Visits with Ivan & Dora Part 2

5 Jun

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill

1png My work during those years took me to the Southern California area frequently, and this was great for us, because Ivan and Dora would always invite us to come visit them in whatever location they happened to be that summer.  I would take DiVoran with me for a week of vacation before or after my business in California and we would spend our vacations relaxing with Ivan and Dora.  We made several summer visits to their home in Vista, one visit to the Salton Sea (226 ft. below sea level), two visits while they were staying at Smithy’s on Marrowstone Island and one visit to Sapinero in Colorado.

Sapinero is a small community located on U.S. Highway 50, along the shore of the 2Blue Mesa Reservoir in western Colorado.  Ivan had wanted to move to Montrose, Colorado but couldn’t talk Dora into a permanent move, so summers at Sapinero were the next best thing he could come up with.  The community is made up of mostly part-time summer folks with their motor homes and travel trailers, who like Ivan, like the lake fishing.

3In 1955 Sapinero became an example of those stories about a riverside community being moved to a new location when those in power decided they needed to dam up the Gunnison River to provide water for the surrounding area.  The original Sapinero community now resides under some 300 feet of water.  The reservoir was stocked with Kokanee Salmon and Tilapia, which at the time I had never heard of, but were fun to catch and wonderful eating.

In addition to the rustic “Village Store”, which included the “Ley-Z-B Restaurant”, 4there are several old “rustic cabins”, one of which we rented for our one and only stay at Sapinero.  The problem with the cabins was that they were very primitive, and provide only the basic needs, such as very cold water and one 60-watt light bulb.  The bed sagged so badly that DiVoran and

I tended to roll in toward each other in the middle, and there was a 2” gap under the door.

5The two-hole outhouse was 30 feet down the drive and very dark at night, which reminds me of a little “outhouse trivia” you may not know.  It’s said that the first outhouse designs used a crescent moon cut into the door to identify the “Ladies” and a star cut into the door to identify the “Men’s” privies.  Then after a while, the star was dropped and privies became unisex in nature, mainly because the women kept their privies cleaner than the men did.  Bet you had never heard that one before!  I hadn’t.

One night while we were fast asleep, dreaming of how nice it would be to be to be sleeping in our own bed at home, DiVoran suddenly jumped out of bed screaming and brushing wildly at her hair.  I was still half-asleep and couldn’t figure out what was going on.  Finally, she calmed down long enough to tell me that something had 7run through her hair, and about that time, we saw this field mouse scurry out through the gap under the door.  Then I had visions of what else could find its way through that gap into our cabin looking for a warm place to sleep.  Well, you better believe we didn’t waste any time blocking that gap with towels, but I’m not sure how much better that helped us sleep that night.

8 Ivan had built a wooden cover and porch structure over his travel trailer to help shade them from the sun and give them a place to relax in the evenings.  TV reception at Sapinero was almost non-existent, so most evenings a bunch of the folks and/or some of the local cronies would gather at the Ley-Z-B Restaurant for dinner and/or to spend the evening sharing some of the many stories for which traveling folks and old cronies are known to have an endless supply.

Every Saturday evening the Ley-Z-B Restaurant hosted a western style Bar-B-Q at the Village Store.  People of all ages came from all around the immediate area to 9enjoy the great food. We even saw some bikers stop in to try out the ribs.  Someone would usually bring a guitar or banjo and provide the music for the evening’s sing-a-long, and a great time was had by all.

These are just a few of the more memorable times we have spent with Ivan and Dora over the years.  They knew how to relax and have a good time where ever they were, and that made It  relaxing and fun for DiVoran and me to spend time with them.  What wonderful memories!  We would love to do any of those trips over again if it were only possible.

—–The End—–

One Response to “Visits with Ivan & Dora Part 2”

  1. onisha Ellis June 5, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    I didn’t know the story behind the outhouse symbols but it makes sense and also explains why we seldom see the ones with a star.

    Like

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