Hey, Spike! with names from the past
If you travel enough, talk with enough people, you’ll find Summit County ties all over the place.And Grand Junction, two plus hours west on I-70, proves to be a strong attraction for ex-Summiteers who want to be lower, warmer, yet still be in Colorado.Just how many former residents reside further over on the Western Slope?Enough to hold an annual potluck picnic where the former High Country locals can gather to reminisce. It’s slated for Saturday, June 5, at Palisade’s Nazarene Church, 3595 Front St., 11 a.m-4 p.m.Contact Patsy Cox and Reba Novonty at 970-241-5925 for any more.Again, the Downtown Grand Junction Art and Jazz Festival lured Hey, Spike! and artist wife Mary westward to Mesa County.Greeting locals and visitors on the again being revamped meandering Main Street is a bust of Joe Lacy, the popular developer of Wildernest who died a few years back after returning to GJ.Joe was the city manager of Grand Junction from 1960-67, a position he held as the youngest in the nation. He is credited with much of the city’s downtown revitalization long before other towns figured it has to happen to keep the community core alive as cities spread outward.And it’s going through a major and “ahead of schedule” revamp and lengthening as this is written.Art on the Corner sculptures punctuate the streetscape. Now and then, someone puts a baseball cap on Joe’s head. He would have liked that.The Lacys and The Porters go back a long way, as Joe’s family once owned the Rocky Ford Daily Gazette, the paper my dad, mfpiii, purchased in 1949 and sold in 1956. Joe’s Aunt Eleanor had stayed on as the society editor there in the Melon Capital of the World.Joe would later allow Miles and Mary to use his “Joe’s Toy” houseboat in our early days at Lake Powell. Joe and buddies Rob Mitchell, Don Peterson, Ben Grove, Gary Takacs, John Handley, and Ken Hicks used the vessel as a clubhouse where they played poker.We ran into a host of ex-locals, who included Rick and Beth Harvey, once of Breckenridge. Rick was in the F&B biz up in The Kingdom, like managing Miner’s Camp.He is now a state-contracted probation officer, a job which he noted will produce chuckles from the likes of still-local John Tuso, Bobby Kato, Bobby Starekow, Susie Magrino, Richie Poveromo and Greg Abernathy, along with “we’re outta here’s” Carole Scott, Billy and Nan Carr, and Adams State’s Cecil “The Beast” Fell.Rick also was a friend of my first brother-in-law, that outlaw Mikey Dentino-Smith. Beth works for the NTSB out at the airport.Rick noted that Bob “Duck” Van Iderstine of Fatty’s and St. Bernard fame, is also residing in GJ. Duck went to college with Chris Farley, Chris’ wife Steph recalls.Others passing by the booth were Claudia and Bob Alster, Mark “Sharky” and Roberta Fish, Betty Robillard, ex-Summit Sentinel publisher Bob Lombardi, Jeannette Falconetti (Jerry was fishing up near Walden), and Glenwood Spring-ers Mark Miskowicz and Deb Korbel, who gave a shout-out to Rick Hein and Linda Roberts.We also chatted with Mary’s Chadron (Neb.) High School classmate, Bob Hartman and wife Krystyn. He’s a BLM petro engineer and she’s the sparkplug publisher of the slick mag, “Grand Valley.”And making his annual booth-stop was Jim Maggio, who used to print our newspapers. He now owns a Carpet Direct over there.Another was Montrose geologist and mother of two daughters, Abbie and Paige, Team Shaklee’s Laurie Brandt, who won the ’09 Leadville Silver Rush 50-mile Mountain Bike Race, beating a distaff field of 32.Plus, Steve Smith was over for a roadbike ride around Palisade and a round of golf at Tiara Rado with Spike and Capt. Alster.Coming up from Delta for Mother’s Day was my mom, Medith, along with friends Trish and Vic Erickson, and Fran and Laura Smith.••••Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a resident of Summit County since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years.E-mail your social info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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