Last summer my family took a road trip and stopped in Grand Junction to see one of my old high school buddies. His name is Mario and my 14 year old daughter who has heard stories of the things Mario and I did in high school asked me the other day if he was the Ferris Bueller of my high school days. He was indeed, but I was way more fun than Cameron! And instead of a classic Ferrari we cruised around in his Datsun B210 hatchback (Google it, it’s not pretty.) He owns some alpacas and my daughter was dying to be with some so we set it up to meet at an alpaca farm in Clifton (just outside Grand Junction) where he boards his alpacas.
I learned some interesting things about alpacas: Don’t touch them, they definitely don’t want to be pet; just stand still and they will sneak up behind you and sniff you, if they dig your scent they will hang around (that black one sure was digging me); when one does the #2, they all line up and put theirs right on top of it. Makes clean up easy, now if I could just teach my dogs that...; we only went in with the females because the males are aggressive towards strangers (I never thought I’d say I was afraid of an alpaca, life can be strange!) They even fence off the younger males from the older ones because of their aggressive tendencies.
A black female had a thing for my son, every time he would move she would be right back behind him, kind of like she teleported there. That explains the look on his face! Any guesses where I bought him the Montreal Expos shirt?
Me and Mario
On the same trip we ran over to Basalt to drive up to the Ruedi reservoir. The reason for this is it is named after my great grand uncle John Ruedi (I think I said that right.) My maternal grandfather is George Ruedi (John is his Uncle) and he was born in Aspen in a house that later became the Governor’s Mansion. I researched all of this with the former Aspen clerk Katherine Koch. For you other history buffs out there this is from the Aspen Times:
Some may not realize that at the bottom of what are now the deep waters of Ruedi Reservoir, there was once the town of Ruedi. The small community was surrounded by family farms and ranches, which added to its idyllic beauty. Yes, where there is now that immense, government-mandated reservoir and the appropriation of water to the Front Range, there was once a verdant valley of pastoral homesteads where early settlers chose to build a life. John Ruedi was a Swiss immigrant who settled on the Fryingpan River in 1880. Little did he know that, several years later, the Colorado Midland Railroad would be running through his front yard. By 1888, the new line ran the entire length of the Fryingpan Valley, from the silver-boom town of Leadville down to Basalt, and beyond. John Ruedi established a post office, and he became the postmaster. A school was started, and this small hamlet grew even busier when it became a whistle-stop on the rail line. (Margaret Reckling, March 8, 2014 Aspen Times)
What are your crazy but fun family heritage stories? I bet we all have one!
Bruce Roome, CMC, CMCA President
City of Arvada