Saturday, August 29, 2015

World Basketball Champions


A story that grew into a legend of mythical proportions.  The little town on the prairie beat  the big city boys.  In 1929 the little town of Joes was the Colorado state basketball champions and went to the national championship tourney.  They progressed though the tourney but not to the finals.  Because they had beat at team that had beat a team that had beat the national champions, Joes was declared the national champions. 

Here was a little school of less then 40 students in all of 4 grades in High school.  There were 20 boys and 10 made the team.  The tiny school was the goliath slayer of the 1920’s. 

Today about all that is left of Joes is the story, now in epic proportions.  Population is less then 100 souls and the streets get rolled up at night and the wide spot on Hwy 36 is host to an occasional truck passing through in the night. 

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Sore fronts, businesses sit silent along the highway, the liquor store shows some sign of life.  Peeling paint, boarded windows, tattered shutters on long neglected shops.  The school has long closed and consolidated with neighboring schools.  The roar of the crowds are silent.  Whispering winds of the past echo over the rooftops of yesterday. 

How does the little burg cling to life.  Back a ways off the highway sits a nice well kept modern office building.  The telephone company  maintains an office building in the little village, giving it life support.

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Here are a few jobs to keep things going.  The nearest shops are not near.  A town of any size is an hours drive or better.  Here the few dwellers learn to live without lots of amenities. 

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Then there is the guy that retired and moved to Joes.  He bought an old gas station and made it into hos shop.  Here he works on his dragsters and street rods.  There is a nice house next door and is well cared for.  Time marches on while he and a couple of friends tinker in the old gas station.  More hot air is generated along with some dregs of coffee.   In the wide spot on the empty highway life motors along. 

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On the east side of town is a Memorial roadside park, picnic shelters, horseshoe pits and well manicured pasture grass. 

Hwy 36 across the eastern prairie probably has one of the best collection of little towns and old empty buildings.  It is a road of past times, passing many a ghost of other years.  From Strasburg east it is almost all ghost towns and dozens more on the country roads. 

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