knows everyone in the neighbor hood or knows of them. Most of the nick-names have started in Chris' living room or back deck. I'm sure the "Ant Man" name had to start with Chris.
Where did the name come from? Now I might be a little fuzzy with this legend because, after all, Chris likes to tell his stories after we have consumed a fair amount of alcohol. It seems that our old neighbor was often seen hauling "stuff" up to his house in his small pick-up truck. Often it was overloaded to the point that "stuff" would fall off the truck and be left on the side of the road. Chris said he resembled a worker ant, always carrying more than it seemed possible. He thought he was trying to build his house with scrap lumber and anything he could find for free, just as long as he could tie it down.
No one was brave enough to approach "The Ant Man", for he was a recluse and did not even acknowledge anybody. He was often known to fire his rifle at passing wildlife. We know he did a lot of shooting. We found a tree full of bullets when we cut up some firewood taken from his property.
One day the man just left, leaving a pile of "stuff" for the next owner to clean up. Evidently the neighbor hood was getting a little too crowded for him.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

We have been experiencing one of the driest springs on record. Usually the grass has turned green and the spring bulbs are starting to show their colors. This year the grass is still brown. The only color has been the crocus, iris and the daffodils.

The Spaghetti dinner went well. We filled station #2 with happy neighbors, drank a little wine and told stories. I don't think we made any money but at least we got everybody out of the house and had some fun.

I need to take care of some unfinished business. Last fall my neighbor accused me of stealing a lot of money from his house (it was a joke and was published a few posts back). Well, to get even, Janice and I told him we were planning a trip around the world. Thanks to some friends, we had post cards mailed from various parts of the world. I would like to thank Jan, who sent four cards from England, Chris, who mailed one from Austria and Spain and my brother-in law, who mailed two cards from Hawaii.Back to spring. Those of us who have chosen to live in the high country know that is is common to move from winter into summer in a matter of weeks. Today our prayers were answered. It is snowing. Not just a little snow but a blizzard. I expect the grass will start to turn green and we will finally have enough water to do the laundry. I wish I was still skiing. It's a powder day!

Janice, my oldest son Nate, Dennis and Suzie all attended the March Denver Pow-Wow last Sunday. It was quite a show of the Western Plains Indians.

Milo says "woof, woof" to all

Remember "Don't never interfer with nothin' what don't bother yuh none."

Keep smiling,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Third Annual
Spaghetti Feed


5:00 to 7:30 pm

Sunshine Fire Station #2

$7.00 per Adult
$4.00 per Child
$20 maximum per family

Proceeds go to the Sunshine Fire Protection District

Please bring your own bottle of wine and maybe one to share

Spaghetti - Salad - Garlic Bread
Soft Drinks Provided

Gift Basket Door Prizes!!!!!!!

Milo and I took our evening walk to the school house and lowered the American flag. I folded the flag and put it away. I sure wish he would learn to hold one end for me. The air was calm and it was snowing. I took his leash off so he could run freely for a while. With him off and away I noticed that it was quiet, really quiet. The clouds, fog and snow muffled any sounds. The only thing I could hear was the snow crunching under my feet. It's been a day of reflection. I was thinking of my other dogs. Sandy, Skipper, Bruce and Malcom. I stayed out all night looking for Skipper when he left. They are all gone now. I suspect they are playing with each other in Mom and Dad's back yard. Mom is reading a book and Dad is reading a newspaper. Days like today I feel them looking down on me, protecting me, giving me strength. It's a good day to remember the ones that gave me unconditional love. It's time now to give love to Milo.