Dec. 31—With the new year hours away, I can't seem to shake off the last one. So, in order to keep the memories of '22 alive — my first full year in Colorado officially in the books — I've kept notes on some of the quirkier events that unfolded on the Front Range. They include driving around aimlessly with Google Maps gloriously turned off. Which, of course, resulted in having to fill the tank up more times than necessary.
With that, and with my humble and heartfelt apologies to the brave FBI agents who ransacked Trump's house in Mar-a-Lago, looking for the nuclear codes, here goes.
Diary entry: I went to my podiatrist in downtown Longmont to be fitted with a new pair of orthotics. During the examination, naturally, I pushed us off topic and began my nonsensical yammering about other stuff. When I marshaled the self control to get up and leave so he could see the next patient and the patient after that one, I walked to the car. Less than a minute later, a male voice reverberated up and down the busy street. When the blurry figure came into view, I did a double take. It was the doctor!
"My Glaros! Mr. Glaros!" he roared breathlessly. "You ... you ... forgot your orthotics!" In the old days, doctors made house calls. But in a sense, this was even better, That's because as a foot doctor, he willingly burned off a tiny bit of shoe leather to satisfy a new customer. DoorDash is one thing. But "DocDash" packs a truly personal punch. That puts the doc at risk of developing plantar fasciitis, bunions or heel spurs.
Diary entry: I was checking out at the King Soopers on Hover Street. I bet you know this store. When I say it's busy, there are certain places that come to mind that rival it. The main terminal at Denver International Airport is one. The main entrance at Disneyland on the July Fourth holiday? That one, too. Since I am helpless when it comes to controlling my wayward tongue, I filled the silence with a remark about the overwhelming vehicle traffic, the throngs entering and exiting, which often break into small, coffee-klatch-like groups where they engage in conversations that drag on and on as the bread grows stale and the milk sours.
"I'm not from here originally," I said, as if he cared one way or another. "But I must say I've never seen a grocery store this busy. What's the big attraction?"
Without looking up after scanning my card, he explained that having such a choice location was key. That and not targeting the demographic that the nearby Sprouts and Whole Foods go after. "Did you know we get customers here from as far away as Estes Park? Makes my work harder, but I like talking to people. I learn things and it makes the time go by faster."
Diary entry: From my first day in Colorado, I was awakened to the subject of geographic awareness and where it fits in. One of the things that grabbed my attention was the colorful food truck parked in our neighborhood. The name of the business, The Maine Event, is an obvious reference to DownEast, famousy known as the place the sun rises first. The marquee food on the menu is lobster, which, I assume, is flown in so it keeps stays fresh. Wait. What? I realize that images die hard, but I can't wrap my arms around Coloradans chowing down on lobster or its sister crustaceans like shrimp and crab. Centennial State denizens go for braised duck and lamb. You mean they also eat seafood? (Fun fact: I read where lobsters hale from the same family as the despicable cockroach. Thankfully, unlike swampy cities like D.C., Houston and New Orleans, they don't have a place here.)
Planned diary entries for 2023: I want to soak up the backstory of the houses on the east side of town that feature little signs indicating when they were built — 1910, 1920, etc. If these sturdy little architectural masterpieces could talk. I also want to look into the history of Ryssby Church southwest of Longmont. It was built in 1882 by Swedish immigrants. I also want to hear some of the tales archived by a former employee of the Denver Air Traffic Control Center on 17th Avenue. He's scheduled to dish in January at the Longmont Senior Center. And I thought writing on deadline was stressful.
As my late mother liked to say, "straighten up and fly right." I was her personal project runway. Wheels up — and happy new year!
Anthony Glaros is D.C. native and longtime reporter for numerous publications. He taught high-school English in suburban Montgomery County, Md. His column, Longmont Lessons, appears periodically in the Times-Call.