Concrete

I was in the southwest part of old Denver. I don’t remember ever being in this specific part of town. What a lot of people do not know about the metropolitan area here, is that at one time, towns like Littleton, Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Lakewood and Golden were all separate communities surrounded by small farms. The vestiges of these farms often show up in the most interesting places.  You might find yourself driving down some ordinary residential street and all of the sudden there’s a horse farm.  That’s exactly where I picked up a most delightful man. He came walking out of this mini farm wearing a handsome straw cowboy hat and a mighty fine western shirt. He got in my car and the destination was a place called STAMPEDE, which was about 12 miles away in Aurora. We began almost immediately a most interesting conversation.  Fernando asked me where I was from and I told him Pueblo.  “Ah, I know where that is, I go dancing down there sometimes”.

His grandfather had come in to Colorado from Mexico to work in the sugar-beet fields. Grandpa was someone who was very good with horses and he was gradually able to get a place where he could board and train horses for other people. That was the very place that I picked Fernando up. His father went into the concrete business.  Fernando went off to college after graduating from high school here in Denver, but began to work part time for his dad. “I could make $300 or $400 a day sometimes, laying concrete.  I enjoyed school but I found that I was really good at the concrete  business. My dad helped me to form my own company and it wasn’t long until I was busy all the time. That was about 15 years ago and I haven’t looked back.”

As we drove towards the Country Western dance 💃 hall I switched the Sirius radio to Willie Nelson’s Roadhouse (old school country).  Although he was only in his 40’s we both agreed there is no comparison between New Country and songs like “I got Tears in my Ears from lying on my Back sitting here crying over You”.  About then Patsy Cline started singing 🎶 “Crazy”.  I said “ So I guess you are busy with this building boom 💥”?  He began to give me a detailed description of the most booming economy in the country.  For those of you who do not live here it’s hard  to describe how much construction 🔨 is happening here. He said “The hard part is the material and labor costs are going up in a crazy way. I pay my two guys who set up the pours 600$ a day each.  They are both here from Mexico on work visas.  It’s a long way from my grandpa working in the beet field”.   

We pulled up to STAMPEDE which is a huge venue with cowboy hats everywhere.   He got out and with a nice smile on his face he said “You’ve gotta love this country – happy almost 4th of July!💥💥💥🚀🚀🚀

Onward and Upward,

Mark

PS. Today I turn 68!  I want to say to each one of you “You are my greatest 🎁.”

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