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Showing posts with label Florence antiques capital of Colorado. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florence antiques capital of Colorado. Show all posts

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Florence, Colorado:Mountain Of Vintage Linens For $1 Each

I heard a rumor that there is a mountain of vintage linens and intricate crocheted items for sale at The Loralie Antique Mall at 109 W. Main St. in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado. That in itself isn't that remarkable.

What's semi-remarkable is that it's only $1 each.

Embroidered linens too. Just $1 each. Looks like someone was a tad too tired to price each item. Their loss is your bargain gain!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Paint The Town With Plenty Of Air

Most everyone knows about the Florence Arts Council, Paint The Town event.

It's also called the Plein Air Art Festival. And some of the most talented artists roam the streets of Florence and surrounding areas and paint under pressure with plenty of aire, as I like to say.

But what you might not know is that I heard a rumor today from one of the town's painters that he was coming back tomorrow to paint our front window at the antiques mall.

I wondered why. We always try to do an interesting window that either gives people a chuckle or a happy feeling. Why you ask? Because we can. And because we are naughty minxes that like to entertain ourselves.

The artist said he would paint from outside and not sit in the window to paint. Actually I would have enjoyed seeing that. We could act all French (like plein aire) and pretend the artist in the window was like one of those cool animated department store windows I saw when I was in Paris.

I still couldn't figure out why anyone would want to paint our front window. Then I remembered, with horror and shame, that I had slipped a sign in the window that I found in one of our dealer's booths.

Pictured below. Don't hate me. But come on, admit it, you'll want to go to the Bell Tower Cultural Center and see the artist's rendering of this little naughty minx travesty I committed so long ago that I forgot about it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Library Used Book Sale & Craft Fair on Oct. 21

I'm tingling. But I tingle every time I even think about books. Especially endless mounds of used books at bargain prices. If you, too, are a book lover, then you might appreciate the Friends of the John C. Fremont Library used book sale and craft fair happening in Florence on Saturday, Oct. 21

As I always say: You can never be too rich, too kind or have too many books. OK, I've never said that before, but I'm going to start.

Speaking of being too kind--one can drop off used book donations at the library. Or if you have a huge haul of books, one can email, to schedule a pickup.

And in addition to the used book sale, craft vendors will be at the sale. The craft fair is from 9  to 2 and spaces are 10'x10.' No cost for the space, but vendors are asked to donate 25 percent of their gross sales. Contact Ruth at 719-671-2519 to sign up.

All proceeds go to support the library programs and resources.

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.

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.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Our Souls at Night Trailer - Jane Fonda and Robert Redford reunite

The trailer for the Netflix movie, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, is out.

While the trailer doesn't really draw me in, I'm looking forward to the movie since some of the movie was filmed in Florence, Colorado. I got to watch portions of the filming, from afar, and assist some of the crew in making purchases to decorate sets.

Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado, and I happen to work at The Loralie Antique Mall. So, not only will be anticipating the movie in general, but seeing all the antiques, collectibles and decor items that crossed our counters.

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.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Florence, Colorado: My Summer Vacation At Bass Pro Shops

Occasionally I like to go on a vacation and leave the quaint burg of Florence, Colorado. This year, time, so far, hasn't allowed a lengthy trip. So I decided on another fun Colorado day trip.

Too far to drive to the Natural History Museum in Denver? Haven't budgeted for the price of admission? No worries. Here's a cheapo and fun way to get a few hour vacation by trolling Bass Pro Shop in Colorado Springs. It's ALMOST like the Natural History Museum. And I'm pretty sure the security at Bass Pro Shops isn't quite as strict as the security at the Natural History Museum.

Join with me as I take a few hour retail vacation. Or if you're really smart, you'll leave this blog page as fast as humanly possible and get yourself to a real vacation.

Who needs to go on an expensive roller coaster to scream one's kiester off. Cheap thrills are free on my vacation. Unfortunately as I was posing for this picture, one bystander starting laughing so loudly that it almost broke my concentration. But we got the picture right before alarmed parents covered their children's eyeballs and whisked them away.

Now don't try this at home (or in the wild children) but I enjoy comparing my manicure to the bear's. I won.

Since I blew my vacation budget of $33.96 that I pulled out of my couch cushions on gas and some alligator bites at the restaurant at Bass Pro Shops, I decided to give myself a free pedicure in the alligator head at the fishy-themed bowling alley. I tried not to alarm any schoolchildren or nuns with my size nines, but someone passing by did suggest that I wouldn't need a paddle board to get across any water since my feet were paddle board-sized. OK, no one actually said that. Must have been the voices in my head or that snippy alligator.

I wasn't the only one having a good time at Bass Pro Shops. That's Uncle Buck. He has a restaurant at Bass Pro Shops. Quite lovely food there, I must say. I did tell him to put the mermaid down, that it was not his. But he didn't listen. I think he mumbled something about enjoying fresh sea food. But I could have misunderstood.

And that is how you have a fun and cheap day trip vacation in Colorado.

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!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Who The Heck Is Beatrice Bloggaire And Scruffy?

Who the heck is Beatrice Bloggaire and Scruffy?

Beatrice Bloggaire And Her Dog, Scruffy

Beatrice Bloggaire, as the cartoon shows, has grabbed her notebook and pen and is ready to see what she can find in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado. Beatrice is my alter ego. But the name of her/my dog is really, Scruffy. They do say dogs and their owners look alike. Yes, we are both a bit plump and scruffy.

                                                               A Picture Of The Real Scruffy

Someone came up with the brilliant idea of creating alter ego cartoons for this blog. It makes it easier to go about Florence and Fremont County and other parts of southern Colorado and see what is happening in semi-anonymity. 

Now, some people do know who I am. I'm not that good at keeping secrets! But when a blog goes worldwide, one likes to protect one's identity. 

Awhile back I was having a conversation with an artist and business owner in Florence. We were talking about how I could assist the town, free of charge, in promoting all the exciting people and events and things in our fair burg.

I asked the artist, if television or media people came to Florence, who would be the best on-camera spokesperson for the town. I readily admitted it would never be me. I don't do well in front of cameras or on the radio.

The person said they would never do it. My estimation of the person was they would be well-spoken and suited to the task. They explained why they never would. It turned out that the person was chosen as the artist of the month on a well-known worldwide online selling venue--complete with a picture and story.

The artist was in another town and just browsing in a store when a stranger screamed and rushed the artist and said they recognized them from the online site. Just that minor brush with celebrity was enough for that Florence artist to keep a low profile.

Plus, when people know who you are--the focus often moves from the art, antiques, culture or town you are attempting to focus on.

Some of us thrive on being known. And that's fine. And some of us thrive on having only our work known. And that's fine. And some of us thrive on having the work of others or of a town known. And that's fine. I'm in the latter category. I want to stories of the people and things in Florence, and the stories of people who visit Florence, in the spotlight--not me.

So, Beatrice Bloggaire, happily stepped up to the task and will do it. Nice thing about Beatrice, no one will ever recognize her in a store and rush her! And Scruffy is often wearing his Halloween devil outfit and is incognito anyway.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Florence, Colorado: I'm Hoping The AMERICAN PICKERS Come To Florence

I'm just going to come out and say it: I hope the American Pickers come to Florence.

After all, we are the antiques capital of Colorado. And the American Pickers TV show is set to film in Colorado throughout July.


I was lurking (oops, I mean working) around ye olde antiques mall recently and heard a phone message left by the casting director for the popular History Channel TV show. So, naturally I thought we (oops, I mean me) should see what we can do about this.

                               Mike, Danielle and Frank from The American Pickers TV show

No, I didn't lift this picture from the internet. I actually got it from the casting folks.

I mean who wouldn't want these guys to show up? Can't you even see Danielle coming along and hanging out at the Pour House (the beacon of hippery) and comparing tats?

For gosh sakes, Florence is the FUNkytown of Fremont County and these folks are as FUNky as they get.

And they love to preserve history. And that is what Florence is all about.

Plus, rumor has it when folks (celebs and non-celebs alike) come to Florence we often treat them to breakfast, lunch and/or dinner and give them jars of free Florence-produced honey. Actually that's not a rumor, it happened and you'll have to read other blog posts to find out.

I mean, come on, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford were pretty darn happy with the welcome mat Florence unfurled.

OK, I decided to see what "leads" I could dig up for these fine folks at American Pickers. I asked a dealer who has booth space where I work and also owns an antiques shop in Canon City if he'd let the pickers in. "Nope! They can't come in my garage," he replied," But I did hear Mike and Frank were in Westcliffe the other day eating pizza."

Remember, the title of this blog is, True Story Club, and I only occasionally wax poetic, but don't make things up.

On to the next. I ask another acquaintance who is liquidating some antiques. That person thought their stuff wouldn't be good enough. And also wasn't thrilled with being on camera. That part I understand. I'd freeze with an idiotic expression on my face if a camera was pointed at me. Wait, that really happened one day when I was leaving my house and Channel 13 (in Colorado Springs) happened to be on the sidewalk and asked me what I thought about fraud and scams. "Well," I choked," I'm against fraud and scams..." When I saw myself on TV, I looked like I was sucking on a sour pickle, but in real life I look like I'm perpetually sucking on a sweet Popsicle. Or so I've been told.

I might freeze when TV cameras get near me, but I am determined to sneak around Florence and attempt to get other people to do it. And then write about it.

Next I attempted to get permission for the American Pickers to penetrate the infamous HOBO JUNGLE. Yes, that really is the nickname given by the owners. Still working on that one.

But the glitch besides people being hesitant before cameras, is people often thinking their stuff isn't good enough. It reminds me of my mother cleaning our motel room BEFORE the motel maid showed up so the maid wouldn't think we were slobs.

Well, then someone else uncovered a lead for me. It seems someone has many of the original movie props from the Gene Wilder version of the movie, Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. I made a phone call and it turns out that many of those movie props are indeed in Florence and the owner does want those items to see the light of day so others can enjoy them and while a sale is still unsure, agreed to let me give the contact information to the American Pickers.

But let's see what other leads we can come up with for Florence. Not only would it be fun to see the crew of The American Pickers, it would be fun to see Florence and all its treasures (people and items) get some exposure.

Tune in to future blog posts to see how you can submit a lead to American Pickers.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Florence,Colorado: 50 Shades Of Grey Or 50 Shades Of Orange?

Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado. But the question is: Do we do 50 Shades Of Grey or 50 Shades Of Orange more?

I'll end the suspense quickly, because that's just the kind of person I am.

If you want to know more about this ORANGE madness, just walk by The Loralie Antique Mall at 109 W. Main St.

So far I've seen people walking by shell shocked. I've seen people whip out their phone cameras and snap pictures. And I've heard people say this window surely is about the Broncos.

My, my, my! I won't tell all. But it's about whatever you want it to be!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


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

Florence, Colorado: ORANGE Is The New Black & The New FUN In Antiques and Collectibles

In Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, we like to have a little fun with antiques and collectibles.

Occasionally I like to get all Burma Shave sign-happy with the window display at The Loralie Antique Mall at 109 W. Main St.

Now I usually do this when no one is looking. Then I enjoy the slightly befuddled looks on folks faces when they walk by.

Come on, wouldn't you do the same thing?

One person did groan over the sign pictured above. I looked angelic as I said," Too corny?"

"The cornier the better. YOU KNOW THAT!" the person replied.

OK, let's take a peek at the window now. There must be a few orange things in this window display to elicit such ORANGE corniness.

Where else can you find a troll doll in a poodle skirt with ORANGE hair along with an ORANGE tobacco tin? Nowhere I say!

ORANGE bingo cards? Sure, they will go perfect when you go to the Elks Lodge to play bingo and match your troll doll's hair. Yes. Yes. Yes. Everyone should bring their troll doll to a bingo game for good luck.

Now you know WHY the answer to, "ORANGE You Glad You're In Florence The Antiques Capital of Colorado", is a resounding YES!

This lady has absolutely NOTHING to do with antiques, window displays or Florence. But she has ORANGE hair and that's good enough for me.

Bet you didn't know ORANGE is the new antique. It's probably not, but it's my blog and I can write whatever I want.

Oh, my. ORANGE is beautiful. Someone passing by the window said they thought I had actual food or jello in the bowls. Well, I could have done that. But I would have ended up eating it and endlessly making new ORANGE jello to replace it.

ORANGE? We have just about anything you could imagine in ORANGE. See that ORANGE potholder? It's from Loralie Designs. You can purchase ready-made items, or purchase the fabric to make your own. ORANGE Tupperware, Pyrex? No problem.

Yes, we actually have an ORANGE radio!

Now, I challenge you: Just try to find this ORANGE doll in Wal-Mart or anywhere else.

And now we know WHY we ask: ORANGE You Glad You Found Yourself In Florence?

Of course you are!

#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 ?


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:

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.

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:

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?