We are looking to fill in gaps in our Pikes Peak region high school yearbooks collection. After several years of contacting high school yearbook offices and alumni groups, we have added several hundred more volumes, but we still have holes to fill. We are the main repository in the area for these yearbooks and perhaps the only place where they are easily accessible. They are used extensively by our genealogy patrons, high school students, and those recently graduated from high school.
To serve our patrons better, we would like to have as complete a collection as possible. Therefore, we would like to appeal to our patrons to complete this task. Click here to see which yearbooks we are missing. If you have any yearbooks on this list that you are willing to donate to us, please contact the Library at (719) 531-6333, x1253.
Old Colorado City Library is pleased to announce the winners of our essay contest, My Westside--Our Voice. Our generous Friends of the Library supported this programming with a $100 prize for first place. The winner, Sarah Pottenger, is also published in the November 21, 2013 edition of the Westside Pioneer. Enjoy reading her essay along with our runners-up, Andrea Corley and Victor Shepard.
Your Westside is My Westside Now, by Sarah Pottenger - Winner
I’m a third-generation Colorado Springs native, and I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else. I grew up near Academy Boulevard, but some of my best memories are of visits to the Westside, whether to visit my parents’ old haunts, see the house where my grandmother was born, or just to take the car to the mechanic. Driving to the Westside was an event, taking half an hour.
I lived in that same house off Academy for twenty years. Then my family downsized from our house to a duplex just north of Old Colorado City. We moved here in 2010, and though it was a terrible move, we were here. For my parents, returning to the Westside was like coming home. For me, it was a dream come true. Every week one of us remarks that we still can’t believe we get to live here, even after nearly four years.
As a lifelong reader, I love the Old Colorado City Library. We can drive there in just a few minutes, or walk in half an hour. I probably visit three times a week, and it’s the prettiest, friendliest library in town. We’re also just minutes away from Fire Station #5, housing the wonderful firefighters who not only came to our rescue when my bedroom flooded during the September 12 storm, but also arrived within moments when my dad suffered a heart attack right before Christmas last year.
When we were children, my brother and I loved to come to the Westside. The Creamery was (and still is) our favorite ice cream shop. We liked to visit souvenir stores, dipping our hands into wooden bins brimming with polished rocks. My parents pointed out houses belonging to friends and relatives. My mom told stories about running downhill from school and spending nights with her grandparents, one set on Chestnut and one set on Uintah.
I have always loved it here. I pinch myself every day, hardly believing that I get to live here, that every time the car heads west, I’m going home.
The Circle in the Square, by Victor Shepard - Runner-Up
It’s funny how memories work. The passing of fifty five or so years doesn't diminish the desire to somehow recapture the beauty and love that were experienced so long ago. I know the ice cream was much sweeter and creamier then. The flowers my grandma raised were much more fragrant than flowers are today. And most definitely people were so much kinder then. People didn't have the apprehension and distance that is so prevalent today. At least that’s the way I choose to remember it.
Every child looks forward to summer and my summers always included visiting my grandmother in the “burg” of Colorado City. This was the main highlight of every summer and a time that I remember fondly. Grandma’s house was only a block away from the library where I read the adventures of the places I was going to visit one day when I was “old.” In close proximity were the drug stores with real fountains like Cooper-Lidke and the Rexall, a good place to get a chocolate or cherry Coke. Then I’d buy a fifteen cent wooden plane at the Duckwalls, which would last about ten minutes. In the center of this playground neighborhood was a park to play in with a central square and the treasure of the town, the first capitol of Colorado. This park was a hub where the entire neighborhood was welcomed and encouraged to come to.
Wednesday nights in the “burg” were the most special because that was the night when there was square dancing in the park. Although I was only six or seven, it was a weekly ritual that included special food and more importantly, staying up late. I’d get to wear my little cowboy boots and western shirt and get pinches from my grandma’s friends. Watching the big people in their fancy clothes, swiftly moving through difficult dance maneuvers, was quite a sight. But they all seemed happy and certainly appeared to be having a good time. Eventually, the inevitable happened, grandma wanted me to ask a very apprehensive little girl to dance. I was not a completely willing participant in the process but the coaxing finally compelled us wee ones to join in the confusing mob moving to an old man’s call on a screechy microphone. We were both confused and afraid of being trampled by the big people as they sashayed and promenaded around in close order. Somehow we devised our own rhythm and moves and somehow managed to avoid serious contact and injury. The more time we spent dancing the more fun it became. The dance seemed to last late into the night, and I must have been especially tired, as my grandma was forced to carry me home.
Yes, memories can cause us to smile and dancing can still wear me out but I wouldn't trade a moment I've experienced for half a dollar. I still love the park, the band shell and the fistful of valuable and memorable experiences that Bancroft Park has given me throughout many happy years.
Lower Gold Camp Road Today "Ties", by Andrea Corley - Runner-Up
I am a transplant, not a native Westsider. I came here to college and really never left. I have lived in the same place on the Westside for 46 years. I married a local man with Westside ties – railroad ties. His grandfather bought one of the railroads that traveled through the Westside to Cripple Creek a century ago, tore it up, sold the rolling stock and made a toll road for automobiles on the CS&CCDRY bed. It is now called the Gold Camp Road.
Yesterday, driving with a friend on Lower Gold Camp Road, we passed the ground-breaking for a new facility east of my friend’s home at The Village at Skyline. She did not know what is to be built there, but reading the current Westside Pioneer I learned it is to be a memory facility called Morning Star at Bear Creek. I thought” how fitting” in an area full of my family’s memories. The road we were traveling on next to this new facility was once-upon-a-time the initial part of what was called the Corley Mountain Highway. It was gently graded for train traffic first, as the route west out of Colorado Springs to the foothills for the railroad nicknamed ( because it was) the Short Line to Cripple Creek. Now a city street, Lower Gold Camp Road has become, according to Bill Vogrin in the Gazette, a race track for prospective buyers testing their new cars.
Next time you are there, testing or not, imagine the trains going and coming on that very roadway, loaded with freight or gold ore depending on the direction of travel, plains or mountains up ahead, tracks and ties, not tires, underneath you. Then, remember the clickety-clack rhythm of any train ride you have taken, and this becomes Time Travel for the Twenty-first Century with memories of your own. For me, a transplant in my adopted neighborhood, it becomes ties to my family members in their own time and place.
In a recent lecture, celebrated author Neil Gaiman discussed among other things why libraries are so important to the future, how important it is to read for pleasure, and how there is no such thing as a bad children's book.
"... Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information."
Tom Clancy (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013) was an American author best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science story lines that are set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War 1.
The Pikes Peak Poet Laureate recently joined forces with the Pikes Peak Library District Lobby Stop Van to visit various senior centers throughout Colorado Springs.
"Two residents approached as we were leaving and said, 'thank you so much for bringing poetry to us!'"
The love that soars out from you,
Returns on the arms of the singing wind
Price Strobridge - Boomerang
Pikes Peak Library District wants to preserve the record of the historic Black Forest Fire and its effects on our community. We are doing this in a couple of ways:
- We are collecting images for an online photo gallery, which you can send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to include any personal accounts associated with the image, which we will use as a caption. Please note that we cannot receive email attachments larger than 8 megabytes at a time. If you have multiple images, please send them individually. Please limit your submission to five photos total.
- In addition, we are seeking video and high-resolution photos for our Special Collections archives for the use of future researchers. If you have video or high-res pictures you would like to donate to our collection, please email us at email@example.com with “Archives” in the subject line so that we can arrange acquisition of your photo or video. Do not email your high-resolution images, but you can send samples. Keep in mind we have an 8 megabyte attachment limit. Please do not email video files, but links to online streaming (YouTube, etc.) of your video footage are okay.
PPLD would like to thank Major General Mike and Elinor Ingelido, Carnegie Society Members, for their gift to the children of Cheyenne Mountain Library.
What do you get when you give "kindie" musician Steve Weeks and PPLD TV producer/director Dave Franklyn access to paper, glue, scissors, cardboard, paint, and string? Watch the new music video for Steve’s latest single “Change of Heart” and you’ll find out!
The video, directed and edited by Franklyn, is a colorful romp through an arts and crafts world filled with dancing home-made puppets. This simple approach provides the perfect backdrop to the new single, an up-tempo bluegrass tune about a greedy pig, a grumpy hound dog and Little Miss Fuddy Dud, who all discover that it’s never too late to turn a new leaf over. “When Dave started talking about paper pigs and cardboard clouds, I thought maybe he’d lost his mind”, says Weeks, “but I’ve learned to just trust his artistic vision.”
Weeks has already made his mark on the national music scene with four critically acclaimed CDs, multiple #1 hits on Sirius XM satellite radio channel 78 (Kids Place Live), and a first place award in the USA Songwriting Competition children's music category.
Franklyn, who produces films for the Telly Award-winning PPLD Video Production Center, also directed the live action music video to Steve’s hit single “Bartleby Finkleton Will Not Take a Bath.”
Greedy Pig, an accomplished paper puppet and star of the film claims to be an Oscar contender for his role, although few believe that he is cut out for it.
The Louise (Lacey) and Allen Simpson Heritage Corner at Fountain Library contains information on the history of the Fountain Valley area and genealogy reference materials. We are collecting family histories from those who have lived in the area for at least fifty years, as well as other items of interest. The Heritage Corner also contains information on Fountain’s Fairview Cemetery, and some historic maps of the area.
The Heritage Corner was made possible by a generous donation from the Lacey-Simpson family.
If you are interested in learning more about the Heritage Corner or donating family histories, please call the Fountain Library at (719) 382-5347. We also have monthly genealogy classes for those interested in learning more about their family roots!
In an historic election on November 6, 2012, Manitou Springs residents voted to have their local library become part of Pikes Peak Library District. The approved Issue 2B will raise property taxes by up to 4 mills in Manitou Springs, generating $240,000 in 2013 and allowing Manitou Springs Public Library to join PPLD and its 14 other facilities serving El Paso County.
“The positive election results for the Manitou Springs Public Library to join Pikes Peak Library District means that we are combining over a hundred years of service in each of our two library systems together,” said PPLD Executive Director Paula Miller. “With the passage of this issue, we have literally made history together. We are excited to welcome Manitou Springs into the Pikes Peak Library District. This will provide better and more consistent library service for all residents within both of our service areas.”
The Manitou Library was among proposed budget cuts in Manitou Springs before citizens petitioned to place Issue 2B on the ballot. MSPL was excited to hear that library service to Manitou Springs residents would not only continue, but be expanded.
“This is an exciting time in the life of our library and we’re thrilled to become a part of Pikes Peak Library District,” said MSPL Executive Director Margaret Morris. “This merger into such a progressive, nationally-recognized library district allows us to not only provide an abundance of additional library services to the Manitou Springs community, but to keep those services in place for many years to come. This ballot initiative always has been about sustainable library services in Manitou Springs, and the citizens recognized and showed their support with a favorable outcome.”
While the transition will not be officially effective until 2013, PPLD will soon begin issuing cards to all Manitou Springs library patrons who wish to begin using PPLD services immediately. Manitou patrons will still need their MSPL card to check out materials from the Manitou Library until the end of the year.
A celebration of this historic transition will occur at MSPL in January.
The American Library Association's (ALA) Virtual Read-Out is a great opportunity for people to share their favorite banned book. During Banned Books Week (Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, 2012) we had a few of our teens read for us! Check it out!
Member benefits include:
- Discounts at all Friends bookstores and biannual book sales
- Advance notice of book sales
- Invitations to special events
- Early entry to biannual book sales
- Meeting and working with other literate, interesting people who care about preserving valuable community resources
- Feeling good about supporting a vital resource that benefits our whole community.
- First Place - Cecilia Lee for "Flooding Gifts"
- Second Place - Helen Stritzel for "Sisters and the Scent of Cloves"
- Third Place - Kristen Hernandez for "Trapped"
Pikes Peak Library District employee Vincent Colicchio never considered himself an artist, but he became one nonetheless, through the curiosity and caring he exhibited at his job in Circulation at PPLD’s downtown Penrose Library.
According to Colicchio, “It began by me saying, ‘That’s a treasure. That shouldn’t be thrown out.’ "
Colicchio handles books for a living, so he sees a lot of them on a daily basis. But he recently found his love of books extending to damaged books that were being discarded.
“I, like other people who work in libraries, get heartbroken when I see books in the recycling bin. I think it’s a waste,” he said.
When Colicchio turned his eye to the bare shelves behind the checkout desk at Penrose Library, the altered book project began to take shape.
“I was telling my supervisor, ‘You know we could jazz it up back there.’ I said, ‘We’ve got this space, we should do some displays.’
“Then around Christmastime, my supervisor said, ‘I like your ideas. Go ahead and make a display and let me know if you need anything.’
“I hadn’t really intended to do anything myself, so I was like, ‘Oh no! Now I actually have to do something!’ So I did some altered books around the holidays in a matter of just a few days just to have something there.”
Colicchio said he found books in the Library’s Catalog on how to make altered books, and then he found “quotations by writers that I liked and really reflected the spirit of a book and its relationship to a reader. And those became the focal point. By just contemplating that quote, vague visions and imagery would come up, and I would try to follow it and let it grow as I was creating each altered book.”
“It just lends itself to being at the library. It’s recycling and it’s creativity inspired by books we have in our catalog that have the techniques on how to do it.”
Colicchio recently donated two of his altered books to the Colorado Library Education Foundation for their upcoming silent auction to raise funds for scholarships for Colorado library employees to attend Colorado Library Association and division workshops and the annual CAL conference. Colicchio’s art speaks to the great potential of books -- even discarded books--to enrich and change lives.
The images below show the extreme care and detail Colicchio brings to his work. The work is even more impressive in person and is currently on display in the Friends Bookstore in East Library.
At a ceremony on Saturday, July 21 in Denver’s Seawell Grand Ballroom, Pikes Peak Library District Multimedia Producer Jamey Hastings was awarded a 2012 Heartland Emmy Award in the Interstitial Program category for her piece, “Colorado Springs Beat: The News Photography of Stan Payne.”
The short documentary chronicles the work of Stan Payne, a Gazette Telegraph employee from 1947 to 1976, and was based on research by PPLD Special Collections Assistant Manager Dennis Daily. The Heartland Chapter Emmy Awards represent excellence in television and media production.
“This is a huge honor,” Hastings said. “There were a lot of great submissions and I’m so thrilled that our piece was chosen.”
Pikes Peak Library District wants to preserve the record of the historic Waldo Canyon Fire and its effects on our community. We are doing this in several ways:
- We are collecting images for an online photo gallery (see below), which you can send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to include any personal accounts associated with the image, which we will use as a caption. Please note that we cannot receive email attachments larger than 8 megabytes at a time. If you have multiple images, please send them individually. Please limit your submission to five photos total.
- In addition, we are seeking video and high-resolution photos for our Special Collections archives for use by future researchers. If you have video or high-res pictures you would like to donate to our collection, please email us at email@example.com with “Archives” in the subject line so that we can arrange acquisition of your photo or video. Do not email your high-resolution images, but you can send samples. Keep in mind we have an 8 megabyte attachment limit. Please do not email video files, but links to online streaming (YouTube, etc.) of your video footage are okay.
The 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire is a tragedy, but the response by individuals and organizations has been truly inspiring. PPLD is proud to assist our community during this trying time.
In addition to being an air-conditioned refuge from the heat and smoke, PPLD has extended a helping hand in other ways.
On Sunday, June 24, Penrose Library remained open four hours later than usual to help meet the high demand for Internet usage by people needing to communicate with friends and family.
The Library has also set up mobile Laptop Labs at the Red Cross Shelters at Cheyenne Mountain High School and The Southeast YMCA for evacuees. Clifton Medford, IT Technician at PPLD, said the Library plans to have the laptops available at the shelters until they close.
“My hope is to be here until everything is cleared,” he said.
PPLD and Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District have also donated hundreds of books at each location for evacuees to keep.
PPLD librarian Krista Meier recounted this illustrative anecdote from the Cheyenne Mountain High School shelter: “One young girl I chatted with very calmly stated that the little stuffed animal she had been given might be the only one she has left if their house burns down. She ended up finding a couple of fairy books and her face completely lit up when I told her she could have them.”
In addition, the Library is dedicating public service staff to help evacuees register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website.
Use of the East Library webcam has boomed, as people throughout the world search for a view of the devastation.
“One of the first things I did today was to go to the East Library cam,” wrote Erin Gallagher on PPLD’s Facebook page. “Being in England I'm freaking out over my family and friends in Colorado Springs. Thank you for keeping the live feed up so that I can check it when I need to even across the pond, and thank you for donating everything you are. Keeping people in touch is very important right now, and five minutes of use on a laptop can put many people's fears to rest.”
PPLD has received an outpouring of supportive statements and offers for assistance from other libraries, including the Colorado State University-Pueblo Interlibrary Loan Office, Arapahoe Library District, Jefferson County Public Libraries, and Denver Public Library.
It is heartening to see a community unite, even if it is in the midst of disaster. In times of tragedy, you tend to see the best of human capability: bravery, shared passion, compassion, the opening of doors and minds to strangers. It is times like these we are forced to remember we are all connected in ways more than geographic.
Pikes Peak Library District has set up its mobile Laptop Lab at the Red Cross Shelter at Cheyenne Mountain High School for evacuees of the Waldo Canyon Fire to use. Clifton Medford, IT Technician at PPLD, said the shelter had approximately 250 people at the shelter on Sunday evening and that the Laptop Lab’s 12 computers have been in constant use since they were set up on Sunday.
Medford said that on Sunday evening, “Our laptops helped approximately 20 people register for the Red Cross Safe and Well program that we set as the homepage and easily 40 to 50 others used the laptops to look up fire information for their homes and local areas. There were also plenty of Facebook updates to let their friends and family know they were safe.”
Medford said the Library hopes to have the laptops available at the shelter until it closes. He emphasized that the laptops are free to use and that, “We’re not restricting anybody, but we are encouraging folks do sign up on the Red Cross website,” so that family and friends know they are safe.
“My hope is to be here until everything is cleared,” he said.
The Library has also donated approximately 60 books for evacuees to keep from materials that were recently weeded from the collection to evacuees, with a good balance of materials for children and adults.
“Art is a community force,” asserts Price Strobridge, who currently wears, in his words, the “poet’s tunic.” He was recently named this region’s third Pikes Peak Poet Laureate. His journey there wasn’t textbook, but it would make a great novel. Or at least chapbook.
“My father abandoned us,” he recounts of his early years. He lived for a time at the Myron Stratton Home, making him “the progeny of the gold miner” Stratton, who struck it rich in Cripple Creek in the 1890s and funneled much of his earnings into the formation of Colorado Springs and bequeathed funds to establish the home for the poor that still bears his name.
Strobridge’s high school English teacher assigned a reading of the prologue to The Canterbury Tales, and he can still “feel the music and those syllables rolling around.” He also cites Poem #15 of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Coney Island of the Mind as an early influence.
In his 20s, Strobridge watched the film Dr. Zhivago and fell in love with Russian poetry, especially the works of Andrei Voznesensky and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. He has also found inspiration in the work of Emily Dickenson, the essayist Thomas Carlyle, and the scientist Nikola Tesla.
He has driven contracted rural mail routes near Fowler, Colorado and currently lays carpet, proudly “self-employed for 43 years.” Carpet-laying demand is heavy after the recent hail storm and ensuing flooding, so business seems to be good. He fielded several carpet-related calls during a recent interview, and another call from his wife, his “main muse” and “CEO” who illustrated his lone published book Unmasking the Heart.
His tunic comes with the phantom weight of unworthiness. Because he did not attend college, he humbly felt unqualified when he was named laureate, a position normally filled by traditional scholars. “I read here and there and bounce around like a fly. I’m not a real poet.” But advice from local poet Malcom McCollum helped: “Get over it, Price. We are all self-taught.”
Strobridge partly educated himself while “crawling on floors,” laying carpet and listening to audiobooks checked out from PPLD, including works by Robert Graves, W.H. Auden, T.S. Elliott, and Robert Frost. He is fond of reciting “I got my degree / In poetry / From PPLD.”
He also learned from other local poets, who he calls his “professors,” such as previous poet laureates Jim Ciletti (a gardener/chef/poet who conveys “a sensate burst of joy. He paints that plum” with words) and Aaron Anstett (“a real energetic voice” who enlivened the local poetry scene upon his arrival just over a decade ago).
The tunic-wearer now looks to offer similar encouragement to younger writers. “The art’s coming out of their pores! They’re a voice that hasn’t been recognized.”
So what advice does our Poet Laureate offer writers of all ages? For one, write when you are inspired. “If you don’t spear, or bring to earth, or clip its wings,” a poem will be lost. Also, “hear hints of rhythms in a waterfall.”
And how does one become Pikes Peak Poet Laureate? “ ‘Way leads unto way,’ Robert Frost said. ‘Way leads unto way.’ And here I am.”
The Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Project is a partnership between Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado College, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR), and Poetry West.
by Price Strobridge
By words the mind is winged.
unlaurelled molting heap,
heaped on the leveled ground,
grounded by gravity of self,
he wore no gold-edged tunic,
like a thick book
on a narrow shelf
on the cliff’s rocky ledge
to line his wings
with lifting lines
(poetry his patagium)
spreading full wings
to the wind in the words
rode up the thermal gust
the world fell away,
like fledgling down.
Beloved children's author Maurice Sendak died May 8 at the age of 83. Best known for his award winning book, Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak transformed the face of children's literature.
Here is Arjun Gheewala’s film A Lame Story, an entry in PPLD’s 2011 Teen Filmmaker Festival. His movie artfully demonstrates the power of books.
Submissions were required to have the following elements:
Object: Cape with the color red somewhere in it