"The Wondering Jew"
Jan. 18, 2003 - 19:05 MST
THE WONDERING JEW
Maybe I could start this out like Michener did with Hawaii, a bump on the ocean floor and umpteen chapters later something happened that dealt with humans. That's how I remember that book. There was a flat land millenia ago that suffered an upheaval now called the Rocky Mountains. But - no not the way to go.
Denver used to be a cow town, for one thing among others. With all the packing houses out at the north end of town and the associated holding pens there was a great flow of live animals and fresh butchered meat. Along with that was the fact that Denver was for that day and age a big town. Ranchers came here, bought furniture, clothes and any fancies their pocket book could buy.
Came into being the National Western Stock Show running for two weeks mid-January since 1906. A batch of buildings came into being out at that end of town which accomodated the showing of stock, buying and selling of same, rodeo and other entertainment and selling of the gee-gaws that one can find on such occasions. Usually the beef animal winning first prize would be bought by some ritzy Denver restaurant or hotel to be served at table to folks who could afford it. Status thing ya know.
It was ideal for such a time I think. Ranchers and farmers could catch up on winter work before and after the Stock Show, meanwhile taking a break in Denver and having fun. Sure beat flailing around in the snowdrifts and stoking the furnace for fun anyhow.
As the years went on and Denver decorated and began to light up the City and County building it became the custom to keep things lit up through stock show. Outdoor decoration of homes with associated lighting gradually became popular and homeowners here began to follow that custom also. I think that many of the folks here had friends and relatives out on farms and ranches who came to town for the stock show and liked to cruise around and see what was offered in the way of city beauty.
I guess the city and county building is still lit up for stock show time, but the lights and decorations around the residential areas has dwindled in the last few years.
Today Heather and I were driving around town visiting and doing errands and coming back home after dark. While out, here and there we saw a few lights, maybe a tree outdoors still lit up, and here and there were those dangly Icicle lights hung from the eaves of houses. Didn't see any Christmas trees all decorated and lit near the picture windows as we used to. It is sad in a way, yet I used to wonder how large a city could be supplied by the power used on Christmas lights. It was an era and seems to be pretty well over here, as far as keeping lit up Christmas decorations going through Stock Show time. Except Denver's City and County building is one big, whoppin' Holdover . . . . . . . . . .0 comments so far