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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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Florence, Colorado:FREE Wax Candy Mustache Days Is Coming To The Car Show

If you don't believe Florence, Colorado is the FUNkytown of Fremont County, then you haven't been to Free Wax Candy Mustache Days at the car show.

 Wait! There's never been  Free Wax Candy Mustache Days in Florence to my knowledge. And the reason for that probably is people probably have a lick of sense. I don't. So the impromptu celebration of the 17th Annual Florence Merchants' Association Car Show and the handlebar mustache of Dennis Gage from TV's My Classic Car show will include free wax mustaches.

                                          Shell-shocked People Forced To Wear Wax Mustaches

But wait! Not just anyone gets a free mustache. You have to prove you have the fortitude to allow me to take your photo on my $2 unSmart phone and run the pictures on this blog and have readers vote on who wore that free wax mustache best.

AND you have to prove you are either part of the media or a blogger, website owner, etc. who plans on covering the car show publicly. And of course I mention what TV, radio, print venue or blog you are representing. So it could either be a minor career booster to your work--or it could sink your reputation and have you running in shame.

 Yep, I'll give you a stache for free, to do something you were probably planning to do anyway. OK, you probably were not planning on taking a picture wearing a wax stache--but get over it!

A local business has agreed to let me pass out the free wax mustaches. BUT this is just a fun idea I came up with to amuse myself--and is in no way the responsibility of the car show or the business. I'm paying for the staches myself, just for fun.

The only requirement was that I check with someone from the car show to make sure the idea would be agreeable to them and to Dennis Gage. I got the go-ahead from a car show official, who said he believed Mr. Gage would find this respectful since his mustache is part of his public persona, and should encourage coverage of the car show.

 Someone is working on contacting Mr. Gage to NOT be shocked if he sees a few people walking around with wax mustaches. But if some how word doesn't get to him in time--I'm pretty sure he'd act NOT shocked and simply ask me where HIS free wax mustache is.

But this Free Wax Mustache Days is not associated with Mr. Gage and his crew, which will be in Florence on May 19 and 20 filming.

Yes, I'll be wearing a wax mustache as I pass them out. I like to keep a low profile. And yes, I'll announce the times and location of the Free Wax Mustache Days--soon.

So, media folks and bloggers--rev your engines and get ready to enjoy the car show, cover the event and wear that free mustache!

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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Florence, Colorado: PLEASE Do NOT Read This Blog Post!

If you value all that is good in this world, do NOT read this blog post. OK, you should probably take that friendly advice on ALL my blog posts.

But this time I mean it. Usually I love whipping out a post or two--but I HATE having to write this post. Unfortunately I have a dilemma.

Apparently I am a foodie. In case you have any doubts about that you can read about the day I slightly ticked off celebrity chef, Lidia Bastianich at:

It appears I take my food seriously. And one of my favorite cuisines is East Indian/Nepalese. In a previous blog post, I mentioned Florence was getting a new East Indian/Nepalese restaurant at 106 W. Main St.

I've been staring across the street so frequently that the boss suggested that my nose prints are decorating the windows at the soon-opening Turmeric Restaurant. Hmmph! Turns out most of the town is buzzing.

And finally I found out the Turmeric is planning a soft opening from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 17th. There will be NO corned beef and cabbage for me!

I really didn't want to publicize this anymore that it already has been via word of drooling mouths and via the restaurant's Facebook page at:

But, alas, I couldn't help myself. I want to see them succeed. And that overrode my desire to keep this happy event to myself.

A co-worker told me to tell her how the food is, so we can possibly plan social work gatherings. I just might live text, send pictures and Tweet during my meal. Wait, that might be a bit obsessive. Or would it be?

No, it would not be. But it might be difficult to fill my cake hole AND text AND Tweet at the same time. Such dilemmas.

Ah, and if you really want a treat, a sneak peek at the restaurant's new menu is available at:

I found one of favorite dishes on the menu. Saag paneer. And Kheer--a lovely rice pudding with raisins and almonds.

Ok, I must stop. It has been too many months since I've been to my favorite restaurant, Little Nepal, in Colorado Springs. And I'm going through withdrawals. See you at Turmeric on Saturday--or not!

Florence, Colorado: Dude, Where's My Car?

Dude! No need to ask where your car is. Seems someone dropped a Godzilla-sized Corvair in the middle of Florence's Main St.

I love the way the car seems to be ready to take off and crush historic buildings in a mighty roar.

I think the whole point of this is that cars are taking over Florence, Colorado on Sunday, May 20 for the 17th annual Florence Merchants' Association Car Show.

I've heard rumors that the car show is anticipated to triple in size from last year's 200 or so entries.

More information on the car show is available at:

But it's no rumor that the car show is one of the most highly anticipated events in our fair burg. And that people are already coming into the stores asking for flyers so they can remember the date.

In the spirit of the car show, I've decided to have a little fun of my own to celebrate this event.

Read the next blog post to find out what kind of fun I'm planning.

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:

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:

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, January 13, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Getting An Indian & Nepalese Restaurant

Gasp! The tiny burg of Florence is getting an Indian and Nepalese restaurant.

My life is truly complete. When I moved here a little over five years ago, one of the main things I missed about Colorado Springs was my favorite Indian and Nepalese restaurant. I almost considered begging them to open one in Florence, just so I could get my fix without a long drive.

I have no idea who the owners of Florence's newest restaurant are. Believe me, I will find out--hopefully before the place opens.

The Turmeric Indian and Nepalese Restaurant will open at 106 W. Main St. That location was formerly occupied by Ito Steakhouse and Sushi (another favorite) which moved to a bigger location two doors down.

Here's the website for the new restaurant:

There isn't much information on the website yet, but I was thrilled, no ecstatic, to read there would be a buffet.

As I was spinning in circles in delirium and joy, the few people who didn't call Bellevue, noted they had never tried East Indian or Nepalese food.

"Ghee!" I screamed,"Thank God relief is arriving in Florence soon!"

Ah, delicious Naan bread!

Yum! Tandoori chicken will soon be mine. I have never met a clay cooking pot I don't like.

Well, hopefully I'll have an update soon when the Turmeric will open.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Peter Wright Anvil

One of the interesting things, besides all the interesting people I meet, about working in an antiques mall in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado, is I learn something new everyday.

The other day someone brought in an old anvil. A real gut buster. It probably weighs about 150 pounds and it took me a day just to move it in a circle so I could read the markings on it.

What I know about anvils is almost non-existent, but I bought it any way. Yes, those are Tom Taber duck decoys in the background. I didn't know what they were either at first!

I put a  low price on the anvil. I figure it's so heavy that someone needs a price break!

I tried to make out the marking. It looked like Enright to me. I rarely look up things on Ebay, but typed in Enright anvil. No luck. Oh, it turned out to be a Peter Wright blacksmith anvil.

Still didn't mean anything to me, but I discovered it was an English maker.

And it has this crack.

So I called John Hegler from Oil City Merchants in Florence, an antiques store that specializes in the more man-oriented antiques and collectibles.

That's what I like about working in Florence. Everyone sends customers to other shops if they don't have a certain item--and everyone is more than willing to share information.

John explained about "rebound" and what the holes in the anvil were for--and how the crack affects that rebound on one side. And he said it was quite old--from the 1800s.

I found it so interesting that I actually want to learn more about blacksmithing, anvils, knife making and such.

My only problem is a lot of this stuff is so heavy, I am not sure I'll be able to move it or help load it for whoever eventually buys it.

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"

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.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Getting Interviewed By KKTV News In Your Underwear?

Usually it's peaceful in Florence, Colorado--just the way I like it. But today a bit of a crime wave hit our fair burg.

This morning my husband was up early doing yard work and came in to inform me that he found a woman's Bible (in a pretty padded zip-up cover) and a tote filled with items that looked like they belonged to a woman. The items were thrown in our backyard.

My husband's first inclination was a neighbor got upset at someone and threw them over our fence. Since we know or at least are  acquainted  of all our neighbors, that didn't seem to fit. All the neighbors are quiet and calm. We're probably (OK, just me) the most rowdy people in the neighborhood.

My mind works a little more cynically. I suggested someone had been abducted or perhaps murdered. Yes, I read too many books. I told my husband to not touch the items anymore due to fingerprints in case these were crime items.

Turns out they were crime items, but thankfully not in the way I originally speculated.

We were on our way to Colorado Springs, but my husband wanted to stop by the police station to turn the items in. But as we were getting ready to leave I noticed a Florence Police car at the neighbors and told my husband I'd just run out and tell the officer we found some things in our backyard.

Apparently our neighbor had their min-van stolen. After I expressed my heartfelt sorrow for this loss I told the officer we had some items we were going to drop off and he saved us a trip. He asked what they were. I said we didn't look too closely due to fingerprints, but a Bible was among the items.

He said the lady who they were stolen from was going to be very happy about the Bible being found. Apparently the items were stolen from her car, a few blocks from our house. We were also told a helmet and a Kevlar vest was stolen from a Fremont County deputy sheriff's cruiser, not far from our house.

The items we recovered were spread out on a Florence Police cruiser and we waved at our neighbors and the Florence Police chief who had just arrived and drove onto the Springs.

We had no idea the crime wave extended past our street and a neighboring street. We were troubled by this local crime, literally in our backyard.

You see, Florence has a fairly low crime rate. I checked it out extensively before we moved here--coming from living decades in the Springs and then in Denver for a short time. Florence has virtually no violent crimes. Murders are rare. Years go by where there are no murders. Rapes, same thing. Assaults, also rare. Petty theft and such is more of a problem according to stats, but still fairly low. Illegal drugs and domestic assaults are problems, as they are most everywhere--but most people like me who check crime stats know that if you don't hang out in certain circles, that type of crime most likely won't affect one personally.

Florence is a Mayberry-type town. The kind of place where people leave their doors and cars unlocked sometimes.  But I've lived in high-crime areas in my adult years and was raised on the mean streets of New York.

Even with my more cynical mindset, I never expected to be on the edges of a crime wave in Florence.

So, on our drive today to the Springs we talked about getting an alarm system and securing our property even more. Even though we didn't have anything missing. Both our cars were unlocked, but nothing was missing. Of course, I had crap in my car that was destined for thrift store donation.

We just arrived back from the Springs, with this incident fresh on our minds, but more hungry and tired from our shopping trip. I was cutting some meat for dinner with some kitchen shears and I saw a man from the kitchen window who was walking up our driveway waving and smiling. At first I thought he was a religious person (wouldn't have minded) by the way he was dressed. But he had nothing in his hands. So I thought: Police detective.

No, reporter from KKTV, Channel 11 in Colorado Springs. He wanted to know what we knew about the car thefts. I came outside still with my kitchen shears in hand and told him what the police had told us and the stolen property in our backyard. He asked if we knew that two other people on our block had things stolen out of their cars. No, we didn't know that.

                                         My Husband And Spencer From KKTV Channel 11

He ran across the street to talk to another neighbor briefly and came back, so I invited him in the house to talk about the stolen property found in our backyard. My husband was cooking. Spencer Wilson, the reporter, asked if he could get an interview and I said sure, but let my husband do it since he's the one who found the items.

I looked at my husband to see if that was acceptable and he replied,"Well, I'll do it. But I'd at least like to put my pants on!"

Thankfully he was standing at the kitchen island and only I could see he was in his undies with a tank top. Spencer ran to get his camera and hubby ran to get his pants.

I think the interview would have been more entertaining in undies.

Spencer told us two vehicles had been taken from a construction site, but it probably wasn't related to what happened on our street and to another car and the deputy's cruiser a few blocks from us. We hadn't heard about the stolen construction vehicles, but were shocked so much crime happened in a few hours in a sleepy town that more concerns itself with antiques, festivals and parades and enjoying small town America.

We didn't get to talk to Spencer for too long since he was under deadline to get his story in tonight. I told him I understood, because years ago I volunteered to type closed captioning (for a competing news station in Colorado Springs) and sat right next to the editing station and saw the stress of editing stories under deadline. I also used to be under deadlines myself in print journalism, so I felt very sympathetic, but not so much that I didn't ask the extremely cordial Spencer if he'd pose for a blog picture.

What a good sport. Spencer is a true professional. He wasn't phased I came outside waving kitchen shears, or my husband cooked in his underwear and even took note that my husband was making a tomato, cucumber and onion salad that looked exactly like the one he made at home.

Spencer told us this was only his second day on the job. Of course, I cheered him on, even though it is not his first job in journalism. Basically I indicated encouragement and the knowledge he was going to go far in his career, without saying it outright since he was in a hurry. His last cheerful words as he zipped back to the studio were,"You have somebody at 11!"

Community journalism at its best.

And as a community of journalists, citizens and law enforcement--let's do our damnedest to find these criminals who think they can steal not only vehicles and things from vehicles, but our peace of mind.

Here's a link to the initial information when this story was just breaking from KKTV:

This was when the information was vague. Tonight at 10 there will be more. Other TV stations had similar vague information, but was calling on the community to help find these criminals.

A stock photo of some of the items stolen from the deputy's cruiser was posted. It didn't occur to us, until Spencer posed the question that someone could use those items to impersonate law enforcement.

There are other details about this crime wave that will probably come out soon enough (from law enforcement and journalists) and the lesson will be we all need to be more vigilant in protecting ourselves from crime.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Rednecks And Riffraff Welcome!

Phew! I'm welcome in Florence,the antiques capital of Colorado. I'll let you guess if I'm riffraff or a redneck or a bizarre combination of each.

Just mosey on down to Florence's Main St. more commonly known as the antiques district and look for the window display at 109 W. Main St.

Now the window is an ode to farming and ranching, the theme of this year's Pioneer Days celebration in September. And also an ode to nearby Penrose and that town's Apple Days in October.

But someone had this riffraff and redneck sign in their booth and I did and evil thing and put it in the window. I mean the sign is for sale for only $10. Who said that Florence only has highly-coveted antiques and collectibles and doesn't have its share of unusual and inexpensive collectibles? Not me. I never said it.

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!

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: THE PLACE TO BE FOR THE 4TH OF JULY!

Florence, Colorado is the place to be for the 4th of July. It's all about red, white and YOU!

Actually Florence is a fun place to be any day of the year, but the town pulls out all the stops to celebrate Independence Day with the Florence 4th of July Festival.

Instead of listing all the fun things to experience, celebrate, see, eat and enjoy--it would be quicker to say there pretty much will be EVERYTHING there to make sure the whole family and friends have a great time.

Florence isn't celebrating on just the 4th. Oh, no! This celebration is so big it has to be packed into four days.

It's worth the drive. If you haven't ever visited Florence, you've been missing a friendly welcome, walkable streets, free parking and the best of small town living.

I know you want to know more, so go to Facebook:

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!