Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Yesterday was a good day. I got money. I spent time with the landlady and Pastor. And I met someone new: Eddie.

Eddie lives in the old Victorian behind us. He has three trucks -- that are out of the garage anyway -- and he is a grizzled fella who always wears faded and worn overalls.

Yesterday he was cutting the grass on his lot when I was backing out of the driveway to go to the movies and see Star Wars. I needed a break. I stopped for a moment as he stood at the whitewashed corral fence that separates his side yard from the alley and introduced myself. He already knew me -- and quite a bit about me.

"I know everything that goes on," he said.

The way his eyes glinted with intelligence and mischief, I had no doubt he was being honest.

He told me he started working as a water meter reader in 1970 and had been in every home within a 30-mile radius not built in the last 11-12 years -- that's when he retired. He knows all the stories and the secrets, not to mention that he knows where all the bodies are buried and which closets have skeletons. He was born and raised just 10 blocks from his house, which he bought about 30 years ago. Eddie is definitely a good source of information if I need to know anything about anyone or the history of the area.

"I remember when [Colorado Springs] was just a cowtown."

I know about cow towns. I was born in Columbus, Ohio, and that's another cowtown -- no matter how many malls and fancy restaurants come and go.

Eddie's front porch is decorated with a trailing string of CDs hanging from the ceiling of the roof. They swing in the winds and cast rainbows everywhere.

"What CDs did you use for your decorations?" I asked him.


I had a feeling.

"I'd go down to the post office, grab a few of them free AOL packets, drill a hot nail thru them and string them together and hang them up," he explained.


"I kept having trouble with birds making nests in the porch light. Someone said as how if I'd hang somethin' shiny they'd stay away. I got me them CDs, hung 'em up and the birds stay away. Works real good." He grinned through the neat silver threads of his mustache and his green eyes glinted. "Probably some other kind of disks up there, but most of 'em's AOL."

The landlady was waiting to back out of the drive and I was blocking the way, so I said goodbye and headed down the alley to 24th.

Slowly but surely I'm getting to know the denizens of my little corner of the Springs. You can tell he knows something from that mischievous glint in his eye. The landlady told me if Eddie likes you you're in. Eddie likes me. I'm in.

So, wth one tree-hating orc wench on the east side, a house full of college age guys and their revolving door girlfriends on the west and Eddie across the alley, I'm beginning to find my footing here -- and it's getting more interesting every day.

Squirrel porn, disappearing woodpeckers,sky diving nuthatches and a Farmer's Market starting this weekend, I really lucked out.

No comments: