Friday, May 22, 2015

Paradise Lost



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Paradise Lost was a poem written a couple of century's ago.  Yet it is applicable today more so then ever.  Based on the Garden of Eden story, Milton writes on how this one little violation of law crumbled paradise. 

When people traveled to the New World there was not any organization of law of the land.  It was do as do used to do in the old world….. maybe.  People point a religious persecution as one of the main reasons to leave home and cross the ocean.  This persecution is a very small reason for people going to the New World.  There was lots of greed and covetousness to acquire riches and live like royalty.

Parallels the story of Adam and Eve to the growth of the United States.  When the New World was discovered, there were no laws.  Adam and Eve had but one law, do eat of the fruit of the two trees.  Live and enjoy the land but the temptation of the forbidden fruit was more then they could resist.  The violation of one simple law brought banishment from paradise.  Even after they left the Garden of Eden, God’s man struggled to follow the rules of God. 

In Exodus, God gives man ten simple little commandments and man still defies these rules.  So later in Exodus, God provides some more rules man on how to live with his fellow man.  Even then man struggles to live in the rules.  So some more rules are added.  The temptations are so great that many fall prey to them.  So more rules are brought forth.  Even after God finished with His commandments, the secular people added more rules.  Soon rules of life filled volumes of books. 

No longer did man live in a paradise of a couple of rules.  Man was now a captive to volumes of laws.  and the slave masters had become the lawyers….. lawgivers. 

Now compare the birth of the United States.  How many laws were there,  Well the first set of rules… The Articles of Confederation were scrapped and replaced The Constitution.  The Bill of Rights was added and all together they filled up maybe five pages.  These two documents have not changed, the Constitution has been amended numerous times and out of this volumes of laws have been written.  Our lives are now regulated by hundreds of thousands of laws. There are federal laws, state laws, county laws, city laws and special; district laws.  Large libraries are needed just to house all the law books. 

No longer does man have a simple life of a few laws or ten commandments.  His paradise has been lost.  Well not lost but given to the lawyers. 

Every time a new law is passed in the United States, some one’s freedom is diminished/restricted. 

A mind set has grown that if we pass a new law, we can solve our problems.  So we go crying to law makers.

If you feel a sting in your foot, it is probably from the bullet where you shot yourself in the foot. 

So how is Paradise Regained???????

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Slovak Community


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The Christian Orthodox Church marks the remnants of a once wide spread community that fled from Eastern Europe during the communist revolution in Russia.  Situated north of Calhan, CO, on the other side of the valley.  Here the few descendants from the early settler still celebrate their heritage.  Once a year they have Slavic days.  Worship services are still held in the little country church.

Scattered across the area are other reminders of when there were more Slovaks in the area.  Empty church, cemeteries in the land and the names in the phone book still resonate.  They were mostly, Ukrainians, Serbs and Czech’s.  The community reached into the Black Forest to East of Matheson, CO. 

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Like many small towns on the prairie, the siren song of the city attracts many a youngster leave their home and go seeking in the lights of big city life.  The few that remain carry on the life their ancestors started.  The horrors of communism that their friends left behind had to face are memories that do not go away.  The slaughter of the populace by Lenin and the Bolsheviks is not forgotten.  Here they fond a life they could live out in peace for over a century.  Yet the communists of Russia have raised their ugliness from time to time to remind them of why they fled.  One of the first thing the communists did was to ban churches in the countries under their control. 

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Around the US  were other communities like this.  The north side of Denver has a settlement of Slovakians. 

Much like other settlers in the US, schools were important.  Building schools and educating their children into the new country, their adopted country was important.  Farming and ranching the pioneers gained a new life in a new land.  A land away from tyranny. 

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Today, much of what they built is now gone.  Only memories and the occasional old picture. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Forgotten Frontier Tale


Some of these little towns of ghosts have quite the history.  Click on the links to read the tales of yesteryear.

When Charles A. Creel set up his real estate business on the site of present day Arriba in Lincoln County in 1888, he knew exactly what kind of town he would like to build there. The Rock Island Railroad track was laid near-by. Later that year and for several years thereafter, Arriba grew steadily and orderly, pretty much following the plan Creel had in mind.

C.C.Coleman wasn't in Creel's plan, however. Coleman purchased land adjacent to Arriba in 1904, platted it, and by 1907 was selling lots under the name of "Frontier City". And while his neighbor, Creel, had refused to sell property to people wanting to build saloons, Coleman allowed one of his lots, which was very close to Creel's home, to be used for a saloon business. The "wets" and the "drys" squared off. Creel apparently took it as a personal obligation to protect the people of Arriba from the evils of drink.

Visit the Arriba Museum to hear ". . . .the rest of the story."

Arriba Museum

This museum contains a well kept collection of history and artifacts from the local area. The museum staff are helpful and knowledgeable on the museum collection. To cap it off, view their video which documents the entire Arriba - Frontier City feud. Quite interesting.

Visit the Arriba Museum to hear "the rest of the story."

Arriba Museum
Arriba Town Hall
Arriba, Colo. 80804
Open Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 8am-12noon 1pm-5pm
Contact Eunice at 719-768-3371 for appointments.

Grandpa Jerry's Clown Museum

It all began with 13 clowns in 1986 in Sterling, Colorado. In 1990, I met Dale Ann and things went crazy. From there, collecting became a disease. My brother Larry got involved and became the biggest contributor to the collection. Both of our families and countless friends also got involved and the collection took off. In 2001, the museum moved to its current location on Arriba, Colorado.

Grandpa Jerry's Clown Museum is the largest collection of its kind in such a small building. The collection includes everything from baby rattles to a Picasso piece. It is made up of items from at least 28 states and 13 countries. Among the items housed in the museum are cookie jars, salt & pepper shakers (one of the most difficult items to find), coffee cups, tea sets, head vases, banks, music boxes, pictures, porcelain pieces, and countless other items.

A must see on your museum tour.

Grandpa Jerry's Clown Museum
22 Lincoln Ave.
Arriba, Colo. 80804
Open by appointment during the winter.
719-768-3257 Home
719-740-6195 Cell
719-768-3399 Work


by local author & historian: John LaBorde

Back to Ghost Stories HOME

Arriba - A Tale of Two Towns
Across the prairie of eastern Colorado the Chicago Kansas and Nebraska Railroad was building a highway of iron. Many a speculator wanted the railroad to pass through their claim. Many a dream failed but a few were fulfilled.

A Charles A. Creel traveled to Colorado with the fever of gold and ended up in the gold fields of Pikes Peak at Cripple Creek. He heard about the new railroad being built across the high plains and headed for Colorado Springs. Mr. Creel packed up and went east. Out on the rolling prairie he bought a parcel of land and in 1888 platted out a town. Sure enough, the following year the iron rails went through his town. The man who had set up a tent to sell lots in his town had guessed correctly where the railroad would pass.

Sitting on the high plains the new town was given the name Arriba for it sat above the prairie. The pronunciation was anglicized and is pronounced, Air....baaah. Pronounce it the Spanish way and the locals look kind of cross eyed at you. A depot was built by the railroad as were other structures. The town of Arriba was a going little town. There were shops, stores, banks, a newspaper, etc. Charles Creel moved from his tent into a nice house in his new town. He was a temperance man and no stores selling alcoholic beverages were allowed. Arriba was growing and new people were arriving. A C.C. Coleman moved to Arriba in the early 1900’s. He was a hard working man that had a thirst. There being no alcoholic beverages nearby, he took matters into his own hand. Next to Arriba, Mr. Coleman acquired some land and also platted out a town.

In 1904, Frontier City came into existence and the first building in the new town was a saloon. The establishment was built right across the street from Mr. Arriba’s house, Charles A. Creel’s. That did not set very well with the Arriba founder as the view from his yard or window was of a saloon. The gall boiled over and Charles Creel forbade residents of his town to partake of the saloon and a fence was built between the two towns. Frontier City had what some of the people of Arriba wanted and the fence did not stop the thirsty residents of Arriba from going to Frontier City’s drinking establishment. Daily holes in the fence had to be repaired and a worker would go along and fix them. The next morning there would be more work repairing the holes in the fence. A few said that George was making the holes at night so he would have work to do the next day.

The fence was not very successful at stopping the thirsty residents of Arriba, so Creel dug a ditch to separate the two towns. The ditch only slowed down the residents of Arriba from going to the saloon. Soon the ditch became a trench and even that was not stopping them from going to Frontier City. This trench became known as “No Man’s Land.” and it divided the two towns. Each town had their own streets and businesses. Creel and Coleman kept up their feud until Creel passed away. Mrs. Creel did not like the feud and after her husband passed away met with Mr. Coleman and settled their differences. The hatchet was buried and Frontier City became a part of Arriba.

The trench of No Man’s Land remained and the street names did not change. Going East to West or vice a versa, when one crosses No Man’s Land, the name of the street changes. Even today after 100 years the ditch is still there and the streets change names when crossing.

At twilight just after the sun sets the sharp eyed person can glimpse a shadow or two moving across No Man’s Land. Quickly the shadows flit over the ditch.

In downtown Arriba there is a sign marking No Man’s Land. Here one can pause and look at the history of a town born of speculation, burned in animosity, pushed by desires, truly a town of the West.

Trains still pass nearby but the saloon is gone. The sound of tinkling glasses is a memory. A brief flash of light moves by searching for a place of respite.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Some thoughts on …….. ????


Living in the hinther lands of the country, I am somewhat insulated from the goings on in the big cities.  I see the stories on the riots, protests and other propaganda.  For the most part it is over there, and so be it.  Yet what happens over there has a trickle down effect on the rest of the country.  Kind of a monkey see …… monkey do. 

I grew up during Vietnam, so protests are nothing new.  I watched the marches, heard the chants and stood on the sidelines.  I watched protestors, trash public spaces and scribble messages on walls and windows.    Then there were the violent protests, clashes with police, tear gas and out rage.  Laws were being violated and yet there were no consequences for the people breaking the law.  The attitude was….. If I am protesting, I can break the law in the name of the protest. 

This lawlessness, pretty much has set the stage for the violent protests of today that lead to riots. 

Yet the violence of protests are not that new.  One can go back a couple of centuries and witness similar protests leading to violent riots. 

During the 1880’s Karl Marx was becoming popular and his style of economics was being embraced by some elite academicians around the world.  At the same time the labor movement for unions was boiling pretty good.  Working conditions around the world were pretty bad.  No longer was the agrarian society the dominant feature.  Society was shifting to a new way of life, industrialization and factories. 

More and more people were flocking to the cities to work and many would end up in the sweat shops.  A Tale Of Two Cities, probably best describes the horrible conditions people worked in. 

This gave fuel to the Marxists to denounce capitalism, it also gave rise to the trade guilds and unions to fight the capitalists.  The Marxists, got into the unions and agitated, soon there were all types of riots around the world. 

The elite Marxists had been meeting at various cities around the world and declared they would take to the home countries and introduce Communism to their home countries. 

There was tremendous labor strife during the late 1890’s to 1915 in the United States and other countries.  There were violent clashes between the military, police and labor organizers.  City streets would be jammed with labor sympathizers marching in protest of working conditions, sometimes resulting in violent clashes and often deaths.  There were armed conflicts at mines across the country. 

The communists were gaining a foot hold and the Communist Party had been formed and they were running candidates for various elected offices, including congress and president. 

Two things happened to keep the Untied States from becoming a communist country.  World War I broke out and the unions began to get some concessions and improved working conditions. 

After the war, lots of the unrest had calmed down and the communists did not have the hatred to build on like they had the previous decade. 

In Russia it was different.  Lenin had went to Russia with his minions and joined up with the Bolshevik's.  A non-aggression treaty was signed with Germany and the Marxist, Lenin continued his takeover of Russia imposing Communism.  It was a conflict of labor and peasants and the landed Tsars.  One of violent clashes, using the classes of society as a diving point to wage a revolution.  The parallels in Russia during the early 1900’s to the United States is astounding. 

So when I look at protests that turn to riots, I look where are the agitators.  They tend to stay in the background, yet they have a Marxist view on life.  The Communists are still alive and well, they are also growing.