Historic Douglas County, Inc.
It is May in Douglas County! Yes, it is that time of year when we finally give that long, slow sigh; spring is finally here! Granted, this is Colorado, but generally Mother Nature has cleared her cold after a good whacking snow exit in April. We have three major holidays the month: Mother’s Day (May 8), Armed Forces Day (May 21) and Memorial Day (May 30). This will be Mother’s Day 102 since Woodrow Wilson declared the day “an official holiday” in 1914.
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in the green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.
Algemon Charles Swinburne
Notwithstanding April’s Winter-to-Spring-to-Summer-to-Winter-to-Spring, crazy, eclectic, weather performances, the numerous historical organizations’ events in and around Douglas County’s seemed to resemble April weather’s wind-ranging path. April’s events, pictured by the photographic collage at the right mixes all the presentations and events in a homogeneous perspective of historical education and fun, running from the nectar of Scotland to DNA to music to visual art to reporting the news over the last few decades. All easily explained by my most favorite word, “Wow!” April was not only a month for programs and presentations of past history but, as you will find out below in my monthly “Weglarz’s Wise Words,” a sports history record setter with the Colorado Rockies new Story. I shall not take the time, as I usually do, to recap all of last month’s events, but they are available for your perusal, if you wish, on the April Events Calendar. Yes, you can go backward as well as forward on Historic Douglas County, Inc.‘s website event calendar.
I do want to thank our friends at Lincoln County’s Hedlund House Museum for planning the spring conference of the Eastern Colorado Historical Societies and Museums (ECHS&M). The ECHS&M is comprised of historical societies and museums in and around the old (1861) Douglas County boundaries that encompassed all or portions of today’s Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln and Kit Carson Counties. Entities from El Paso and Arapahoe Counties also participate in this organization which limits membership to only organizations and museums that are non-profit and staffed by volunteers with no paid employees. Twice a year, members of ECHS&M meet to share ideas, activities and camaraderie. Unfortunately, the April 30, 2016, meeting had an early visitor, Mother Nature who brought her wintery entry of rain, snow and wind into the picture on April 29 …the result? The conference, which RSVPs indicated would be very well attended, had to be cancelled. Thank you for all the hard work that went into the planning and set-up effort.
Cherokee Ranch & Castle gets musical in May, kicking off the month (May 1) with Gayle Skidmore and Chelsea Wilde. You’ll love this pairing of a San Diego Music’s Award singer-songwriter (Gayle Skidmore) adn Chelsea Wilde’s classical piano. Further in the month, The Castle hosts Music and a Martini with fantastic signer Derek Evilsizor. You’ll swear Frank Sinatra has been reincarnated! This show is on May 14 at the Castle Great Hall and then, on May 21, The Castle brings An Evening with Devan Blake Jones for your enjoyment. May is a month of eclectic music for Cherokee Ranch and Castle. The Castle, however, breaks from it’s May musicals on May 19, hosting the Front Range Theatre Company in We Were Blessed.
May for programs by Douglas County Libraries (DCL) is big. On May 7 (Saturday), the Castle Rock DCL branch, Phillip S. Miller Library presents Holocaust Remembered. On Thursday evening, May 12, Douglas County Libraries and Castle Rock Historical Society partner to bring a Joy Poole program for your enjoyment. The program, Over the Santa Fe Trail by Poole, Deputy State Librarian of New Mexico and the Chair of the Santa Fe Trail Association, addresses her new book. You will enjoy this program …and, just might learn about the bear attack in the current movie, The Revenant. DCL also Deena Coutant’s Introduction to Genealogy. This program is being presented on May 17 at the Jamie LaRue Library in Highlands Ranch. If you’re into family genealogy, you are going to want to mark your calendar for this one.
Highlands Ranch Historical Society (HRHS) presents Denver Amusement Parks; historian-author David Forsyth takes the audience through this rollercoaster history (May 16) …Hang on! And, after bouncing up and down and cornering around amusement park history, HRHS is hosting a tour to Highlands Ranch Backcounty, inviting you to enjoy a catered hike on a hike entitled Hike to the Grigs Homestead – Highlands Ranch Backcounty. If you haven’t been around the Backcountry you are in for a treat. This hike is not in the roughed portion of the Backcountry but on the eastern or rolling-prairie side of the Highlands Ranch property. Check out all of the details on Hike to the Grigs Homestead – Highlands Ranch Backcounty on the Events Calendar
Now May must be societal tours month, and it is probably appropriate after a long, somewhat crazy winter. Parker Area Historical Society (PAHS) is celebrating the Colorado Veterans’ Memorial in honor of our veterans during memorial day. If you attended the PAHS program last November, you’ll quickly recall the event hosting “Mr. Patriotism,” Rick Crandall, who spoke about the memorial and inspired this tour event which will be conducted mid-morning, Saturday, May 28. Roxborough Area Historical Society
Down south of the border, the Douglas County that is, Palmer Lake Historical Society hosts Award-winning Biographer and Journalist Joyce Lohse presenting Spencer and Julie Penrose: Colorado Community Collaborators. If you didn’t know, you’ll learn a lot about some of the fabulous buildings that the Penrose duo build in Colorado Springs …like the Broadmoor Hotel, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun …the list goes on! The Palmer Lake Historical Society program happens May 17.
And, here’s a real sign that spring is finally here! The Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum conducts its famous Castle Rock Trolley Tour. This is the seventh of year of this annual event. This year, on May 14, the green and yellow trolley will be traveling outside of Downtown Castle Rock …check out the Events Calendar. On May 14, tour times are at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm and are approximately 45 minutes long. This is a fun trip and you will get to see New Memphis, Douglas, Rhyolite Park and other sites. Hopefully, we’ll see you there.
See, I told you that May would be eye-popping …historical event programs and tours-wise.
The Arcadia Publishing Company announced the book Roxborough will be released the first week in June. The Roxborough Area Historical Society was chosen as the organization to launch the history book and the society members will attend the Roxborough Art Fair on June 4 and 5 to offer the book for sale for the very first time. The fair will be held at Roxborough Park’s community center at 6237 Roxborough Drive. The book may also be ordered at Arcadia Publishing and Amazon websites.
Also, Roxborough Area Historical Society on May 21 announces a tour of the wonderfully restored Hildebrand Ranch at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield. Check the Events Calendar (May webpage) for more information on the tour.
May is also a very patriotic month as well. Saturday, May 17 is Armed Forces Day …make sure you fly Old Glory if you can. And, do not forget about Memorial Day 2016, Monday, May 30 …another time for the flag. Remember the troops.
Okay, I think that I have probably just enough wind left to talk about where we are in Colorado, sports-wise. Bear with me…
BRONCOS: It is somewhat sad in many ways, that the “highlight” of the May Sports page, will again be the Denver Broncos; nevertheless, here we go… Denver had the 31st, and last pick of the First Round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, April 28. John Elway held his cards very close to the vest andm with minutes to spare before the 26th pick, announced that the Broncos had swapped picks with Seattle for a relatively cheap price of a third round pick. Lo and behold, the Broncos select Paxton Lynch, Memphis quarterback, who is 6 feet 7 and 245 pounds, roughly the same size as the departed Brock Osweiler. It wasn’t etched in stone, but there was a very good chance that Lynch would have been chosen by the Chiefs, with the 28th pick. Presto, the “Elway Magic” continues for the sixth straight year! The Broncos now have Mark Sanchez as the “bridge quarterback” for the next year or two …until either Trevor Simian or Paxton Lynch emerges as the next franchise quarterback for the Broncos, not a bad position to be in. There is more upside with picking Lynch; his 5 year contract calls for a TOTAL of $9 million, a fraction of the Osweiler contract with the Texans. That’s more $$$ to be used to upgrade the roster going forward for the next 5 years. The Broncos had another eight picks remaining for the draft. Kudos to Elway and Company for showing how to run a professional sports team!
NUGGETS: This season was definitely “Rebuilding Mode”! You have to like the look of the present roster, but the challenge next year must be to show definite improvement …like a winning season! A sub-.500 season will not get the Nuggets a playoff spot. The plan has to be to achieve a minimum of 45 wins!
AVALANCHE: Does anyone have the answer for the Avs? Lost the last six games to finish at .500! This is not what Denver is looking for! It doesn’t look like any changes for Sakic and Roy; but if the trend of the past two seasons continues, that will create a different story! Roster changes during the off-season, very likely. It will get interesting to see which players stay, and which ones go…
ROCKIES – BOYCOTT COORS FIELD! I don’t know what other approach will change the mindset of the owners of the Rockies …JUST DON’T GO! For the past several years, the month of April has started on a positive note with a winning record… BUT NOT THIS YEAR! The Rockies’ record is 9 an’ 12 (end of April), riding a five game losing streak at Coors Field. Mercifully, the May 28th, Thursday game was snowed out. The Rockies’ April HOME record is 4 – 8! We all know that for the Rockies to be competitive, they MUST win close to 50 of the 81 games at Coors Field – NO WAY! Why is this you ask? It’s called the WORST pitching staff in all of the major league teams. The Rockies have the worst pitching numbers and rank 30th out of 30 teams. You name it the statistic: ERA, walks, hits, home runs, the Rockies are on the bottom! After just 21 games, one of their starting pitchers is on the DL (DeLaRosa groin pull), and another has been optioned to the minors. If you think that there’s hope that the replacements will be better? Banish that thought, not a chance! My recommendation is to stay away from Coors Field, and maybe have the Monfort Brothers admit they have no clue how to run a baseball team!
KENTUCKY DERBY: Yes it is Derby time, although you wouldn’t guess that by looking at the snow out our windows during the last days of April! Saturday, May 7th, at 4 PM Mountain Time will be the 2016 “Run For the Roses“. For those of us who have lived in Louisville, Kentucky, the Derby is an event that is “special.” The hats, dresses, suits and ties, and local customs make the two minute race with twenty horses an annual spectacle in front of 160,000 people, with millions watching on TV.
Well, there you! Remember, I write my May sports submission for this Home-page at the end of April; however, I have not anticipation for our Colorado teams that anything is going to change in May! We will, however, have a Kentucky Derby winner after the May 7 race!
Enjoy May …I think spring may now be here,