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Showing posts with label Florence Colorado The FUNkytown of Fremont County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florence Colorado The FUNkytown of Fremont County. Show all posts

Monday, April 23, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Featured In Current Issue Of Colorado Life Magazine

It's finally happened! Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, is featured in the May/June issue of Colorado Life magazine.



For a sneak peek of the Florence article: http://www.coloradolifemagazine.com/June-2018/Florence-Antiques/

To read the entire article, one has to get a paper copy. Those are available at Big D Supermarket and Dollar General in Florence, as well as Safeway and City Market in Canon City. Plans are also underway to have Colorado Life magazines available for sale in many of Florence's antiques shops and other businesses.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Florence, Colorado: FUN ALERT! The Florence Consignment Corner Grand Reopening

There aren't many guarantees in life--but I can almost guarantee that going to the Florence Consignment Corner, is the most fun you'll have shopping and browsing in a long time.

I've been saying that Florence is the FUNkytown of Fremont County for years. No one believed me. But, aha, now I have real proof.

                                                    FUN MERCHANDISE? HECK, YEAH!

Many folks visited the Florence Consignment Corner during the past year, when it was located in the old NAPA building on Main St. It was fun the past year--but now FCC has a bigger location,  at 118 W. Main St. in the old Tru Value Building.

So there is more room for fun merchandise. FCC has been open in the new location since March 1 and on Saturday, March 31, will have its grand reopening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Yes, there will be door prize drawings.

                                                 GRAND REOPENING DOOR PRIZES

That's just a small sampling of the door prizes. Many of the FCC vendors will be donating FUN items for the drawings. I heard a rumor that one vendor donated a basket of nostalgic candy for the drawing--and there just might be some wax candy lips and other outrageously fun items in the basket.

There will be free refreshments and snacks--while they last. And there will be free fresh homemade fudge samples. In case you missed it, here's a link to a recent blog post about the fudge: https://truestoryclub.blogspot.com/2018/03/florence-colorado-life-is-better-with.html

                                               NORRIS YOUNGS SERVING UP FUDGE AT FCC

OK, I know all of you that can make it, will attend the grand reopening this Saturday. But those of you who can't...I know you'll make it to FCC as soon as you can. But in the meantime, lets take a blog tour of this store. FCC already attracts lots of local shoppers and browsers, but I'm fairly certain that FCC will also be even more widely known as a tourist destination.

I'll let you judge why that might be so. But my opinion is: I've never seen a store that has such a wide variety of EVERYTHING! Most of us have been to antiques malls. FCC is not an antiques store, but has lots of antiques and collectibles. It's not an indoor flea market, but it has practical tools and household items, without being junky. It has packaged food items and candy. It has artwork and handcrafts.

OK, enough! It would take less time to list what they don't have. Let's have some fun on our tour, which barely scratches the surface of this fun emporium.


Hands down (or up) the funnest chair ever. Just make sure you aim your descent correctly or you might get a surprise.


FCC co-owner Donny Hakes checks out a giraffe.


FCC has a great offering of Watkins products from toiletries, cleaning supplies to spices. Imagine this. You can purchase some Watkins spices.


Get cooking on some quality cast iron cookware and...


Then cook it all up vintage style on this cook stove.


Speaking of yummy things...This is one of my favorite booths in FCC. These vendors from Walsenburg have some great Colorado bread and cookie mixes. We purchased some to include in a gift basket for a charity event (in Denver) to highlight all the diversity of goods and businesses in southern Colorado to our neighbors to the north.


Cool antiques--and is that the famous kitchen sink next to the gasoline sign? I will spare you all--and not make any jokes about the FCC having everything including the kitchen sink. Wait, that's a bathroom sink--so we are all safe. But they do have kitchen sinks too.


And they have a basket of Betty Boops. Not just anyone can claim that!


And absolutely gorgeous artwork to fit any budget or decor.

I want y'all to check out Florence Consignment Corner's Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/findalmostanything/ Notice it says, find almost anything. True. True of FCC and Florence in general.

Thanks to Donny and Molly Hakes, co-owners of FCC, who gave me permission to use a few of their photos for this post. Some of the photos used were taken by me--but their photos are better.

And don't forget the grand reopening March 31 at 118 W. Main St.






Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Florence, Colorado: LIFE IS BETTER WITH FUDGE!

I've been stalking, I mean visiting, one of Florence's newest fun offerings: The Mountain Fudgery.

It started out with free samples, which Sandi and Norris Youngs of the fudge business, are always happy to hand out. Then, of course, I've been known to lay down a few greenbacks for the delight of eating fresh, homemade fudge.

I haven't tried  all the many flavors yet. But don't worry. I will! So far they are all scrumptious--but the Lemon Meringue has my taste buds and heart all aflutter.

                                                  Sandi Norris of The Mountain Fudgery

All the fudge is made with fresh cream and butter. Ah, but they had me at fudge.

I asked Sandi recently to tell me either something heartwarming or funny about fudge.

She came up with something better and said, "Life is better with fudge!"

I have to agree with her.

Sandi and her husband, Norris, can be found at Florence Consignment Corner, mainly on the weekends--passing out free samples, smiles and selling their fudge.

The Florence Consignment Corner, at 118 W. Main St. (in the old Tru Value building) is celebrating its grand reopening Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sandy and Norris will be there, as well as many other purveyors of fine goods. But more about that in another blog post.

For now, we are simply celebrating fudge. And how life is better with fudge!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Florence,Colorado: We Don't Love Our Dinosaurs Extra Crispy In Colorado

We don't love our dinosaurs extra crispy in Colorado. (Twilight Zone music plays.) Or do we?

I'm the type that loves to find the fun and humor in most anything, as long as no one got hurt. And since no one got hurt--except the unfortunate T-Rex at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience outside of Canon City--we get to find the good in a dinosaur going out in a blaze of glory.

For those who haven't heard, there was an apparent electrical malfunction at the dino attraction and bye bye Dino.

                                                 It's NOT Special Effects--It's Real

You can read all about at: Roaring fire takes down Royal Gorge Dinosaur's T-Rex: http://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/news/canoncity-local-news/ci_31753822/roaring-fire-takes-down-royal-gorge-dinosaurs-t via @CCDR_news

My first thought was: Flipping Flintstones! I haven't been to the Dinosaur Experience yet--and my luck is that the T-Rex would implode a few weeks before I got out there.

In case you think I am a whiner, I am generally not. But I've had a few experiences that just when I get ready or finally see a tourist attraction--something goes wrong. The most notable was when I FINALLY got to Paris, of course I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower. I did. But I wanted to go inside the Eiffel Tower. Oh, heck no. The Eiffel Tower was closed. I had no idea they closed the Eiffel Tower. But I guess they knew I was coming.

I guess the T-Rex outside of Canon City knew I was planning on a trip and decided to go to dino heaven instead.

But, the Dinosaur Experience is not closed--and I understand from local news reports that a new T-Rex will be installed before the summer rush. Whew! I'll carry a portable fire extinguisher just in case.

I also understand that pictures and videos of this flaming dino have went viral--across the nation and the world.

Who knew that a flaming dino would accidentally get Fremont County bazillions of dollars of free publicity worldwide. And yes, this county is pretty cool. And also pretty hot when dinos catch fire.

But all the attractions are open for business, so I'll see you there. Yes, you'll be able to recognize me by my fire extinguisher with the dino stickers on it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Florence, Colorado: We Have Another Winning Eatery, Turmeric East Indian & Nepalese Restaurant

And we have another winner in Florence's varying landscapes of FUNky eateries.

Yes, we got there right when they opened for the first time on March 17th at 5 p.m. and within minutes the place was packed.

And I was packing it in myself. Oh, delicious Naan bread with some chicken curry--come to Mama.



Ah, and one of my favorites-- chicken Tikka Masala, a lovely dish redolent with tomato sauce, yogurt and spices. Interesting enough I did a little research of Tikka Masala and the origins of the dish are unknown but suspected to come from the Indian subcontinent OR Scotland. Hmmm, I put my vote in for the Indian subcontinent.


I've  been to most every East Indian and/or Nepalese restaurant from Pueblo to Colorado Springs to Denver, but I've never ran across Rasmalai, which is homemade cheese patties in sweetened cream sauce. The texture of the patties was different, but I'm of the opinion that if one gets one's cream sauce right (and they did) then who cares about anything else.

We had a lovely opening night meal. You think that was enough? Of course not. We went right back the next day for the Sunday brunch buffet. No stinking commoner eggs and bacon here. Just a few delicious vegetarian and meat dishes. Naturally we had Naan bread. And every East Indian/Nepalese restaurant I've been to always has Kheer, a rice pudding with raisins and slivered almonds.In the past, I've had a few Kheer with rose water, which was very nice. But most Kheer is quite runny. The one at Turmeric was quite thick, so I have to give it one of my top ratings.

The buffet was only $10. And the lunch buffet will also be $10.

Turmeric has something for most everyone. It's fairly easy to eat gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan or carnivore there.

According to one of the servers, the family that is running Florence's Turmeric also owns Kathmandu Kitchen in Aurora, close to Denver.

The Turmeric is open everyday, except Mondays, for lunch (including the lunch buffet) and dinner.

Good eating and a welcome addition to Florence's remarkable (for a small town) choice of eateries.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Escape In Time To Steampunk And Wine Festival

Ya'll don't have to hit me over the noggin to realize that there is a lot of interest in the upcoming Steampunk Festival. I've seen the hits this week and last for posts I made last year about Florence's Escape In Time To Steampunk And Wine Festival.

But, alas, I've been naughty (and busy) and haven't posted about this year's festival yet. But seeing everyone reading the past posts made me get into gear. Pun intended.


Plans are still being made--but this year's Steampunk Festival has no entrance fee, as it did in year's past.

One reader, with an upcoming wedding, was curious if there was a steampunk wedding feature like last year. I am not sure--but I'll talk to the festival organizer and find out.

I do know that year's event (the 4th annual) promises to be bigger, better and even more fun than previous ones. I know it's hard to believe since the other festivals were big hits--but this time around the Salida Circus will be performing. And the Fonda Cash Band  featuring Johnny Cash's niece should rev the fun factor up.

Stay tuned! And make sure to check out the Steampunk Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/steampunkwine/

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Florence,Colorado: Slated For the May/June Issue Of Colorado Life Magazine



Most savvy antiques shoppers know Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado. But soon the town will be getting even more exposure with a story and photo spread, slated for the May/June issue of Colorado Life Magazine.

"For years now, we've heard the buzz about Florence being the Antiques Capital of Colorado, so we decided to see if that was the case. After visiting, I can confidently say that the rumors are true," said Matt Masich, editor of Colorado Life Magazine.

Colorado Life Magazine, with headquarters in Estes Park, has about 80,000 readers and while its main reach is in Colorado, the magazine also has subscribers all across the country and world. The magazine is available at Big D  Supermarket in Florence, as well as Safeway and City Market in Canon City.

Masich visited Florence in December of 2017 and other magazine staff members visited Florence last May.

    Matt Masich, editor of Colorado Life Magazine and Rena Pryor, manager of Loralie Antique Mall

"I travel Colorado for a living, and I've seen a lot of Main Streets in a lot of small towns. I've got to say that I was impressed with just how vibrant downtown Florence is," the editor said.

Colorado Life Magazine features world-class photography and writing, and judging by many of the magazine's Letters To The Editor, the magazine hits the goal of uncovering hidden treasures,experiences and history in Colorado, that surprise and delight even long-time Colorado residents. The magazine's website is: www.ColoradoLifeMagazine.com


Front row: Joshua Hardin,Colorado Life photo editor and photographer; Lisa Hutchins, Colorado Life writer; Elsie Ore, co-owner of Heartland Antiques and Heartland Boutique; Florence mayor Keith Ore and co-owner of the Heartland stores. Back row: Rena Pryor, manager of The Loralie Antique Mall and owner of Bizzy Bee Honey Farms: Peg Piltingsrud, former co-owner of Fox Den Of Antiquity and pioneer in Florence's Antiques Capital Of Colorado status.

Masich toured many of Florence's shops as he interviewed business owners and did some browsing. "I talked with a bunch of the antiques shop owners. At Oil City Merchants, I very nearly purchased an antique billy club for my 5-year-old son, Charlie. I sent my wife a text message about it first, though, and she nixed the idea." Masich said.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Good Place To Buy A Gift For Your Friend With A Castle

I have nothing against big box stores, but there are things that happen in small, independent stores (especially antiques stores) that just won't happen anywhere else.

We're always chatting with our customers at the old antiques mall in Florence, because all the unusual things people buy just beg inquiries as to why they are buying it.


Today Dan Williams of Cripple Creek was thrilled to find this iron hanging candle fixture. He said it will look perfect in his friend's castle.

Castle? Ohhh, I love castles.

Dan said his friend built a castle outside of Cripple Creek and when the friend was asked why he chose a castle instead of a log cabin or other style, the friend replied,"Because I can."

I asked if this was a Christmas gift for the friend with the castle.

Dan said it was and the friend already told him that he had found Dan a special Christmas gift. Dan said he replied to his friend,"Then you must have come to Florence."

That's what we like to hear, the immediate assumption that if someone found a special treasure, they must have found it in Florence, and friends each coming to Florence to find those extraordinarily unusual gifts.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Scary Nightmare Fuel Antiques & Collectibles

Florence is the undisputed antiques capital of Colorado. We have more antique stores per capita than any other town in the state. And the town boasts stunning world-class antiques, collectibles and art. But sometimes it's fun to take a tour of the nightmare fuel items that could surely be used to decorate a set of a Stephen King movie.


This is a paper mache dog from the Victorian era. Someone got a little festive for the holidays and put some tinsel in his fur. But it still scared the beejeezus out of me (and many antiques browsers). It turns out he is rare and a child's toy--and not many of them survived. The dogs, not the children. I'm pretty sure most of the children survived their childhoods, since this was only a toy a rich family could afford. However, I won't speak to how they survived psychologically.


Now this imp also scares many browsers. I've heard rumors that Doctors Freud and Spock built their careers on attempting to undo the damage some of these toys had on previous generations.



Now this dude's tongue moves. So does mine, in a silent scream, whenever I take this out of the locked case and show him to customers. He's fashioned as a mask/hat--so you can wear him. New Year's masquerade ball anyone? Criminal disguise? Someone actually told me the other day they were sending their significant other to the store and hoped this item would be their Christmas gift. If someone gifted me with this beauty--well, it wouldn't be an amicable breakup...


Oh my. Vintage sombrero-wearing salt and pepper shakers. Besides how "attractive" they are--when you pop their hats off, the raised shakers rather look like brain matter. I think I'll purchase these as part of my weight loss program.


And if I really want to take off the pounds, I could purchase these clown salt and pepper shakers. The spices come through holes in their feet--which is extra appealing.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Has The Town Gone To The Dogs?

Folks often come into the antiques mall where I work, in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado--and ask if the mall is dog friendly.

I always point to the water dish we keep and the box of biscuits (all natural of course) on the counter. And I usually reply,"We've never had problems with canines entering the mall...but now humans, that's an entirely different story!" And that is true. Ah, the stories I could tell. Wait, I do tell the stories.

Now I haven't done a poll about how pet friendly Florence is, but word on the streets is that all leashed dogs are welcome in the antique, gift and art stores--except one, where the aisles are a bit narrow. You know, those wagging tails...

Most dogs that take a tour of Florence's antiques are pretty amazed at all the ancient smells and are pretty subdued. And most owners carry their pooches through the stores, even though I tell them it's just fine to let them walk around. Ya shoulda seen the guy trying to carry his St. Bernard through the mall until I told him to put his dog on the floor...


Why even Florence's dentist, located on Main St. in the heart of the antiques district, has set out some water and Milk Bones. And a nice potted plant. Nice touch with the BITE wing x-rays offer.

Antiques and canines mix in Florence.

I'd say we are probably one of the most pet friendly towns in the state.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Let's Raise Heck And The Roof At The Bell Tower Art & Antiques Auction

What's as big as a breadbox, but helped a worthy Florence non-profit and made my kitchen extra snazzy? Why a breadbox of course.


Yep, I scored this vintage beauty (for a great price) at the last Florence Arts Council Art & Antiques Auction.

I have it from a reliable source (one of the best antiques dealers in Florence) that the donations to the auction this year might surpass the quality and variety of past sales.


Not only can you score some treasures, but you'll be a part of helping "raise the roof" for the new roof fund at the Bell Tower Cultural Center--one of Florence's treasures. And you can raise a little heck by outbidding others for this great cause.


Now don't be telling me you'll even dream of missing the Sept. 30 auction.

Florence, Colorado: I Was Naked And Rolling Around In A Pile Of....

I was naked and rolling around in a pile of...


Get your mind out of the gutter. I was naked and rolling around in a pile of BOOKS!

I usually don't share my fantasies on this blog. I don't wish to shock school children and those with delicate sensibilities. But books to me are like what doughnuts are to law enforcement.

Did I mention that FREE doughnuts and BOOKS are the reason for me sharing my fantasy.

OK, Florence is a funky and strange and delightful burg. I already knew that when I moved here.

But I would have moved here even sooner if I would have known that people run ads like this in the Canon City Shopper: "This September 30th, 2017 at 511 West Main in Florence Colorado there will be a free book giveaway. Hundreds of books will be available--political, historical, literary essays. Come browse and take as many books as you want. There will be coffee, doughnuts and and cookies to drink and munch while you look and load up. (719) 431-9340 aaaaaaaaa101@hotmail.com"

What the fudge? I get fed as I get free books!


Died and went to heaven. It must have been something my parents did when I was really young. They twisted my psyche where I became an unabashed book whore. And a cheapskate (except with friends and family) who loves to munch. Munch while I load up books. Munch while I read books.


Well, there you have it. Unfortunately my questionable services are required at work in downtown Florence on Sept. 30th. You can stop by The Loralie Antique Mall and offer your condolences to me--or bring me a free book. Actually I'll send my spouse with a semi-truck to 511 West Main and see if he can bring enough books back for me to roll around naked in.

I only have one beef with folks who are having a FREE book event. Email me. I could have gotten this on the blog a lot sooner. But really, who is going to truly bust the chops of anyone giving away free books.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Where's The Watch Party For Jane Fonda & Robert Redford Movie, Our Souls At Night?

Where the heck is the watch party for the new Jane Fonda and Robert Redford Netflix movie, Our Souls At Night?

We know the release date is Sept. 29 on Netflix, just a few weeks after the movie showed at the Venice Film Festival. Venice. Italy.

Just like Florence. But not Italy. Colorado. You know, the small burg where a good portion of the movie was filmed.


I happen to have Netflix and will be able to watch the highly anticipated movie quite easily, much as I watch Fonda and Tomlin's Frankie and Grace and many other good Netflix offerings.

But what about all the folks who are excited to see not only the movie, but to really watch and recognize scenes of their hometown, Florence?

A co-worker was interested to know that I had Netflix and got to mentioning that she did not. And to her knowledge, there was no watch party planned for Florence. Not at the Rialto Theater, which is raising money for renovations. And not at the Bell Tower Cultural Center, one of many locations in Florence where filming took place.

No where that either of us knew about--unless I volunteer my modest home. But what good would that do the town? Besides the fact a few folks could tour my house and see if I'm a hoarder or an antiques collector extraordinaire? I'll let you guess. The person who guesses most closely will either win a box of chenille pipe stems, glitter and other crap--or a fine antique.

No, I was shocked, shocked I say--that there is no watch party for Our Souls At Night in Florence.


Surely I am not the only local that recognizes that Redford and Fonda are strolling in front of Two Sisters, well known by about everyone in Fremont County and the scene of many a delicious, lip-smacking, down-home eating experiences pretty much only available in the recesses of smalltown America.

For heavens sake, Jane and Robert, (I guess I can get familiar with them and use first names) since they both spent a whole day decompressing and taking breaks in the antiques mall where I work. Unfortunately, I was scheduled to work that day, but someone wanted to switch with me at the last minute and I missed the stars. Not that my co-worker knew the stars would be showing up that specific day. But it probably was for the best that I missed them. I am not a star struck person, but I did hear that Jane had an adorable canine companion and it would have been embarrassing when I would have smothered her pooch with attention and ignored Jane.

Heck, I feel like I got to know some of the film's production staff in the course of selling antiques and collectibles for the sets. One of the staff and I actually hugged, because we got into a very touching conversation about the POWER of story and how it is told even through objects and the standards of excellence that Jane and Robert elicit.

This whole town pretty much had a stake in the movie. If people weren't extras, or helping the production crew--they simply will recognize all the scenes shot in Florence.

So, why should there not be a watch party? Not at my house though! In a public place, so Florence can celebrate, compare notes and enjoy this film as a community? And maybe even raise a dollar or two for the many historical restoration projects going on around Florence. A watch party would also be a boost to making people aware that Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado and one of the few places in Colorado where small town America is in full swing.

So, maybe there is a public watch party somewhere in Florence. I don't know about it. My co-workers don't know about it. So if there is--shoot me a message or leave a comment on this blog and I'll post the information here.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Finally, Someone Tells The Truth

Finally, someone tells the truth about Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.


I spotted this sign today (Aug. 25) a day that will go down in infamy. COME IN AND DON'T GET LOST. INCREDIBLE HOARD! 1000's OF ITEMS! WOW!

Notice the innocent people pictured by the sign on Florence's Main Street, they are fleeing. They don't want to get lost in the incredible hoard.

I personally have always wanted to get lost in a hoard. A hoard of ice cream sundaes and delicious crunchy chips--but not a hoard of antiques, collectibles and junk.

But at least the truth is out about Florence. Some people call it collections, some call it hoards. But town is packed with more antiques and oddities than just about anyplace. Perhaps the crew of the TV show, Hoarders, should drop by and see if any assistance is needed.




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Where The F*** Is Florence?

I often search all over for what people are writing about Florence, Colorado.

Local people. People around Colorado. And people around the world.

Why? I'm just curious to know what people think about a small town in the middle of somewhere. And in the middle of nowhere. And come to find out that many people don't even know Florence exists.

One of the problems is that Florence isn't exactly on the way to any major destinations. It's certainly an easy drive from Colorado Springs and Pueblo. It's not that far from Royal Gorge and Canon City. But it's not on a major highway.

I've noticed when I go to the Springs (where I lived for over 20 years and knew about Florence) that when store clerks ask me where I am from--I often get a blank look. I can tell by their eyeballs they are too polite to ask where it is. And some people would say,"Well, Florissant sure is a nice area!"

Florence, not Florissant!

I thought I was the only one who ran into this phenomenon. The Florence vortex.

When I lived in Denver for a short time, it was even more strange. I'd tell a new friend, a hair dresser or store clerk, who asked about my background, that I was from the Springs, but missed Manitou Springs, since I missed small FUNky towns like crazy. I'd get those same blank looks. Manitou? Never heard of it.

So, when I told a few friends and acquaintances in Denver we were moving to Florence, most would say: "Now exactly where is this place? In Colorado?"

I came across this great blog post over at the Florence Brewery Company. Yes, in Florence!



https://www.florencebrewing.com/single-post/2017/06/01/Where-The-F-is-Florence-Colorado

Excellent post that sums up the frustration about finding out most people in our great state don't know we exist.

But I think that is going to change fairly soon. We have a lot of people determined to put Florence on the map. Florence, NOT Florissant!

Just think about it. If people don't know where Florence is they won't be able to get a cold, artisan beer from the Florence Brewing Company easily--or experience all the other great things our fair burg offers in a friendly, small-town environment.






Monday, June 26, 2017

Florence, Colorado: #IFoundYouInFlorenceColorado Artisian Marsha Bell of Canon City

Who did I find in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, this time? Florence has a campaign, #FindItInFlorence, designed to showcase all the things one can find in Florence. On this blog, I also highlight who I  find in Florence and what they are doing with the things they find in Florence. I think you'll agree, many people who come to Florence have interesting dreams, goals, hobbies and memories they seek to celebrate with objects found in Florence.

                                                         Marsha Bell Of Canon City

This time I found Marsha Bell of Canon City in Florence. She's holding a miniature cowboy hat and a pair of cowboy boots.

Of course, we couldn't resist asking her what she planned on doing with her purchase.

Marsha said she's been fascinated with miniatures since childhood. But this Canon City artisan isn't just content with arranging and collecting miniatures in an ordinary fashion.

"I arrange antique miniatures in unique antique containers," she said.

She uses antique radios, televisions, refrigerators and other vintage items as the showcase or framework for works of art.

                                                         Photo courtesy of Marsha Bell

Marsha gave a vintage TV (pictured above) new life by creating a magical scene of a North Pole bakery.

"I purchase many of the items I use, in Florence," Marsha said.

Also a registered nurse at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, and an instructor at CNA classes in Florence, Marsha estimates she puts at least 50 plus hours into each creation.

Her nostalgic vignettes aren't for sale, but Marsha has been entering her work at the Pueblo State Fair for about five years. She's won several Best Of Show ribbons and earned three first place ribbons.

                                                        Photo courtesy of Marsha Bell

The scene of a Victorian Christmas, framed by part of an antique icebox, won Marsha a Best of Show award at the fair.

Marsha is inspired by a variety of themes for her art work, but primarily concentrates on Christmas scenes. "This all started from a memory of me as a child looking down a banister at Christmas..."she recalled.

The magical memories of her childhood Christmases are celebrated and honored every time she goes on a search for new miniatures and antique backdrops.

I'm just glad, even though Marsha doesn't sell her work, that she chooses to share her love of good memories, antiques and miniatures with everyone by displaying at the fair, and readily sharing her story with us in Florence.

What is Marsha's newest project that she was in Florence hunting for miniatures last week?

She'll be working on a barn scene (complete with that cute hat and cowboy boots) set in an antique school desk.

I'm hoping when the antique school desk is completed we'll get a picture to share on the blog. We always love seeing all the fascinating things fascinating people do with the treasures they find in Florence!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#IFoundYOUInFlorenceColorado

I am not a stalker. But the question is: Will I find YOU in Florence, Colorado?

Not that long ago, I started asking people what they were doing in Florence and what they were intending to do with what they purchased in our fair burg.

Every one has a true story, but I didn't expect to find people from all over the state, country and world hanging out here buying really unusual things or planning to do interesting things with semi-common items.

But what I also didn't expect was the find that NOT one person refused to get photographed and asked a few questions for this blog. I do this blog semi-anonymously. I don't have anything printed up directing people to the blog. Nor do I publicize this blog much. I just do it for fun.


This all started as a slight twist on the marketing campaign in Florence: #FindItInFlorence.
I have nothing to do with that fine campaign, but think it's very clever and was happy to see Find It In Florence signs go up all over town recently.

So far I've met the most interesting people by asking people what they are doing in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.

You wouldn't think there would be a common thread among dozens of people picked randomly over a year or so period. But there is. Every single one of them was fulfilling an unique dream, hobby, community service or intent on preserving history.

So, since this little venture has proven so fun to me (and I hope you) I do believe I'll continue this feature.

You never know when I'll pop up and ask you what you found in Florence. #IFoundYOUInFlorenceColorado. But will I find, YOU next as you visit the antiques capital of Colorado?

Friday, May 26, 2017

#FindItInFlorence I Found Tractor Restorer Emery Ball of Kismet, KS In The Antiques Capital Of Colorado

Who did I find in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado--this time?

I found a man on a mission to preserve the history of tractors and the memories of growing up with his granddad and dad who farmed in Kansas.


                                                        Emery Ball of Kismet, Kansas

At first Emery asked me for a screwdriver to pop the lid on that can of Keystone Grease he purchased. He wanted to see how much grease was in the can. Most people buy such relics of the past for the antique or collectible value of the tin--but Emery said the old stuff works better on water pumps and stops leaks better than anything new out there.

Then we got to talking about how Emery restores tractors. But the tractors aren't for sale--they are only to preserve a part of his personal history and the history of friends, family and neighbors who worked the Kansas farmlands for decades.

People often find out about what Emery does--for the love of it and not the money--and donate antique tractors with the provision that they won't be sold. Emery also participates in tractor pulls.

Emery and his wife, Laura, were on vacation in Colorado--and often like to stop in Florence where they know they will find items perfect for restorations and other projects.

So far, Emery has 22 restored tractors on his land. Emery is a salesman by trade, but still lives on the land farmed by his family and has fond memories of working the land with his granddad and father.

Getting his father to finally retire, involved promising him they would always keep him supplied with tractors to restore. Emery said his father is now 87 and almost every day, works on restoring tractors.

Several of the tractors date to the 1920s and Emery is always on the hunt for parts--and Florence often produces just the right item.

Emery and his family live in Kismet, a town smaller than Florence, not far from Liberal, Kansas.

I am always running across interesting people living out their talents and dreams, and preserving legacies and history--who stop in Florence.The town of Florence often helps people find the tangible items needed to carry out those dreams.

This time we found Emery Ball, in Florence, carrying out his dreams and helping his father preserve a family legacy.

Will you be the next person I find in Florence ?

#FindItInFlorence

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Build It, And They Will Come

Today a nice antiques store browser told me that I should contact HGTV (Home & Garden TV) about Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.

The browser told me this spontaneously, as she was happily treasure hunting, having no idea--I just might take an interest in her idea.

Actually HGTV did visit Florence about two years ago for an edition of House Hunters that featured Svetlana and Gunnar Piltingsrud and their historic Victorian house. You can read a previous blog post about it here: http://truestoryclub.blogspot.com/2015/08/florence-colorado-svetlana-gunnar.html

But this visitor today was saying that Joanna and Chip Gaines of the HGTV hit show, Fixer Upper, should be fascinated with Florence since there are so many antiques and collectibles that fit with their renovations.

I'd actually never thought of that--but excellent idea. I know the town will welcome them (or anyone) with open arms. It sounds rather fantastical--but it's not really. As I've noted on this blog, people come to Florence from all over the world. Not that many--but enough to surprise me.

And we have many people who own shops all over Colorado and come to Florence, because the variety is stupendous and the prices are usually lower than in other parts of the state.

A Denver-area customer told me the other day that shopping in Denver's antiques district is pleasant, but the prices and selection aren't as good as Florence.


Florence has built it and they will come. They've already come. But more and more visitors to Florence are expressing opinions that there is something special about Florence and think more people need to know.

I agree!

As blog readers know, Colorado Life magazine people were in town last week and a story and photo spread is in the works.

We also know the Netflix movie, Our Souls At Night, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, was partially filmed in Florence last fall. Millions of people will be likely watching the movie and wondering where it was shot. And yes, many of the props were purchased right in Florence's antiques district.

Yes, many people are working tirelessly to get Florence the recognition it deserves.


Florence is one of the most quirky and interesting towns in Colorado. For years, its been a slight secret, but word is getting out.

And Florence isn't just about antiques. The picture above is just a sampling of all the outdoor art visitors can experience for free, just by strolling residential areas or taking a short drive.

You can tell the townspeople care about art and beauty. One would be happily surprised at all the homeowners turning stumps into works of art with the help of Fremont County artist, Sheldon Roberts.


Art and whimsy is in almost nook and cranny of our fair burg. I love this delight in front of the Blue Frog Gallery on Florence's Main St.

Some day I'll have a "tour" on the blog of all the outdoor art there is in Florence.

And some day we'll get the word out, even more, about all the delights in Florence, to more print media and television.

But in the meantime--remember, people have built it in Florence and they will come.

Will we find YOU next in Florence, walking the streets filled with art, antiques, eateries and friendly people?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

#FindItInFlorence --I Found A Colorado Life Magazine Writer And Photographer In Florence, The Antiques Capital Of Colorado

Today I found Colorado Life magazine staff writer, Lisa Hutchins and Joshua Hardin, the magazine's photo editor, in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado.

Every day is a good day in our fun burg, but today was one of the best days ever.


Front row: Joshua Hardin, photo editor and photographer; Lisa Hutchins, staff writer; Elsie Ore, co-owner of Heartland Antiques and Heartland Boutique; Florence mayor Keith Ore and co-owner of the Heartland stores. Back row: Rena Pryor, manager of The Loralie Antique Mall and owner of Bizzy Bee Honey Farms: Peg Piltingsrud, co-owner of Fox Den Of Antiquity and pioneer in Florence's Antiques Capital Of Colorado status.

I've been a subscriber and admirer of Colorado Life magazine for many years. Refer to my March 2016 blog post about this remarkable magazine--written way before I knew the magazine was honoring Florence with a photo spread and story. http://truestoryclub.blogspot.com/2016/03/colorado-life-magazine.html

In that 2016 blog post, I mention the world-class writing and photography and commitment to digging deep into the real Colorado. After spending an afternoon with these friendly and professional magazine folks, I can say what I wrote over a year ago, is even more deeply felt today.

For those readers who don't live in Colorado, it might be hard to imagine that a state with so many wildernesses, geographical divides and diversity of people and scenery are tight-knit. It's true. As we were all chatting around a table at Florence's Aspen Leaf cafe, what came to the forefront is that all of us love the towns we live in, but love Colorado as a whole and it binds us together.

It's the love of Colorado that Colorado Life magazine captures perfectly in each and every issue.


Check out the magazine's website at: www.coloradolifemagazine.com


You heard it here first: What happens in Florence--doesn't stay in Florence.

We rarely let anyone leave Florence without a parting gift, even if it's simply the memory of a fun and friendly welcome they can take home with them. But Joshua and Lisa were treated to some jars of Bizzy Bee Honey Farms raw honey, compliments of Rena Pryor.


We took a leisurely tour of Florence's many shops and galleries and also at the 1923 Rialto Theater on Florence's Main St. Pictured above is,  Keith Ore, Peg Piltingsrud and Joshua Hardin discussing the fact that the partially-restored Rialto is one of Colorado's few existing theaters that have the original fly towers intact.

I know a fair amount about Florence's history and attributes, but today I learned almost as much about the town in a few hours than I've picked up in the last five years since I've chosen this town as home.

I'm not sure when the Florence story will appear, but when I know, I'll post it. In the meantime, those wishing to experience Colorado Life magazine, information on subscribing is at its website, or single issues are available at the check stands at the Big D Supermarket in Florence.


And I know when Colorado Life's Florence story hits the stands, I'll learn even more about our town. Best day ever!

So, will we find YOU in Florence next?