Tag Archives: Canon Colorado memories

New Neighbors

24 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Story by Dora Bowers

Not long after the Pueblo flood of 1921, Dad rented a small house in Canon City. Some of the neighbors were close to my age. I remember Jessica Redmond who came to America from England with her parents. Jessica had bright red hair. Her mother gave me Jessica’s pink silk dress because of that hair. The dress had tucks and embroidery and was the most beautiful dress I had ever seen. That is how I learned that no self-respecting red-head would ever wear a pink dress because at that time people believed that pink and red would clash. My light brown hair, though, was just right for it. 

Pink Silk Dress       DiVoran’s Vintage Pictures

The other neighbor’s child was a curly-headed boy with sparkling blue eyes who teased me and made me laugh. His name was Ivan Bowers. Ivan and his parents and brother had ended up in Canon City after a long trip from Illinois and a sojourn in Paonia, Colorado where his grandmother had died and been buried before they left.  

It wasn’t long until the Bowers and the Bedell families left the block of houses where they lived in order to start their own businesses. Marie and Ira Bowers bought a barber/beauty shop on Main Street that included living quarters. Ivan and his younger brother, Lowell helped out with the chores of keeping up the beauty shop, but Ivan would run next door to the machine garage any chance he got and from there he developed many of the skills he would use such as welding and car repair throughout his life. 

Welded Ship by Ivan Bowers  Photo, DiVoran’s Vintage Pictures

Marie, Ivan, Lowell, and Ira at the side of the machine shop DiVoran’s Vintage Pictures

DiVoran’s Vintage Pictures

Around the same time, my mother and dad, Mabel and Roger Bedell bought an apple orchard on the outskirts of town.  During the Great Depression neither family lacked food or a place to live. People would always need haircuts and as for my parents who took in relatives such as my mother’s sister and company, we always had eggs from the chickens, milk from the cows, and vegetables from the garden.

As I grew I was given more jobs on the farm. At first, I gathered eggs, but then I started bringing the cows in for milking. That reminds me of something that happened at school one day when I was twelve years old: I got up from my desk and walked to the pencil sharpener at the back of the room. As I passed one of the boys whistled softly then whispered, “Would you look at the swing in that gate!” I knew he meant the way my hips swayed when I walked, and I was mortified!. That evening as I followed the cows from the meadow to the barn I put my hands in the back pockets of my overhauls and started re-training my walk so that nobody would make fun of me ever again.

Dora in her overhauls at twelve and the baby sister she prayed for plus a young neighbor.  DiVoran’s Vintage Pictures

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Canon City

11 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Canon City

Pronounced Canyon City

 

We left Lovelock when I was six months old. It was 1939 and Dora’s father, Roger, had died. Because he ran the gas plant, the town needed someone to take over his job. As my father, Ivan, had worked there before and was good with all kinds of machinery we went back to save the day.

 

DiVoran about three years old.

The gas was called water-gas and it ran all the electricity in town. I looked it up, but I still don’t know anything about it, except two things that Mother told me. She said that when she was a childif the gas lamp over the table started to flicker at supper time, her father had to get up and hurry down to the plant to solve the problem. The other thing Mother told me was that sometimes when Roger came home from work he was groggy and the children had to walk him around the back yard until he began to wake up. I believe there may have been some carbon monoxide from the plant involved. Is this possible? He was 54 when he passed away. His wife, our grandmother, Mabel, died at the same age in 1946.

So from the time I was six months old until I was seven years old, we lived in Canon City. I was three and a half when a baby brother was born to the Bowers household. When they told me where he had been born, I made up my first poem,” Baby David was born at Saint Thomas Moore on the basement floor.” For some reason, Mother didn’t think it was a bit funny, but I just meant that it was the part of the hospital where he was born.” I don’t know if it really was or not.

When America entered World War Two,Ivan didn’t have to go. He was doing vital work and they had a deferment for married men with children. But it was predicted that by 1943 they would run out of single men and the married ones would have to be called up. That’s what happened to Ivan. He was twenty-eight years old and had flat feet, but he had to go.

 

 

 

Dora, David, and I moved to an upstairs apartment in Grandmother and Granddad’s Victorian house on Greenwood Ave. Grandmother Marie had her beauty shop there and Granddad Ira worked as a guard at the Colorado State Penitentiary which had once been the Territorial Prison. Now parts of it are a museum.

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

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