Layover in Denver

I spent the next 4 days bopping around Denver to catch up with friends.
After I saw Dawn off I drove to Highlands Ranch where I spent the afternoon with Rex Mangurian.  Rex was working on his Falcon and still in the glow of MV.  Rex and I got to know each other in the early 80’s when I was a Factory Rep in the bicycle business.  He has changed very little over the years, still into the outdoor toys and the vices we grew up with.  I thought I had a great garage but Rex has me beat.  Two big Motor cycles and a trick little trike that gimbals… and lots and lots of stuff.  Rex gave me a mason jar out of his garden and I hit the road.
We had a great time talking about the fly-in and whats next.

From Rex I drove to Colfax where I had dinner with the old gang:  Wes Brown, Scott Murphy, Alan Epstein, and Vince Ulliberry.  We have been buddies through thick and thin.  Starting as kids at summer Camp through long and mostly good careers.  We have share adventures that have created a bond that most people will never understand.  That evening I stayed with Stefania.  We watched a little TV and went to bed.

The next morning I did a little shopping and hooked up with my old sailing buddy,  Ray Satter.  We had lunch at a little cafe in the hood that specializes in exotic meats.  I had a venison sausage sandwich to die for.  After lunch he took me to a secret underground garage that I had never hear about.  It was filled with vintage and exotic cars.  Ferrari’s, Bugatti’s, old Packards, it was quiet a display.   I had Ray drive me over to Marshall Luke’s shop which was my next stop.  I just thought that those two should meet and I was right.  Turns out, they had meet years earlier when Marshall was suffering a frivolus law suit.  Ray was the attorney for the complainant and even though they were on opposite sides, they connected over their common interests.  When I knocked on the door and Marshall opened it up the first person he saw was Ray.  The look on his face was priceless.  The three of us spent an hour together looking at his projects and enjoying the moment.  Later back at Rays house he gave me a couple keepsakes from his father Charlie Satter.  An old ships ladder that had been repurposed into an ornamental wall hanging and a beautiful brass port light that must have weighed 30 pounds. A sailing scene painted by Charlie’s wife Murkie was behind the glass.

The rest of the afternoon I spent with my old friends Will and Sofia who have kept a shop on West Hampden for many years.  We had a great time catching up and reliving the good ol days.  That night Stefania and I mad plans for her visit to Florida and went to bed early.

Friday morning we got up early and I drove to Bailey to visit my Mom who is staying with my sister Lousia and her husband John.  It was a pleasure to be greeted with a smile by everybody.  I guess time does heal all things.  Mom was looking good and was in good spirits.  Her memory isn’t so good but she knows who we are and still surprises me with the things that she remembers.

Danny Hart lives only a couple of miles away on the other side of the highway.  Danny is another old friend.  I have known him since he was 8 years old and a camper at Camp Chief Ouray.  Later he worked for me as a buyer and piano technician.  A few years ago he bought 40 acres of beautiful countryside and installed a world class Frisbee Golf Course.  Last weekend he had a Frisbee Tournament with 60 odd players and lots and lots of party.  Ron Jolly and his trio were the nightly entertainment.  We sat on his back porch and told each other about our events.  Danny also gave me a mason jar from his garden…I was getting a lot of local produce to bring back home.

From Danny’s house I drove out to Stapleton when I hooked up with Arnie Poppenberg who is 85 years young.  Arnie remembers me from when I was a baby.  He was a Factory Rep to my Grandfather and Father.  In the 70’s he worked for my dad as a salesman when I was going to Regis and working at the store.  When I had my bicycle accident, Arnie was the guy who took me to an athletic club and helped me to get back into the game.  Still going strong Arnie has a beautiful little place filled with moments of the good old days.  We shared a meal and he promised to come visit in the spring.

Leaving my oldest living piano friend, I headed to Lakewood where I caught up with Tom Jensen.  Tom’s checkered past includes; being the conductor of the Colorado Ballet, hosting several talk radio shows on KNUS and KOA and for the last 20 years he has been the driving force behind Colorado Symphony’s Tiny Tots Program.  A confirmed bachelor since I have known him, Tom has recently married.  They kept both houses and split their time between his old Batchor’s pad in Brooks Towers and her Mansion in Lakewood.

From there I drove out to Parker where Marcia Renzi was throwing a birthday party for her husband Phil.  The whole family was there including Marcia’s sisters from California.  We had a great time catching up and enjoying Phil’s Birthday Cake.  At nine o-clock I jumped in the truck and drove to Colorado Springs where I spent the night at Jerry Kerrs house.

Jerry and his wife Cathy have a lovely home on the southside not far from Meadowlake Airpark.  Jerry and I have shared the skies since 2007, lots of Fly-Ins and lots of airtime.  One of the smartest pilots I know Jerry is the epitome of the Man’s Man.  His career includes: Marine sniper, Head of Dallas SWAT, Dallas Helicopter pilot and Manitou Springs Detective.  As a retirement job he signed on to month long stints on the fantail of mega tankers,  picking off Somali pirates.  The amazing thing is that while this guy can be a stone cold killer he is also the sweetest country gentleman that I know.
The plan was to get up early and catch a flight in the morning.  So we watched a little Fox and tried to make sense of the presidential race.

Jerry has been fighting stage 4 Cancer for several years and despite it being inoperable he is still fighting and flying.  As it turned out the winds wire too high to fly in the morning so I saddled up and hit the road.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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