top of page
SOPRIS REMEMBRANCE NEWSLETTER
produced by LoRetta Archuleta for the
Sopris Reunion July 2, 2000
SOPRIS REMEMBRANCE NEWSLETTER
Dedicated to all the people who attended church and school, worked, walked, ran, played, danced, fished, lived, loved and were buried here...a place of bittersweet memories.
Sunday, July 2, 2000 Volume I - 2000
"you can take the people out of Sopris but you can't take Sopris out of the people. "
"Be sure and have a dance so when you are old like me you can come back with a fishing pole and say, ''Down there is where I had a dance."
The memories are dedicated to all our children, grandchildren and families in the hope that our cultures, traditions, love, stories will be rememberedand carried forth for future generations to cherish and honor.
Gloria Skufca Maupin, MD
Sopris has many fond memories for me. We were poor in money, but rich in families, love and friends. We had no parks; no swimming pools, no tennis courts and no golf course, but we had much, much more. Our parents were all very hard working people who were determined to give us what they didn't have. They taught us love of God, love of country, honesty, compassion and the importance of education, If we didn't have a lot of material things, there was never any doubt that we had their love. We never lacked things to do. We could play all day with tin cans pounded on our shoes, old tires to roll around, wooded stilts to walk on, go wading in the river, slide down the flag poles jump rope, slide down waxed cellar doors, or play ball. If the weather was bad, we could play cards (Old Maid), fiddlesticks, jacks, color or cut out paper dolls. Nobody had to entertain us or plan our entertainment. We used our imagination and whatever was on hand. We could play anywhere and be safe. Everyone looked out for us, so much so, that it was extremely difficult for any of us to get into any serious trouble. Nobody locked their doors, All this, in a town that had more saloons than schools, churches, or grocery stores.
Sopris could be used as a model to prove to politicians that poverty is not the source of crime. All the kids in Sopris turned out very well, if I have to say myself I might add, with the kind of parents we had, we would have done well if we lived in the African jungles, yet the camaraderie and spirit in Sopris helped. It was a real blessing to grow up in such a place with such good people.
LoRetta Archuleta (DeAngelis and Archuleta Families)
Sopris was home with wonderful and fond memories.. Saturdays we cleaned house, baked cakes and cookies, walked to confession (whether we needed to or not) in our big hair rollers or we dressed up and went to town. Many Saturday Nites we danced to Buddy Johnson or the "MGM's (Martinez, Martorano & Garcia). Sundays were special days in that "we dressed up" in our best (Hats, heels, gloves) to attend church. We had Sunday dinner at Grandmas .... spaghetti, meatballs, vino and salada. Sunday was "Family Day" for every one. I loved helping Grandma Emma Archuleta get the church ready for Sunday Mass. We would pick fresh flowers. The arrangements were made of sweetpeas, roses, carnations, and dahlias, snapdragons and baby's breath. The ladies in the Altar Society cleaned the church and rotated washing & ironing the church linens. I remember as a child I was afraid of the humming birds in Nona Denngelis' garden. She taught me how wonderful they were. Nona DeAngelis always had a wild canary in her kitchen that would sing every morning. I don't know what was more wonderful .... Hearing the rooster's crow, the train whistle, the many gongs of grandpa's clocks or the canaries .... sounds of the days gone by. What is still amazing to me is that Nona caught the wild canaries and tamed them for her own. She always said the "Males" were great singers. So much for the Sopris Choir!
My Nona (DeAngelis) was ahead or her time ..... you see she was a "Vegetarian." Her lunches ... watermelon or cantaloupe with a slice of homemade bread, cheese and greens.
As a child I had fond memories of fresh outside-oven baked bread, Mrs. Faoro's "Peanut Butter Cookies" at school, Mrs. Zancanaro's "Chocolate Cakes, " Grandma Furia's "Vegetable Soup" and Carrie Terry's "Chili Sauce, Bobbie Butero's-Sweet Rolls, and Minnie Sebben's Chocolate Cookies and Theresa Menapace's Angel Food Cakes." You always knew when it was "canning and wine-making season." Holidays bring back the sweet smells of Mom's honey-covered scalidi rosettes, Easter Bread, and Jennie Incitti's Wine Cookies. What wonderful memories .... what sweet times.
Chuck Barela, Class of "59"
After graduation I went to Denver and still live there. I met my wife Beverly (A Lakewood Girl) and have been married 37 years. We have two sons, a daughter-in law and two grandchildren, one boy and one girl. I was a Denver Fireman and worked for the Fire Department for 30 years. Currently, I've been retired for three years. All is well. The Dear Lord has certainly taken care' of me and my family .... Chuck Barela Family
It was 1965 and I was working at Joe De's Texaco station in Trinidad one night after work when Don DeAngelis, Sam Terry, Jasper Butero, Tony Maccagnan and myself had a bit too much to drink. We shaved ourselves bald that night at the station. The clippers were not very good and we had patches of hair sticking out all over our heads. We had to attend church the next morning at St. Thomas. What a sight we were! We looked like something out of the "Three Stooges. " Our parents were all upset with us. "
The family of John Kancilia, John and Marion and children, Robert(Bob) and Louise (Sis) would want me to extend best wishes to all Sopris residents. If only all of the people (If Sopris could be together at the reunion event that would be a wonderful, joyous occasion. Congratulations and fond memories on the reunion!
Did you know that Frank Machone won Josie's heart wearing a Red Taffeta Shirt?
Do you remember seeing Mary Thompson and Carmella Bonato on their nightly walks? ... Girls were walkers ..... there were many who walked each day.... to see their friends and neighbors.
Do you remember the "Baloney Spread Sandwiches" at Kate's for refreshments at Dances and parties? (They were so good!)
Do you remember the Bridal Showers on Sunday Afternoons at the School cafeteria and at Kate's Hall?
Do you remember playing BINGO for fund raising? What about all the Bake Sales?
Weddings were all day affairs ... with big dinners at the school!
And dances in the evening .....
Funerals were times for neighbors to give their support. Food, love and comfort was abundant. In the old days there was a family wake and rosary on one night and then the funeral the following day. As a little girl I did not like the Big Black Hearses coming into town. I would always close my eyes.
Birthdays Anniversaries Births were all celebrated with style. These were community affairs.
There were many tragedies and families all pulled together to support each, other during difficult times. There was always food and a shoulder to lean on..... we helped and supported each other .... We all learned compassion, love and caring for each other's families. Do you remember the Out Houses? Some were fancy .... some even had three holes. Most had two - one for Pappa & Mamma and the children? What was the other one for? Did you take your friends to the bathroom? Do you remember the catalogs in the Outhouses???? Colored papers were not as soft as the directory pages. Some of the owners cut the paper in little squares and placed them in little boxes for this purpose .Who got the first television?*(1) Who got the First Colored TV?*(2) Do you remember the TV Station on the Hill and the antennas?
*(1) Angelo Brunelli bought a Zenith, 19", B/W in 1952 His very poor and snowy reception was from KCSJ in Pueblo. Occasionally he would pick up "Skip" from as far away as Chicago. The picture was crystal clear but might only last for an hour or so.
*(2)Almost to the day, Angelo Brunelli & Sal Martorano bought RCA 21" Color Sets from Hadad's in Trinidad in 1954
Gossip and more Gossip
I never did this!!!!
Not me, how about you????
Did you know that so and so ....
Do you remember cleaning the cesspools in the summer? Ugh ... this was
not fun .... ask the Potty gleaners?
Who had the yard that had no weeds, beautiful flowers and gardens?
Honorable and mentioned were: Faoro's, Mrs. Kamora, Mr. Passero,
Mr. Incitti, Danny Archuleta, Gerald Sebben, Mary Brunelli and Aunt Mary
Masingale, Mrs. Pena Cunico, Mrs. Zancanero, Erma Stadjuhar,
Mrs.Barney Falagrady, Fidel & Ida Martinez, Rose & JoeMartorano, Morgans, Lena & Pete Ferri, Mrs. Laminger, Mrs.Terry, Chip & Laura DeAngelis, The Regusas
Who cooked fresh bread outside in the oven Jennie Incitti, Mrs.Andrea DeAngelis? Any others?
Whose houses were the cleanest? Momma used to say ... "If your mopwater is dirty ... you are not clean." Many of the homes were spanking clean and women took great pride in the cleanliness of their homes! The washes were white Monday was wash day. For most, we didn't have automatic washers 'til the mid 60's 70's and 80's.The washers had wringers (Maytag) .... there were two tubs of water ...One with clean water and the other with bluing .... the clothes needed to be put through the wringer two times loaded in bushel baskets and hung outside ....Oh the freshness of the clothes when dried outside. In winter, the sheets would freeze... We all had lines in the houses for drying. Do you have any old clothes pins??? (Oh and by the way .... we all hung our undies on the inside lines.) Do you remember having to use big poles to keep the clothes from dragging on the ground.In the early .... early days ....clothes had to be boiled in pots on the coal stoves. Also, clothes needed to be starched .....and sprinkled with water before ironing. Some ladies ironed their pillowcases, tea towels, etc. Now who would do that????? We have it so easy, don't we?" Do you remember seeing curtains stretched on an old curtain stretcher? Doilies were heavily starched and placed on boards with pins to dry. Mrs. Passero, Mrs. Terry, Mrs. Machone, Mrs.DeAngelis, Mrs. Incitti, Mrs. Ferroglio., Mrs. Furia, Mrs. Cunico, Mrs.Lovato, Mrs. Erminio Lovato (Isabel & Virginia), Teresa Brunelli, Mrs.Zanotelli, Vitalina Coszalter and Coszalter ladies, Mrs. Fantin, and "Tia" Delfina DeAngelis, Mrs. Cuccia, the Blasi ladies, and many, many more ladies did needle work. Their crafts were unbelievable .... beautiful lacy scarfs, table cloths. Today, a lost art and craft. Bedspreads, quilts and blankets were also made.. What creative and artistic women? Who has learned their grandmothers and mom's crafts? Has this tradition passed on? Many of the ladies crocheted and embroidered the Church Linens. The ladies in the Altar Society rotated washing and starching the linens.
The coal stoves .... Remember them? They were big ...some black,white, cream with salmon color, green etc. There was great pride in keeping the top of the stove shiny. They used to use a soft black emery cloth ...to shine the stove (generally after Sunday dinner). Some stoves had warming ovens to keep bread and tortillas warm. Some stoves had wells for warm water. I remember many of the boys used to fill the coal buckets and take out the ashes. Wood was stored in a wood box. The boys usually chopped wood in the summer for the winter. There is nothing better than getting up in the early morning to smell the stove warming and coffee perking. Some homes had Stove Warmers in their front rooms.. Generally these got very hot. I remember smelling the warmth of the coal. One time I got too close to the stove and burned a new coat .....,.Nothing was better than smelling bread, cookies, tortillas, beans, spaghetti sauce, soup, chili and chili sauce cooking. We could always tell when someone was cooking cabbage.
Do you remember going into houses with newspapers on the floor and plastics on the couch? Sometimes the plastics were removed when company was coming.
Any deer/pheasant/rabbit and bear hunting stories? All the men wore Red shirts.
Do you remember Mr. & Mrs. Thompson sitting on their porch smoking corncob pipes?
The wonderful smells of polenta and rabbit, brown-mushroom gravy? Do you remember Tommy Aragon working on our yards, chopping wood and keeping our yards clean?
We had alternative medicine and ventossas were given by several women for lower back pain. Then there were the home remedies ..... castor oil, mineral oil, magnesia, mud poultices, or milk poultices, etc. We all had our immunizations and vaccinations from the county public health nurse ....Do you remember their Navy blue dress/uniforms and thick black shoes.
Do you remember wearing cotton stockings? (Ladies) Oh, and the boys who wore white socks all the time with their white-buck suede shoes ..... wearing jingle bells on saddle oxfords? Did you wear black patent in the summer? Remember the guys with pomade on their neatly cut, hair? And the ducktails??? Remember the black leather jackets the guys sported!!! Remember when the guys all wore neckties with their "T" Shirts and rolled up cigarettes in their sleeves????? Remember wearing "Hot Pants?"
Did you have green chili soup or calitto????? Delicious ..... What about mozza??? (Creamed cornmeal with bacon strips?)
I am sending some fond memories about Sopris. My Father, Charles Langowski worked at the mine in Sopris and several of the mines that were owned by the CF&1. We lived in Segundo until 1937, then moved to Sopris and I started High School as a freshman. The thing that I remember about Sopris was that almost all males had a "Nickname." Some that I remember ... Chalkie, (My Dad), Trapper, (Ernest Falagrady), Coyote Vecellio, Grandma Vecellio, Rugs (DeAngelis), Curley (Ernest Passero) Popeye (Joe Furia), Pasta (Bob Menapace), Binda (Louis Cunico). There were many more .... but I have been gone from Sopris since 1951 and its too bad that the Corps of Engineers had to build the Dam to flood Sopris but I feel it could have been built west of Sopris and we would still have Sopris instead of a big flood control dam. Remember Spooks Pool Hall? and Lewis Rocco.
The Martinez Family .....Lillian recently widowed, lives in Pueblo. She enjoys being the grandparent of seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Jim ( Rio) Martinez and wife Nancy make their home on 100 plus acres in Colorado Canyon. Their daughter Mimi, is married with two children and lives in Austin Texas. They lost their son, Rio, in a tragic accident in 1997. Jim and Nancy own and operate "Rio Enterprises" a construction firm.
Patti Martinez (Bright) retired to Colorado Springs in 1995. After graduating from Arizona State University, Patti worked as a Sr. Investigator for the D.A.'s office in Fresno Ca. She owned and operated four candy and gift shops in the Chicago area. She and her husband (Bill), recently deceased, enjoyed adventure travel and high altitude trekking all over the world. A special highlight was summitting Mt. Kilimanjaro, with her son on her 40th birthday. She will trek to Peru and Bolivia this summer in memory of her other husband. Patti's children reside in Iowa .. He daughter, Kelly, is a Spanish professor and is expecting her second child in November. Patti is a 2d-degree black-belt in TAEKWONDO.
Michael Martinez and wife, Cecilia; formerly of Starkville, reside in Woodland Park. Michael owns and operates "Rio Construction." They have one son, Jeremiah, who lives and works in Colorado Springs. Shirley (Martinez) Hurtado and husband, Ray (of Cokedale) reside in Colorado Springs. She is CFO for Analytical Systems, Inc. They are co-founders of Vista Bank in Colorado Springs and sit on the Board. Ray and Shirley have two children and one grandchild. Their son, Tim, is a graduate of Colorado College living in Seattle and practicing emergency medicine.
His wife, Hillary, is a D.O and practices medicine also. Ryan will be a senior at Ft. Collins. Karol Jo (Martinez) Heady lives with her husband, Mark and daughter, Keva in Pueblo, Karol owns and operates "Re-Tire" anew and used tire business in the city center. Mark owns and operates ''J &M Welding. Keva is a high school sophomore.
I remember basketball games in the new gym across the street from my Grandpa Incitti's house. Games would always be played on Tuesday and Friday, and Saturday nights. After the game the coaches, referees, whom they argued with one hour before and friends of the family would gather at my grandpa's for wine. This was only the beginning of their evening, as they headed for the Big Six Tavern for a Beer. What a great combination! !!! I vividly remember the Sopris/Primero game in 1956 when they had to put chairs on the stage, because of the packed house. The rivalry was incredible. It was worse than Broncos/Raiders. The Primero Bus parked in front of my Grandpa's house. Some of the Sopris fans filled with bus up with hay from Rocco DeAngelis' barn across the street. (Now who would do a thing like that?).
My other fond memory was of my Aunt Catherine Piedmont Tavern and how on Friday nights the men would gather to play "Goony Rummy" and the Redmen and Pocahontas meetings. Also, there were Saturday night dances with my Mom's band the "Stardusters". My father, Binda, was the bouncer.
No one ever messed with him. And then on Sunday after church the men would gather for a "few" beers and they all left at "Noon." (If they didn't they were in trouble with their wives ....Pasta was served at 12 Noon). They would return back at 2:00 PM and start another round of Rummy.
Great Memories. I hope that finds all of you I good health and spirits
"It's a Small World" By Paul J. Fantin
Following are a few incidents that support the title of this article. 4 few years ago, a good friend of mine here in Seattle called me to say, "Paul, I am bringing a friend of mine to our Thursday Retiree's luncheon who knows a lot about Sopris, Colorado." I eagerly awaited the meeting of David Benedetti, a retired University of New Mexico Psychology teacher (a PHD) who is a third cousin of the "Sopris Benedetti clan." He probably taught Bob (Doc) Leonetti who graduated from Sopris High, was a student of Anthony Faoro. Bob Leonetti graduated from the University of New Mexico with a PHD in psychology and he now teaches at TSJC. David has lived in the Seattle area since he retired.
While working at the Boeing Company, I met a fellow engineer, a super practical joker named, Al Allott, who grew up in Pueblo Colorado. His uncle was Colorado's U.S. Senator Allott. Al attended Pueblo Junior College and graduated from the University of New Mexico. He dated my first cousin, Carolyn Costa whose father was John Costa (My uncle who passed away in 1999 was 95). He was the youngest son of Sopris resident, Paulo Costa, my grandfather.
During World War II, I was stationed in Chabua, India in the province of Assam, which is about 12,000 miles from Sopris, Colorado. The province contained many U.S. Air Corp bases whose cargo airplanes carrying supplies over the Himalaya Mountains ("the hump") to support the Chinese in their war against the Japanese invaders. During 1945, I was pleasantly surprised to have a Sopris visitor, namely Captain Wayne Savio.
The book, "The American Black Widow" was written by a man who lives In Olalla, Washington, about 30 miles from my home. His name is Gregg Olsen ..: ... "It is a small world. " (!)
Does anyone remember dancing with Mr. McGinn to: "It's a Small World?"
The Buccola Sisters
As in the past, all four of us "Buccola Sisters" plan to enjoy the 2000 Sopris Celebration! Our parents, Jim, and Rose, were long time area residents. Our father came from Italy (as a toddler in the mid 1890's. He I first lived in the EI Moro area where his family farmed. As the oldest of eight children he worked with his father in the Morley Mine to supplement I the family income. When he retired at age 65, he had spent half a century toiling for the CF&I Company, mainly at the Frederick and Valdez Mines.
Our maternal grandfather, Saverio Colletti, had a general merchandise store in Sopris. It was directly across the street from the Lincoln Schools.
Our mother, (born in Sopris), graduated in 1918; her diploma reads: Junior High School of Sopris Colorado". At that time the curriculum included only 10 grades. Her sisters were Mary Terry and Anna Dintleman. As our cousins married, the Sebbens, Buteros and Passeros became our extended family. Our parents were married April 20, 1924 at Mt. Carmel Church.
I view my childhood as idyllic. Yes, there were miners' strikes and fear when miners returned early from work. Somehow living in Sopris (St. Thomas, Jerryville or Piedmont, too) surrounded us with friendship and love, faith and loyalty. Note that two names on our 2000 invitation are the same Mary Jane and LoRetta who ably assisted the 1970 Farewell to Sopris!
Memories are as a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds:
.:. Fisher's Peak saying "Welcome Back" with loving, majestic arms;
.:. Our St. Thomas Church with its simple message of love; ,
.:. My classroom in 1945-46 where 1 taught 35 angelic first and second graders;
.:. The sounds of "Run, Sheep, Run" on a moonlit summer evening;
.:. Dancing feet at the Piedmont Tavern
.:. Bocci balls at the taverns;
.:.Exchange of greetings at the grocery stores-be it Salvatore's, Sebbens, Cunicos. Or Brunelli's
.:. Roller skates whirring at the Club House;
.:. Hop Scotch and Jacks played on the school sidewalk;
No one will ever know!" All will be well, Well..... after a week or two the branch began to die Dad went out to check on the tree and guess what he noticed. The branch had been nailed, taped with his electrical tape and camoflauged with mud ... .I still remember the evening meal ... Dad asking the question Who broke the cherry tree branch? ~ ~ ~ ~ I still wonder who was the creative one behind this solution! !!!
What were all those silver cans for? It couldn't be the utensils for chewing tobacco could it? You would see them perched in various parts of the homes as well as public places ..... How many of you chewed tobacco? At what age did you start? Who gave you your first plug of chew? Who wanted to kiss these guys anyway?????
It must have been an early spring weekend night when Jasper Butero, Butch Vecellio and I decided to create a flying saucer on top of LHS. We used red and yellow railroad flares, construction tie wire, gas soaked rags and firecrackers.
It seems as if the main topic of that time in history was "Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's)." The talk about UFO's was in classrooms, at the local school hangouts, and people in the bard were talking about UFO's and quite often articles appeared in the newspapers and television.
After the idea was formulated, we started looking for material. We found most of the stuff in my dad's garage. Just after dark, we began our climb up the west side of LHS. We climbed the fence line that ran by Mr. Coszalter's sheds. Once we made it to the top and a little behind the tree, we began the construction of the "LHS UFO". First we tied flares to the ends of about fifteen foot long pieces of tie wire. The gas soaked rags were tied to rocks. The firecrackers were laid out ready for igniting.
We started the UFO by lighting the flares and swinging them in a big circle above our heads. Each one of us had one red and one yellow fuse apiece.Then one of us started the rags on fire and threw them in the air while setting off the firecrackers. It was very noisy, lots of smoke and small grass fires. As the flares burned past the wire, they took off in different directions, starting more grass fires. As the last fuse burned out we began to put out the grass fires with our shoes. As we did this, we could see traffic stopped on Highway 12 , porch lights all over Sopris began to come on. After the last grass fire was put out, Butch, Jasper and I began our climb down the hill by way of Monkey Peak. We came out by the old trash dumps at the mouth of Longs Canyon. We did not want to be greeted by anybody at the bottom of LHS. As we walked down the middle of the street towards the school, we could hear people talking and laughing about the UFO on top of LHS. The guys that hung out at the "Big Six" and Angelo's
("The Frontier Tavern") all were talking about how they had their guns out and ready to take on any Uf'O encounters. The very next day an article in the Chronicle News stated UFO's were sighted above Sopris.The making of the UFO's was a lot of fun and one of the best prank memories of Sopris.
It ranks with pulling the ball from Mr. Laminger's yard as he tried to pick it up. Remember, if a ball landed in his yard, he kept it. He must have had a couple of barrels full of balls. But not this ball, the string tied to the ball and my jerking of the ball led to a foot race around Sopris. Bless Fred's soul, he never did catch me but he did tell my parents about it. They had a good laugh. My dad had the barrels of wine from which he supplied many hangovers. Sebben's old Dodge delivery wagon was the main target of horn honking. The old trash dump between Sopris and St. Thomas was always a good place to start a fire, find junk to create a road block and much more.The most important memory of Sopris is the education I received from Mr. and Mrs. McGinn. In my opinion, they had a positive impact on all who went through the Sopris school. The education was not only about the classroom, but about life in general.
The Angelo (Chip) DeAngelis Family
Angelo was born to Rocco and Domenica DeAngelis in 1919 in Detroit, Michigan. He and his family moved back to Sopris, Colorado when he was three years old. He attended Sopris School whre he met Laura Maccagnan, daughter of Catherine and Tony Maccagnan. Chip and Laura were married in 1941 at Holy trinity Church and lived in Sopris. Chip was working at the Valdez Mine when he was called to serve his country in the U.S. Army in 1942. He served in Germany and Italy as an infantryman during World War Ii and for his remaining tour, he served in the states as a military policeman.
While Chip was in the U.S. army, he and Laura had a son named Joe in 1944. Chip returned from serving his tour in 1944 and resumed working at the Valdez Mine until it closed in 1961. During this time, Chip and his father Rocco, and older brother, Louis, started a family bar business known as "The Big Six." The tavern stayed open until 1968 when most of the other businesses and homes were vacated. During those years, Chip and Laura had two more children, Don (1948) and Kathy (1952).
In 1961 Laura went to work for the Profit Corp at Trinidad State Jr. College and worked there for the next fifteen years. In the meantime, Chip got back into the mining industry in 1964 at the Allen Mine and worked there until he retired in 1981. Altogether, Chip spent 42 years working for the CF& I Corporation. Since their retirement, Chip and Laura have spent their time enjoying their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The DeAngelis Family Tree
Rocco & Domenica DeAngelis Tony & Catherine Maccagnan
Joseph Louis Angelo Rose John Laura Joe
Angelo, & Laura DeAngelis
/ / /
Joe Don Kathy
/ / /
Joe & Gerri (Micheliza) Don and Lynda (Long) Kathy and Dan Nuschy
/ / / / / /
Cheryl Joe Gina Don Dan Kristy
/ / /
Cheryl & Kevin Joe & Toni Gina & Aron Dan & Cheryl
DeCristino DeAngelis Burton Nuschy
Alberta Macchietto Smith
THE MACCHIETTO FAMILY .... ALBERT AND ANNA,
BY ALBERTA MACCHIETTO SMITH
Our parents, Albert and Ann Macchietto were both born and raised in Sopris. Albert born to Lois and Battistina Macchietto on 3/16/07 and Anna, 3/31/11, to Charles and Josephine Martorano. They were married in Sopris and had three chldren ... Louis, Alberta and Charles .... all born and raised in Sopris. Our home was a big, two-story peach stucco house at the bottom of the hill in St. Thomas. It was built by Dad's father, his brother, and my Dad. At one time, his parents, siblings and he all lived together. When Dad married, his mom, who was now widowed moved with her daughter, Helen. Our house was next door to the Silver Dollar Tavern, owned by Victor and Lena Dona. It was also the home of one of the three "Bocce Alleys" which bordered our house. Many "Bocce" games were played there over the years We have so many fun memories of the "Bocce" games especially since the losers had to buy beer for the winners and, of course, if we stuck around we got candy and pop. The "Good ole Days" where we could go to the door of any bar and get candy, pop, and one or two scoops of ice cream for 5 or 10 cents.
Dad worked in the Valdez Mine from the time he was 14 years old until the mine closed. He then went to the Allen Mine for a short time but was not happy there so he retired. At that time, he became self-employed as a building contractor doing remodeling and carpenter work. He had always been multi-talented, able to do everything from carpentry, plumbing, electrical and anything else it took to keep a home running well. It was no wonder that he was able to make a decent living at the trade. As with most of the miners he was afraid to leave the mines for fear that he would not be able to make it financially. Fortunately, he found a much healthier, happy life after the coal mines.
Mom stayed home while we were in school keeping us clean and well-fed. She was and outstanding cook and housekeeper. We all have wonderful memories of fresh baked bread every Monday which meant fried bread dough for breakfast and fresh bread when we got home from school; cinnamon rolls on demand, all sorts of wonderful desserts, and of course, Italian cookies of all kinds for every holiday, wedding, and other special occasions. "Company" joining us on most Sunday meals and holidays was the rule rather than the exception. People dropped in and out to visit at the time and mom and dad brought out the food and the coffee pot. No one left our house without eating something and having a cup of coffee. Louis and I attended Lincoln High School. Chuck finished out at Trinidad High School. Some people felt it was a disadvantage to attend a school that housed all twelve grades in one school house, but I found out as I attended college that the education we received from first grade and on up served me well throughout all my college years. It was a struggle to get a class size of more than 10. And who could do better than Mrs. McGinn teaching English? I could conjugate verbs and outline better than anyone in college. Chuck was lucky enough to have her at Trinidad High too. He didn't think so at the time. He and I wrote a paper for one of his college English assignments and it was so good he got an "F" because they thought it was plagiarized. Too bad, they couldn't prove it so he ended up with an "A." Louis served in the Army in Korea for 2 years then settled in Trinidad working for Safeway. At his retirement, he was Assistant Manager, He's now in Farmington, New Mexico with his wife, Betty. They have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. They all live in Farmington. Chuck completed his Masters in Social work and settled in Pueblo at the Department of Social Services. He retired from there after 29 years as 'Deputy Director and went to Walsenburg as Director of Social Services there. He is married and has 2 sons and one grandchild. I completed Nurses school in Pueblo and settled there, working as a nurse in various capacities in the hospitals. I eventually received a Masters of Education from CSU and spent the last 20 years teaching in Health Programs at the Community College. I am now re-married, have 4 children and 6 grand children. Some of the many things I missed when I moved to Pueblo was the availability of friends and family who were always there to lend a helping hand, especially for babysitting, fixing whatever broke, or borrowing an egg or a loaf of bread. All the things we took for granted we now paid services.
Just knowing and trusting neighbors and the genuine feeling of caring and understanding is a commodity that was unequaled in Sopris people. I could go on and on with all the wonderful memories from Brunelli's grocery where I worked over a few summers, St. Thomas Church, where we really had a community of caring, "Spooks" pool Hal, Brunelli's Frontier Tavern, and the hills we climbed and did our dreaming as we looked over Sopris, to lesser fun memories of rattlesnakes visiting our yard every year. It was truly a wonderful way to grow up.
*What about your first Bike Ride?
*Whose Lettermen's Jacket or Class Ring did you wear?
*Do you remember when the "Boys" would come to town to spend summers with their grandparents?
*Whose Pink Thunderbird parked in the alley at Faoro's?
*Do you remember shivelrying Newly weds with pots & pans!!!
*Do you remember having used your nickels & dimes to pay for broken windows at school? Or Mrs. Furia's?
*Do you remember coming home for lunch?
*Remember Mrs. Skidmore smoking at Mrs. Furia's during Lunch!
*Do you remember the Milk Breaks?
*Do you remember the High School yells!
*Do you remember ... the announcements? ..."Come to Mr. McGinn's Office!"The School & Recess Bells?
*Do you remember the lunch room? Embarrassed asking for the Bathroom Passes?
*Do you remember square dancing and dancing lessons ?
Snake Dances through Rooms after a School Victory ........... throwing rocks?
*Did you play cowboys and indians and army? & building barricades in back of Butero's & Sebbens!
*Do you remember playing with doll houses? and paper dolls?... playing in the dirt, making mud cakes?
*Did you ever gather eggs?
*Did you ever get pecked by the "MEAN OLD Rooster?
The "EXTRA" SOPRIS NEWSLETTER
******Story of Rudy and Blanche (Garcia) Santistevan Family .....
My father's family moved to Sopris in 1941 from Tercio. My mother's family moved in 1932 from Long's Canyon. My parents met before World War II and were married on December 10th, 1945, after my dad was discharged. They moved to Sopris Plaza (LaVeces) where my Dad worked in the CF&1Coal Mines. My mother was a dedicated
housewife. From their marriage came four (4) children. They are Larry, Dennis, Sylvia and Doris. My parents owned 125 acres of property and cattle. We lived in Sopris until 1968 when we were bought out by the Corps of Engineers. The memories of Sopris will always be cherished by our family. By Sylvia Santistevan 6412 Utica Street, Arvada, CO 80003.
WHO WAS THE SOPRIS FAMILY? ....Well Christine Adams from Sante Fe, New Mexico will be joining us. She states that she will be bringing photos of the family. She has wonderful photos, of Mary Louise (St. Vrain) Sopris and one of her, her daughter Cora and Cora's son Albert. She also has photos of William Robert Sopris and two
pictures of Royal Red. She does not have any photos of William Bransford or E.B. Sopris. She is hoping to find one of Sopris when she comes to the reunion. She is hoping to find her relatives the Bransfords. Christine Adams states this is how she is related:
Christine states that Royal Red is my gr-gr-gr-Grandnrother; and her daughter, Mary Louise is my gr-gr-Aunt. Mary Louise's children are somehow cousins, (I've never been very good at the cousin thing!) My mother specifically remembers coming to Trinidad as a child in order to visit Hazel St, Vrain (born 1914) and her family. My mother called Hazel's father "Uncle Charlie" (he was in fact her gr-uncle). I am
really looking forward to coming to the Reunion.
THANK TO ALL WHO MADE this BEAUTIFUL DAY POSSIBLE.
YOU ALL WERE GREAT TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN!
in the detailed story of the Sopris Family let LoRetta know - She can email
the History of the family from the 1840's.
ROSE Marie Sisneros' Family: Father: Tranquilino Sisneros.
Mother: Rosabel Gutierrez Sisneros. Both are deceased and the
Grandmother was Eloisa Sisneros (Deceased). Rose Marie is excited
about the Reunion and six family members will be joining her. Rose
Marie now resides in Colorado Springs.
Carol Zanotelli-Manczur wishes every one a Happy Reunion! She is
sorry that she and her father, George will be unable to attend! Best
Chris Miller - Cunico Family
Larry DeAngelis - Remembrance
Larry Daves (Larry, Tommy, Charles and Sandra Daves - Children of
Martha and Alvin Daves - Uncle George Senoski)
Vincent Arthur Lovato
Alfred Laiminger "Sopris - I Wouldn't Change a Thing"
Appendix - "Lincoln Community School - Dedicatory Program"
(Copy provided by Alfred Laiminger)
Childhood Memories of Holidays &'Summer Vacations in Sopris
by Christina Cunico Miller
I remember ...
, , . being welcomed as family wherever I went As a child, I could fed the love the people of Sopris had for their
youth. We were always welcomed into homes, there were always smiles and lots of questions about us and our parents:
and we were always repeatedly offered cookies and drink until our polite "nos" turned to "yeses,"
, .. lots of barking dogs that came out into the streets to "greet" you as you passed their houses.
, , , the stray horses that occasionally came through town,
, .. the crowing of roosters.
· .. the way the air smelled after a quick summer rainburst
, .. the frequent perfume of skunks (I still get all "warm & fuzzy" inside whenever I smell a skunk today!).
· .. tumbleweeds almost as big as me.
· .. climbing in the Sopris hills collecting pinion nuts.
· .. playing on the slag dumps and trying to clean up before going home.
· .. the magical swing on my grandparents' front porch. It was a horse, a train, a rocketship, a boat
· .. Mr. Dailey, the quiet black. man who lived next door who'd take a break from watering his yard to offer us some of
· .. the old chicken coop my grandfather cleaned out and carpeted so we could have a club house.
· .. sneaking down into the underground garage and listening to adult conversations through the heating vents.
· .. many conversations about coal mines and unions and the depression.
· .. making com cob pipes and sitting on the forbidden roof of the garage after dinner.
· .. hearing Auntie Gina (Amato) yell at CJ all the way from across the street
· .. CJ proudly showing off rattlesnake rattles.
· .. CJ always with a cast on one limb or another.
· .. hearing CJ daily practice his musical instruments (accordion, sax).
· .. knowing Auntie Gina was home if the vacuum was running and rugs were hanging from her front porch.
· .. Uncle Carl (Amato) always working long hours, but always in a good mood and taking the time to greet us with a
big chest-crushing squeeze followed by a cheese-grater rub of his cheek on ours.
· .. Uncle Putts (John B. Ferri) taking us to Aunt Catherine's tavern and to Dona's (another "watering hole" in St
Thomas), buying us sodies and putting peanuts in the soda-filled bottle .
.. . Uncle Putts' kitchen drawer filled with M&Ms, Hershey bars, Three Muskeeters bars, and sunflower seeds - all for
· .. the tick of the clock that hung in Uncle Putts' house.
· .. playing in the "old store" at the front of Uncle Putts' house.
'.' . Uncle Putts telling us made-up horse stories featuring a boy and girl "just our age" - when we could stop him from
reading his own horse stories (westerns).
· .. Uncle Putts letting us steer ("drive") his black and green Mercury ... and using the middle armrest in the back seat
as a "horse" .
· .. Uncle Putts swearing us to secrecy not to tell Granny about the half a cantaloupe filled with ice cream and root beer
we ate just before going to her house for supper.
The "EXTRA" SOPRIS NEWSLETTER
******Story of Rudy and Blanche (Garcia) Santistevan Family ..... M~
father's family moved to Sopris in 1941 from Tercio. My mother's
family moved in 1932 from Long's Canyon. My parents met before
World War II and were married on December 10th, 1945, after my dad
was discharged. They moved to Sopris Plaza (LaVeces) where my Dad
worked in the CF&1 Coal Mines. My mother was a dedicated
housewife. From their marriage came four (4) children. They are
Larry, Dennis, Sylvia and Doris. My parents owned 125 acres of
property and cattle. We lived in Sopris until 1968 when we were
bought out by the Corps of Engineers. The memories of Sopris will
always be cherished by our family. By Sylvia Santistevan 6412 Utica
Street, Arvada, CO 80003
\\7}IO WAS THE SOPRIS FAMILY? ....Well Christine Adams from
Sante Fe, New Mexico will be joining us. She states that she will be
bringing photos of the family. She has wonderful photos, of Mary
Louise (St. Vrain) Sopris and one of her, her daughter Cora and Cora's
son Albert. She also has photos of William Robert Sopris and two
pictures of Royal Red. She does not have any photos of William
Bransford or E.B. Sopris. She is hoping to find one of Sopris when she
comes to the reunion. She is hoping to find her relatives the Bransfords.
Christine Adams states this is how she is related:
Christine states that Royal Red is my gr-gr-gr-Grandmother; and her
daughter, Mary Louise is my gr-gr-Aunt. Mary Louise's children are
somehow cousins, (I've never been very good at the cousin thing!) My
mother specifically remembers coming to Trinidad as a child in order to
visit Hazel St, Vrain (born 1914) and her family. My mother called
Hazel's father "Uncle Charlie" (he was infact her gr-uncle). 1 am
really looking forward to coming to the Reunion. (If anyone is interested'
bottom of page