His legacy

I have three big obsessions: sewing fabric bags, tracing my genealogy, and supporting Ethos Pueblo. Lately my genealogy obsession has been primary since I discovered a trove of early English wills on FamilySearch. Many of the testators were helpful when they wrote those wills, explaining exactly who each person is.

Thomas Robinson of Lancaster, merchant, the nephew of my late wife.

My wife Ann Walker’s first husband’s children.

Thank you. From reading these wills, I’ve been able to fill out my tree, correct some errors I made, and even get back one or two more generations on a few branches.

Some of the wills also tell a story, but the story isn’t always clear.

My 5 great grandfather Robert Roskell was a farmer in Overton and then in Cockerham, Lancashire, England, born about 1734. This area, north of Manchester, between Preston and Lancaster, was largely agricultural. The River Lune, flowing southwest from Lancaster, separates Overton and Cockerham with broad sand flats. My ancestors were prosperous farming families, prosperous enough that they left wills.

In 1758, at age 24, Robert married Elizabeth Grey, who was 21. I have identified seven children of this marriage, all baptized at St Helen’s church in Overton, Lancashire. Robert’s wife Elizabeth, or Betty, died at age 51 in 1788. She was buried in the churchyard of St Michael’s church in Cockerham.

Robert outlived his wife by over 15 years and may have felt the challenge of raising his children alone. When Robert’s wife died, their daughter Sarah (my ancestor) was 27 years old and already married with three children of her own, their daughter Betty was 24, I cannot trace their son John who would have been 20, two children had died young, and the two other surviving children were girls, Mary aged 12 and Dorothy aged 9. Robert may have felt responsible for getting Betty married (four years later she did marry) and for raising Mary and Dorothy. Sadly, in 1794 Mary died at age 18. Now the household was just Robert, aged 60, and his youngest daughter, Dorothy, aged 15.

On 16 Feb 1801, when she was 21, Dorothy’s natural son Robert Roskell was baptized at St Michael’s church in Cockerham; no father was named. 

Over a year later, on 28 August 1802, Robert Roskell wrote his will; his daughter Dorothy and her son Robert are his only descendants referred to by name. He directed that the interest from a legacy of twenty pounds be given “unto my Daughter Dorothy towards the bringing up and Maintenance of her son Robert Roskell until he attain to the age of twenty one years …” He wrote that he had given a bond to the parish of Cockerham in the amount of 100 pounds “to indemnify the said Parish against the said Robert Roskell Son of my said Daughter Dorothy ever becoming chargeable to the said Parish.” Next he wrote, “Now it is my Will and Mind and I do direct and order that my said Daughter Dorothy shall from and out of her share of the Money to arise from my Effects indemnify and save harmless my other children and their Issue from all costs charges Damages and Expences that may at any time happen to arise or be made on account of my having given the said Bond.”

Was Dorothy taken advantage of by some man or had she made unwise choices? Was her father showing strong love for her and her child by ensuring their support? or was he acting to protect his other children from having to support them? I think he was probably doing both.

Robert Roskell died less than a year after writing that will and records show that the executors he appointed were duly sworn so probably the terms of his will, including the fund for the maintenance of his grandson, were followed.

Just over a year after her father died, when her son Robert was four years old, Dorothy married Joseph Proctor, a farmer, and they had at least five children. I cannot confidently trace her son Robert.  

A stone in the cemetery at St Michael’s church in Cockerham reads:

Treasured memories of Elizabeth, wife of Robert Roskell, who died February 24th 1788 aged 51 years.

Also Mary, daughter of the above who died November 9th 1794 in the 19th year of her age.

Likewise of Robert, husband and father to the above who died May 21st in the 70th year of his age.

Someone had “treasured memories” of Robert, enough to add these lines about him to the stone.

100 years ago today

One hundred years ago today, on 4 October 1923, my father, seven years old, arrived in Boston on the Cameronia with his mother Annie and his sister Mary. They were emigrating from Scotland to join his father and his three older siblings, who had made the voyage across the Atlantic six months earlier and settled in Brooklyn. My grandmother had decided that economic opportunities for her children would be better in the new world.

Dad’s limp was a problem since he had been diagnosed as affected by tuberculosis of the bone and he would be allowed into the US only after an inspection. If he were not allowed to stay, the plan was to send him back to Scotland to be raised by his eldest sister, who had remained behind with her new husband. Dad always resented the P chalked on the back of his best blue suit by the inspectors to indicate throughout the landing process that he had been passed to stay. He maintained a healthy hatred of Boston from that episode.

At first the family lived with Uncle Willy McBride, Annie’s brother, in his small bungalow, and then they got their own place. They were disappointed by the new world, where oranges did not, as Uncle Willy had told them, grow freely on the trees in Brooklyn.

But the family had help. At one point, Dad shoveled coal for the furnaces in three apartment buildings, in return for a reduction in rent. His 8th grade principal saw potential and sent him to take the test that led to his admission to Brooklyn Technical High School. My parents had $2 in their pockets when they returned from their honeymoon in the Catskills using a borrowed car. After they had my older sister, they lived for several years in an apartment in the house of a large Italian family, the Itris. The Frasers stayed in the US because they didn’t have the money to go back to Scotland, and when they did, well, things were looking up, weren’t they?

My grandfather, a tailor and an alcoholic, did not give up the drink as his wife had hoped he would in the new world, but his children were hard working, and they thrived.  Dad, the youngest, was the only one of his six siblings to go beyond an 8th grade education, but Ness became a fine fur buyer for Lord & Taylor, Jean a seamstress for a Fifth Avenue tailor, Mary an executive secretary in a Wall Street firm, and Bill a mechanical engineer by on-the-job training. 

Unlike my father, my mother was born in the US, but she was the daughter of an immigrant; her father came from England in 1911 at age 24. He married the daughter of one of his work colleagues and their four children also prospered. My cousins include an emergency room physician, a PhD in molecular genetics, a retired chief engineer for Nabisco, and a director of regulatory affairs for a medical manufacturer.

Perhaps because of my immigrant roots, I have a fascination with the movement of people and with the things they took with them. My grandmother brought this thimble with her in 1923.

My partner, Mark, and I used to explore Ohio woods when we lived in Columbus, searching for traces of the old canals and locks. Now that we live in Colorado we’ve become interested in old trails. We just returned from our second symposium of the Santa Fe Trail Association, this one held in Independence, Missouri.

We worried that this Association would be white people talking about white people’s history, but it is much more diverse than that. James Pepper Henry, vice president of the Kaw Nation (or Kansa tribe, after which Kansas is named) gave a fascinating and moving talk about the Grandfather Rock. Before being forcibly moved from Kansas to Oklahoma in 1872, the tribe often visited this 24-ton boulder on the banks of the Kansas River. In 1929 the rock was moved to Lawrence, Kansas, and, adding insult to injury, had a plaque affixed to it commemorating the hardships faced by white people crossing the plains.

In 2020, the Kaw Nation requested the return of the rock; the Lawrence City Commission said “yes,” and the Mellon Foundation is funding its relocation to Allegawaho Park near Council Grove, Kansas, on land now owned by the Kaw Nation. There are many more fascinating details to this story and the park is beautiful (we visited it on our way to the symposium).

I write this post to honor my grandmother for her foresight in moving her family and to ask you to reflect on the past, present, and future of migrants. I find wisdom in the work of HIAS (originally the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)  and the advice of the United Nations.

My tree full of Annies

When my father married my stepmother in 1991, Helen brought a dachshund named Megan to that union. When Megan died, they adopted another dachshund and named her Annie. When my father told me this name, my first thought was: he named his dog after my grandmother? But my second thought was: he named his dog after his own mother; if he isn’t offended, I shouldn’t be either.

As I have filled out my tree, I have found many Annies related to my father, including his mother, his grandmother, and his sister (called Nan, perhaps to distinguish her from the other Annies). In addition, his mother’s cousin was Annie NEILSON, and there were two more Annies, his aunts on his father’s side.

When I remarked to him that he had many Annies in his tree, he agreed and said it was confusing, but I loved what happened when I told him about Annie Louise HANDLEY WALKER, who was married to his grandmother’s brother, William WALKER. I explained to Dad that William had been a seaman and must have met his wife in Ireland since they married in Cork, had children there, and then moved to Glasgow about 1900. My Dad laughed and said: she must be Cork Annie! He had heard his mother and grandmother talk about Cork Annie (even after the family came to the US in 1923) but never knew what the phrase meant. Now we knew that Cork Annie was so named because she came from Cork and that was how she was distinguished from all the other Annies.

Mark and I have adopted this method of distinguishing among people with the same name. So, for example, we have Pueblo Arleen (who does Mark’s hair) and Columbus Arleen (Mark’s cousin, sadly, his late cousin as of last year). We highly recommend this method of referring to people.

Of course, many families reuse names, to the consternation of genealogists trying to keep everyone straight. Before Glasgow, my FRASER / FRAZER roots are in County Roscommon, Ireland, (and then back further in time to Scotland), and the favorite male name was Archibald. Dad thought he was lucky to have been named John after his mother’s brother, not after any of the many FRAZER relatives named Archibald. My great grandparents were Richard FRAZER and Jane FRAZER, second cousins, and both their fathers were Archibald FRAZER.

I was named Jane because, my parents told me, they liked the name, not because I was named after anyone. But my research has shown that my father’s sister, known always as Jean, was baptized as Jane, and I have two great grandmothers and one great great grandmother named Jane. I like the name, too.

Nicknames or name variations are sometimes recorded in documents; my aunt used Jean on legal documents throughout her life; it was only when I found her birth certificate in Scotland that I learned her name was actually Jane.  Polly, Molly, Jack, Sandy, etc., can be nicknames for Mary, Margaret, John, and Alexander. Or something completely different.

Surname spellings vary. My FRASER / FRAZER ancestors used both spellings in Ireland (where FRAZER is the common spelling), then used mostly FRAZER while in Glasgow (perversely, since the Scottish spelling is FRASER), and then switched to FRASER when they moved to the US. Go figure.

The lesson I draw from all these examples is not to get hung up on having names match exactly but also not to assume that finding someone with the same name as your relative means you have actually found your relative.

I’ve been reading the excellent book Mastering Genealogical Proof, by Thomas W. Jones, available from Heritage Books. The five components of the standard include answering a research question through (1) thorough searches, (2) informative citations, (3) analysis and comparison of the sources, (4) resolution of conflicts, and (5) a written statement supporting the answer to the question. Similar names and discrepancies in names can create problems with no simple solution except care; this book is teaching me how to exercise that care in genealogical research.

Finally, here is a Life Pro Tip: When your parents are in their 80s and get a puppy, that dog is going to be yours some day. Sure enough, when I flew to visit my parents after both had medical episodes in the same week, I ended up buying a dog carrier and taking dachshund Annie home with me.

She became loved by my partner Mark and me. She was not loved so much by our other dog, Maude, named – you’ll love this – after my other grandmother. And, to be honest, Annie was often rather annoying. We sometimes speculated that “dachshund” is German for “pain in the neck.” I have decided that should we ever – please no – end up owning a dachshund again, we will name her Nervensäge (literally “nerve saw”), which Wiktionary tells me IS the German equivalent of “pain in the neck.”  

My remarks at the 27 May 2023 ribbon cutting for The Ethos

My name is Jane Fraser. I am one of the three partners of The Ethos, with Sam Derosier and Emily Gradisar. And I am pleased to welcome you here today to open our new venture.

This Ethos has two core ideas that we build on. The first is community.

This building behind me was built in 1920 and has housed Anzick’s Steak House, Strilich’s Lounge, and the Grand Prix, restaurants that fed generations of steel mill workers and their families as well as many others. The pool hall, now attached to the main building, was a community gathering place. One of the two basements was probably used to make bootleg wine; the other basement had a bowling alley. The house was home to members of the Anzick, Strilich, and Montoya families and others.

Those names reflect some of the ethnic communities of Pueblo: the Anzicks from Slovenia, the Striliches from Croatia, and the Montoyas from New Mexico.

The names and the history of this place reflect the Pueblo community but also demonstrate that Pueblo is a community made up of communities.

What is the first question two Pueblo people each other when they first meet? “What high school did you go to?” Pueblo people love to know how you fit into our communities.

From the native communities on whose land we stand, through the five countries whose flags have flown over this area, to BEGIN (The Bessemer, Eiler’s/Bojon Town, and Grove Improvement Network), we see a strong line of community. We feel a strong connection to this neighborhood and to Pueblo.

We all belong to Pueblo but we also belong to the many communities that make up this town. We want to support and build community and communities at The Ethos.

The second idea we build on is creativity.

I grew up in a paper mill town in New Jersey and after I came to Pueblo 25 years ago, it took me a while to figure out why I felt at home so quickly. I realized that Pueblo has the same ethnic blue collar diversity, the same friendly but tough welcome, and the same hands-on, “we can do this” attitude of my home town. Both towns are maker towns.

Pueblo makes steel, but we also roast coffee, we design and make jewelry, we customize hot rods, and we paint murals. We have great manufacturing companies that make carbon disk brakes for aircraft, towers for wind turbines, traction chains, rail products, custom kitchen cabinets, fruit handling equipment, bath and body products, and more. I sew.

Pueblo is a maker city, a city of makers, artists, artisans, and creatives. Creativity is the second aspect of Pueblo that we build on. We want to change the Pueblo question from What high school did you go to? To What do you make?

I am very pleased to be standing below a sign that says “creative community.” We mean for that phrase to describe The Ethos, to describe our mission, but also to describe Pueblo. This building now houses a sober bar and makerspaces. Space is available to rent for community meetings and social gatherings. We offer classes on all types of making; contact us if you want to teach a class.

‘Ethos’ means the spirit of a community or era, and we’ve had just about enough of other people telling us what Pueblo is. The time to let others define us has passed. It’s time to get to work to create the community we want.

I am very grateful to many many people who have helped us get to this day and place. I can’t thank them all so I will only thank five. I thank my two partners, Sam and Emily, and also our three guys Alex, Ben, and Mark who put up with a LOT during the last 17 months while we were renovating and upgrading the building.

And thank you to all of you for being here to help us cut the ribbon. Let’s do that!

615 East Mesa Avenue

On 20 December 2020, I purchased the buildings at 615 East Mesa Avenue that were known in Pueblo for having housed the Grand Prix, a restaurant that was widely considered to serve the best Mexican food in town, but that had been closed for about a decade.

After the purchase, my two business partners, Sam Derosier and Emily Gradisar, and I embarked on what we naively thought would be a three months —maybe five months, ok, six months at the most – project to prepare the building for opening. But we decided, quite rightly, that while lovely old buildings should be preserved, old bathrooms are not lovely, are not ADA compliant, and should not be preserved. We had the bathrooms completely reconstructed

So 17 months later, on 25 May 2023, we opened The Ethos: sober bar, makerspaces, classroom, community hall, and commercial kitchen.

The Ethos is awesome and I am very proud of what we have accomplished.

The old Grand Prix sign now says: “The Ethos creative community.” The words “creative community” describe our mission (more about that in my next post).

The old bar is the same; we only refinished the wooden edge of the bar, replaced some missing glass shelves, and updated plumbing and equipment behind the bar. With the help of designer extraordinaire Selbe Watts, we created an eclectic wall of art opposite the bar; it literally makes people gasp. We cleaned the carpet, replaced the coffee station with arcade games and a juke box, replaced more plumbing and equipment, and installed Internet connectivity. We did a lot of cleaning.

The bathrooms are beautiful and ADA compliant.

The CREEPi ceramic collective is our first maker tenant: they rent the space to the right of the bar, most recently used to sell baked goods. They will have a grand opening in that space on Friday, 7 July. On Tuesday, 11 July, an open house will showcase the other makerspaces that are available in the old pool hall.  

We have accomplished much and we have more we are working on to support the many communities of Pueblo.

I’m starting this new blog to write about The Ethos but also to write about the history of the buildings that make up The Ethos. I’m also writing to ask you to help us to learn about the history.

We know that the building was built in 1920, that it has housed Anzick’s Steakhouse (owned by the Anzicks), Strilich’s Lounge (owned by the Striliches), and the Grand Prix (owned by the Montoyas). We think that one basement was used to make bootleg wine; we know that the other basement had a bowling alley. We have some match books from Anzicks and some menus from the Grand Prix.

What do you know about the history of these places and about these families? I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.

Notes from February 2021 meeting of Pueblo Makes

Jane began by stressing the inclusive definition of makers used by Pueblo Makes, from crafters to large manufacturers. Nick Gonzales is a maker and founder of the local company Tankmatez. Zach introduced Nick by saying Nick has started his own business and hired local people with his new and innovative fish trap. The business is located in Watertower Place.

Nick said he grew up building things and being an entrepreneur. He learned in the shops and businesses of his father and grandfather that if you need something, you make it. He started by pulling cars apart for his father’s salvage yard; he didn’t realize at the time how much he was learning. He loves being productive.

Nick had a successful career as a behavioral therapist with adolescents, working for the state of Colorado. He loved doing that and invented a tool to remove tattoos to help people who have changed their lives but still have visible tattoos. He showed this device on season 4 of Shark Tank. He spent two years preparing for the show and appearing on it helped him become more trusting and helped him learn to share his ideas. Not everyone is trying to steal ideas. Because of technical difficulties during taping, he got to just hang out with the sharks for about 45 minutes and he got a lot of good advice. He retired from the state to appear on the show since he couldn’t get the time off to do the show. His device was the #1 tattoo device for five years and was used by Soul Survivors Ink to remove tattoos from people with tattoos from being sex trafficked.

He also had a successful arcade business with arcades in CO, WY, and FL, but he lost everything almost overnight because of COVID. With his drop in income, he turned his passion for aquariums into a business. Since tank maintenance, especially cleaning, is the most performed tasks by owners, he invented a device to clean tanks, using magnetism.

He realized that what the aquarium industry really needs is a fish trap. Tank owners need to remove a fish for many reasons (including behavior and sickness) and the only two options were to use a net or to lower the level of water, both of which can cause high stress in the fish and can damage the tank. He invented a bubble trap using a clear acrylic globe with a piece of foam. He made a video and put it online and went viral with 60,000 views in four hours. The product has been very successful and people really like it since it solves a big problem for tank owners. The ratings are rarely under five stars, and when they are, he investigates and contacts the customer. There are many videos of the traps online since users post them a lot.

He has worked with various companies and engineers (and with Brett Raymer of the show Tanked) to move toward mass manufacturing, but the traps are currently still handmade and he can’t meet the demand for his products. COVID-caused supply chain disruptions are a problem.

He was going to move to Dallas, but Ryan McWilliams persuaded him to stay in Pueblo and locate in Watertower Place. He is very glad he did and has plans to create a large-scale coral terrestrial farm in the basement level there. He is working with CSU-Pueblo professors to create an advanced curriculum for tank maintenance and to do experiments on coral to create methods to help the corals survive global warming. They are also testing the water from the four wells at Watertower Place and hoping that it will turn out to be low deuterium water, which is in high demand and which could be used in experiments in growing coral. There will be a solar operation on the roof and a water-cooled Bitcoin operation at Watertower Place.

He is working on new products that will help fish owners engage with the fish and train them. Fish have personalities and interaction helps the person see the behaviors. While others say you shouldn’t play with your fish, Nick asks “why not?” He is also working on products to clean tanks.

In all of his businesses he has stressed being a disrupter, that is, to do things separate from what others are doing. He tries to be the dumbest person in the room so he can learn from others. He wants to solve problems by doing something so different that people have no other option but to buy from him.

He has tried to hire only disabled, including his shop manager, who has been with him for over five years. However, his efforts to work with PDI were not successful because his work changes too much day-to-day, instead of being a consistent task.

Nick is looking for glass blowers, glass artists, and wood workers to push the envelope in tanks. These objects could become part of tank. Others say “You can’t have that in your tank” but customers want variety.

Jane announced that Pueblo Makes will honor LaDoris Burton in the library’s 2022 Outstanding Women presentations. She shared this biography of LaDoris:

Drew reported on the STEM fairs at PSAS. Posters and judging will be at CSU-Pueblo with open house on 24 Feb.

Notes from January 2021 meeting of Pueblo Makes

Software developers Zachary Collier and Jared Horvat spoke on the work they have done on cryptography.

Zach started by noting that the work he was describing was inspired by Pueblo Makes and the need to protect makers from people who copy the work of others. Their company is cyphr.me. He gave two caveats. First, he stressed that this was not a sales pitch. The product, stickers to place on your products, is free for all Pueblo residents and will be forever. Second, he gave an alpha disclaimer; the product is still heavily under development; “we work on it every day.”

A June 23, 2019, article in the New York Times described the huge number of counterfeit products for sale on Amazon. Knockoffs can appear within a week and may be indistinguishable for potential buyers. Zach pointed out that some products will have mixed reviews, with some saying the product is wonderful and others saying that it doesn’t work as advertised, and the explanation can be that some bought a counterfeit product without realizing it. The cost to the US economy is in the billions, with very little of the counterfeit products detected and seized.

Some manufacturers add serial numbers, but the unscrupulous can simply take one serial number and put it on all their products. Other gimmicks, such as special tags, medallions, and holographic code can also be copied. The producer of Puff Bar vaping products has a 20-minute video on YouTube describing how to be sure you are purchasing an authentic product: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW76Dwy19zM. Counterfeit products can harm your brand, can harm the health of your customer, and can hurt the environment. The counterfeiter may, for example, allow contaminants in food products because they don’t care.

Zach said the answer is cryptography, which is based in math, physics, and the cosmos. It is natural to the natural world. Their product is a sticker with a unique code for that particular item; it is not just a code for that product line, but rather for that particular item. When scanned it takes you to a web page that you have created, that verifies the product is legitimate.  ACs (Anti-Counterfeits) are cryptographically signed, impossible to guess, signed by the manufacturer, track products through supply chains, easy to scan by users, and defeat counterfeits.

A counterfeiter can rip off the label one time, but a company can combine the use of the stickers with the gathering of metrics to detect counterfeits. For example, a code that is scanned 14 times, but the code is inside the product, indicates that someone has counterfeited the product. Users have incentives to report suspicious data, thus enabling crowd sourcing of the detection of counterfeiters.

Zach said he wouldn’t talk today about how cryptography works, but the code embeds a signature that can be verified. Zach and Jared submitted a patent application in February 2021 for their product.

Zach described how he and Jared work together on software development. Besides the cryptography products, they create tools for software developers and make them available for free on their website, such as the base converter he showed us at the December meeting of Pueblo Makes. They write in a lot of computer languages: Go, Javascript, HTML/CSS/SASS/TMPL/MD, JSON, Bash/Shell/Terminal, YAML/Mage, Linux, SQL/NOSQL/Datastore/Cloud storage.

The skills need to be a successful software developer include: learning to learn, writing good code, knowing algorithms, testing, operations, documentation (reading/writing), new technologies, good at googling.

Zach and Jared work together on zoom all day, sharing views of their code, websites, and output as the program runs. They use the website Trello to keep track of tasks, with lists of tasks for each person and for projects.

Zach offered free stickers. See https://old.reddit.com/r/cyphrme/comments/s76lnu/links_for_pueblo_makes/ for a list of useful links related to this talk, including this one to request free stickers: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12wAO_XQTygOFZv8eUOHmqglrojYpdhdKwourXA5-4Yw

Zach showed some of the items Jared has made and their use of stickers in amusing ways, especially on gifts. The recipient can scan the sticker and see the person’s message on the linked web page. Jared makes wine and pickled jalapenos. He is also making the furniture for the new food court at Fuel & Iron (in the old Holmes Hardware Building). Jane reminded the group that the connection for the furniture was made through Pueblo Makes. Zach scanned the sticker on the wine and showed us the linked page:

Zach is putting stickers on lots of items: his water bottle, his coffee mug, etc. If the item is lost, Zach hopes the finder will scan the sticker, and be able to find out who owns the item to return it.  They are working with TankMatez, who make bubble fish traps. That company is worried about knock offs so intend to use the cyphr.me stickers.

Zach explained that the code has so many variations that a code can be generated for every atom in the solar system, and almost for all the atoms in the observable university.

The group discussed various uses, by businesses, for fun, and to verify that a student received a stated certificate. The information on the page linked to the code can contain up to 1 meg of data. A sticker could be used for a product line with a main landing page, but then with, say, 30,000 stickers tied to the line. The manufacturer might have a sticker and the retailer might add one too.

Zach said that working with Jared all day in zoom is more efficient than working together in person. “I can pop into his code.” Drew asked if Zach would talk to the students at PSAS about the skills needed to code and Zach agreed to do so. Drew said the students will be coding their own video games.

Jane mentioned that Gregory Bateson wrote about learning to learn to learn. Sam said she took a course on learning to learn, which she recommends: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

Zach said he has been working on cryptography for 12 years and his goal is to build tools to make it easier to use. He said that cryptography could be used to verify that a tweet or reddit post was actually done by the person listed on the item. Instead of having to trust twitter, you can verify that that person did it.

We next heard announcements from attendees.

Ryan Yanke said that he had recently retired from social services, after having 70 jobs since he was 12. He is now focusing on being an artist and decided that he can help a lot of people in the community by using art as a vehicle to help students develop social emotional understanding of themselves. He has successfully worked with groups and with individuals. Starting in February, he and his wife Constance are offering art classes at space in the RMSER building, formerly the John Neumann School, at 330 Lake Avenue. See www.Acesexpression.com (still under construction). He is recruiting other artists to teach there too, after they are trained on equity, inclusion, and diversity as well as trauma informed teaching. The building offers other services including a stage, commercial kitchen, and auditorium, which they will be able to use. Ryan can be contacted at 719-299-8922, ryanyanke@acesexpression.org

Drew announced that the 5th year of the STEM fair at PSAS will be virtual (this decision was just made) and he is looking for judges. You can sign up at https://forms.gle/PUhmrSJPUajwZheY8. Students were asked to find solutions to problems and to evaluate them based on the three pillars of sustainability. Judges will get access to an online folder and a rubric with the items to be judged. The judging must be completed by 31 Jan. Meral Sarper will contact volunteers. PSAS encourages students to be inventive and creative. Drew can be reached at 303-905-9067.

Bahaa announced that the technology building at CSU-Pueblo will be renovated, using $17 million from the state, so the Department of Engineering will be moving out of the building for a while. In spring 2023, he will have to teach manufacturing without access to the machine shop or foundry, so is struggling with how to do give students the hands-on experience during that semester. He is continuing to mentor students in the Discovery Scholars program on using AI in the detection of forest fires from satellite images

Lois said her woodturner pieces are available for purchase at pieces at Books Again; she appreciates the opportunity to have her pieces there and appreciates the people who purchase her items.

Notes from December 2021 meeting of Pueblo Makes

Pueblo Makes did not meet in November 2021.

For this meeting, as we did last year in December, people were invited to make something, then join the zoom meeting, and show us what they had made.   

Jane started the meeting by showing us bags she had made from some leftover bedspread material from some friends, material that might otherwise have been thrown out. We got into a good discussion of using recycled materials, such as leftover vinyl from billboards, recycled feed bags (for sale at Museum of Friends in Walsenburg), FabScrap online, Creative Reuse of Pueblo, Who Gives a Scrap in Colorado Springs, etc.

Jane also opened a package given to her by Emily which turned out to be a three-layer wooden plaque of the Pueblo Makes logo, made by Emily. Beautiful!

Jean Flynn Ray showed us the 2022 Human Relations Commission calendar and described how it had evolved. They started with Hope or Esperanza as the theme, but also opened it up to other topics. The art teacher at Chavez Huerta schools had students work on the theme and sent in several pieces. Ideas represented included hope springing from the ground in April and a photo of a dandelion.  Every submission was used, some for a specific month and some as part of collage. Pieces were submitted from students at all levels: elementary, middle, high, and college. The Pueblo Libraries has given 600 copies of the calendar to the branches, available to the public for free. Jean has some left and she can deliver them. Jean also said they learned a lot about how to get submissions and how to design a calendar. The calendars were printed by Schuster Printer who did fantastic job.

In a big reveal, Emily announced the new location for TickTock and gave a video tour: Emily, Jane, and Samantha now own the complex that formerly was the Grand Prix restaurant on E Mesa, east of the Do Drop in on Santa Fe. It includes a restaurant with historic bar, event hall, commercial kitchen, bakery, pool hall and more. One basement seems to have been used to make bootleg wine during prohibition. Jane complimented the previous owners, Mark Acosta and his father Adrian Acosta, for having served as excellent stewards of this historic site. The building needs some improvements and the opening will be some time in 2022.  Sam announced that the location will operate as The Ethos, to encapsulate now and the future. Programs are being developed but will include spaces for makers and artists, classes, and more. Anyone interested in in teaching classes, please contact Emily at info@ticktockpueblo.com.

Zach, who is a software developer, said that he often develops his own tools to use in his work. He showed us an example, a web page that converts numbers from one base to another. You may remember that we use base 10, but, for example, base 2 gives us binary code. Different bases are used in different applications and in different cultures. The tool he created is available as open source, meaning anyone can use it, and can also copy the code and then adapt it to other uses. Zach said that everyone thought the Internet would end up being owned by big corporations, but software developers have a culture of making and sharing tools. Zach showed us that with a larger base (for example 10 is larger than 2) a specific number (usually) takes fewer digits to be represented. For example, 23 in base 10 is 10111 in base 2; 2 digits are needed in base 10, but 5 digits in base 2.  Bill complimented Zach on the elegant tool.

Sharon, the maker librarian at Pueblo libraries, showed us what she does as an artist. From boredom during COVID, she taught herself to do watercolor painting and showed us an example. She used the new vinyl cutter for the makerspace in Rawlings Library to make a patch that she applied on a jacket. She invited us to send her a png file that she will cut on the vinyl cutter. Emily is also a fiber artist and showed us a blanket she completed this year and a baby sweater she made.

Maria (co-director of the Museum of Friends in Walsenburg) demonstrated how to prepare baccalà (salt cured cod) in her kitchen. She bought it from Gagliano’s Italian food market in Pueblo, a place she recommended as “the real thing.” She covered it with water in a glass pan and will leave it there for three days, changing the water each day. She cut the fish into portions using scissors, leading to another interesting discussion of tools (Sam uses scissors to cut pizza). Once the fish is completely hydrated, Maria will dredge it in flour and fry it.

Jessica teaches art classes, currently at Walters on the second Saturday of each month, including a method of doodling.

Cathy showed us some fused glass pieces she made at Lane’s House of Glass at 111 Colorado in Pueblo. She described the different techniques she used for each piece. The red bowl was made by dripping melted glass. Glass is heated in a kiln. The technique requires knowing the rate at which each type of glass cools and similar types are used to prevent the object from breaking apart as it cools. The woven tray required making strips of glass that were made wavy by being laid over a corrugated mold. The cat can stand up since its legs are angled; several people said it reminded them of the work of Laurel Burch. The cat is one of several animal objects Cathy has made. We discussed the importance of designing a piece before starting to make it.

Emily and Sharon said they also make weird kids.

Notes from October 2021 meeting of Pueblo Makes

We had an inventive and fruitful discussion of the question: How can Pueblo makers make money?

The announcement for the meeting said:

We have had brainstorming sessions before, with helpful results, on the needs of Pueblo creatives, artists, and makers. Based on discussions with the Pueblo Arts Alliance (Karen Foglesong), the Pueblo Library (Sharon Rice), and TickTock (Emily Gradisar), I will lead a discussion based on these questions, which focus on selling, not on making. If you can’t attend, I welcome your input via email reply.

  • What types of events bring you good sales? Holiday bazaars, summer community events, the Pueblo Chile Festival, etc? How do you find out about events? What types of events does Pueblo need more of? How much do you pay to participate in such events?
  • Where do you physically have your items for sale? In local stores or other venues? What places work well for you?
  • Where do you virtually have your items for sale? Facebook, Etsy, Pueblo Arts Alliance online store (https://www.puebloarts.org/shop-local-art/), your own webpage, etc.?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of physical sales versus online sales? Do you aim to sell in Pueblo or nationally?
  • How do you maintain contact with your previous customers? Email, Facebook, Instagram?
  • How do you use social media promotion? Sam says nerdforge does this really well.

Eugene Watson of Watson Woodwooks said he advertises with Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/watswood/), although Etsy hastaken away a lot of control. You can pick which products to advertise and they automatically do the advertising. Google almost gives you too much control, so that you need to hire someone to handle it.  

Monique said that many local food producers, such as Jojo’s Sriacha (https://jojossriracha.com/), Formula 55 (https://formulary55.com/), and Blackbox (https://blackboxprovisions.com/), get most of their business from outside Pueblo. Local high end food products such as theirs are not sold in say King Sooper’s.

Online platforms and opportunities that Pueblo makers and artists can use:

  • Supporting Pueblo: https://supportingpueblo.com/  Sell on Supporting Pueblo: https://supportingpueblo.com/sell/ . The Supporting Pueblo shop was created by the City, County, and Chambers during the pandemic and is now run by the Latino Chamber. Monique said the Pueblo Food Project used it for their online pantry. The platform is free and takes no cut of the income, but none of us were sure if it is still active.
  • The Pueblo Arts Alliance platform https://www.puebloarts.org/ 
    • The Pueblo Arts Alliance will have a show in November in the Liminal Space gallery at the Arts Alliance for small works; entries will be accepted Nov 1 and 2, and the show will open  5th, 5-7 pm. The show runs through Nov 28.
  • The Pueblo Makes website (https://pueblomakes.com/) has:
    • A directory of useful links for makers (top of the home page). Email Zach at zachmcollier@gmail.com with suggestions.
    • A directory of makers (https://pueblomakes.com/makers.html ) – send a photo and brief bio to Zach at zachmcollier@gmail.com to be added.
    • Zach and Jane will work on improving the Pueblo Makes page. Jane will update the calendar. Zach updated the page with other links during the meeting.
  • Kayci said that library meeting rooms are used for some little bazaars and are free, but COVID-19 restrictions limit the number of people who can be in the room and the Library won’t promote the event. The meeting rooms are free to book. Rawlings is being remodeled, but the branch libraries have such meeting rooms available.

Van’s items are listed on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodTurningArtByVan?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=990957064) and on the Arts Alliance shop with the same info in both spaces. New to Pueblo Makes, Van said he makes wood items as hobby; when he sells an item, he buys a new too.

We agreed that the most successful Pueblo artists and makers are selling outside of Pueblo.

We discussed selling items at in person events, such as craft bazaars. The consensus was that COVID-19 will again prevent there being many events this year. Russ, for example, said the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center is not doing their event this year. Karen said she hasn’t seen any notice for the one usually at the State Fairgrounds. The Chieftain has run, in the past, a big list of all the events, but we don’t know if they will do that. Someone said there has been no notice of the usual bazaar by the Pueblo West Women’s group either. Emily said that Corwin Middle School will be holding a crafts fair.

Jane mentioned that she had seen Lois’s wood items displayed at Books Again, the used bookstore just down the hill from the Rawlings Library. Lois said that the glass display case contains some of her turned items; the bookstore gets half the revenue. She said she uses her other turnings for gifts and raffles but the store gives her a little outlet.

We had a long and very positive discussion of the possibility of creating an annual festival, focused on the work of creatives, artists, and makers in Pueblo. Such an event should attract people from outside Pueblo to come here specifically to shop. Kacie said there were some vendors at the multicultural festival, but we don’t know how well they did in sales. Karen said that people who attend the Chile & Frijoles festival seem focused on chile, beer, and bands; the Arts Alliance made very few sales at that event. Emily described some of the ideas the Pueblo Makes group has looked at, such as a lost arts festival in Australia and some successful festivals in Pittsburgh. Emily described a possible week-long event, with opportunities to buy, to take classes, and to make. The group was very enthusiastic about following up on the idea of an annual event.

I-25 is promoted as an art corridor from Denver to Santa Fe – how do we get people to stop off in Pueblo? Lois emphasized the importance of having road signs to direct people to events, the way people point towards houses for sale. Karen said that Jeff Madeen rented a billboard north of town to direct people to BloBack Gallery; he said that no one who came in while the billboard was active said they came in because they saw it. If that billboard would have worked, groups could have pooled money.

Karen volunteered to approach her contact at the Chamber of Commerce to see if they would be interested, since they developed the Chile & Frijoles Festival.  

Monique said the Chile & Frijoles Festival does make money for food vendors, but it “Put us in a box.” People pay double the price for chile peppers on Union Avenue, instead of going out on the mesa and buying from farmers. She mentioned the concept of Brooklyn Fleas (https://brooklynflea.com/), a series of outdoor markets throughout Brooklyn. She also pointed to Chelsea Market, also in New York (https://www.chelseamarket.com/).

We discussed small footprint cheap spaces for makers (e.g. 6 by 4 foot table) in a store, perhaps at the Pueblo mall. We have all this diversity of offerings: can we get them in one place at one time, keep the lights on, and get people used to buying local?  Convert the people shopping at the Hot Topic store at the mall to buying from a local designer? The underground already knows that we have creatives but sometimes even our own neighbors don’t know about us.

Karen volunteered to call the mall. Would they donate space? But who would staff it? Monique said the mall is the place where Puebloans go to hand out and spend money. Perhaps we could have a cart right in front of Hot Topic. Maybe the mall would donate a space for 6 weeks during the shopping frenzy of the November/December holiday season. Kacie, who teaches art in Rye, said high schoolers might volunteer to staff the booth since they are looking for internships and want to show off their own work.

Karen reminded the group of Artists’ Sunday, in the lineup after Thanksgiving: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Artists Sunday, Cyber Monday. See https://artistssunday.com/ to download and use their advertising material. Karen stressed that the items from people in Pueblo Makes qualify in her mind as art.

We recognized the need to educate local people about the great items that are available from creatives, artists, and makers in Pueblo. The Arts Alliance web page is taking on that message. You can send Karen a photo of some work, with a bio, and the page will feature you. Educating the public as key component of turning around the public in Pueblo.  Monique said the same in food space and even more true for specific unique products. People were shocked when we were distributing local broccoli.

She mentioned the recent meme: the work of local artists is not sitting in cargo ships.  Here is an example from Facebook:

We lamented the proliferation of calendars. Can we make the calendars all one, but shared on many sites? A calendar committee was formed: Zach, Jessica, Jane, Karen.

We turned to announcements.

Eugene Watson said that he is looking for help, someone, for example, to do some sanding, detail work with the router, or finishing, as examples. He has more work than he can handle. The position would be part time (up to 20 hours per week) and paid. The person would need some woodworking experience. Kacie said she might have some students. Contact Eugene at eugene@watsonwoodworks.com.

Monique announced the Food Entrepreneur Development Program starting in January 2022; see https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NjyxrjQYnW2FKUnS4fmvHkrE2WuSWfdt/view?usp=sharing. The 15-week curriculum is targeted at entrepreneurs making food products. There will be an incentive after the completion of each module. For example, after completing the finance module, the person will get a Quickbooks subscription plus 2 hours consulting. They want about 10 people for the first class and will cover tuition for this inaugural class.

Monique also reminded us that registration is open for the Sun Soil Water Summit to be held November 12-14 at Pueblo Community College, including a pitch competition Friday. She is looking for four beautiful objects to use as awards, instead of plaques; they should be food related and from a local artist. The awards are farmer of year, business of the year, coalition member of year, and advocate of the year. $10 registration, but scholarships are available. See https://pueblofoodproject.org/sunsoilwater/

Kayci said that the All Pueblo Reads book is Flavor, by Yotam Ottolenghi, and involves a virtual event and virtual lunch. More information is here: https://www.pueblolibrary.org/BookloversBrunch.

Gregory had sent this information before the meeting: “With the recent launch of Pueblo Star Journal, Kadoya Gallery and Blo Back Gallery will be launching PuebloPop which will be an online destination directory of events for artists, creatives, makers and entrepreneurs. This new place will be an extension of the Pueblo Star Journal. I can explain more at a later date, but wanted you to know about our launch as people ask me everyday where they can find out about events. The events site is currently in final development with design ‘pop’ and a lot of fun. We are event integrating an SMS alert system which you can opt in and be reminded of a particular event before it takes place.”

Jane said there will be an open house at the CSU-Pueblo Department of Engineering, in the Technology building Saturday, October 23, 9:30 – 12:00 PM.

Notes from September 2021 meeting of Pueblo Makes

Sharon updated us on progress at the Rawlings Library. The new makerspace, located on the first floor, will be about 5000 square feet, about 9 times the size of the old space. Deconstruction has been underway and the first floor now has nothing except temporary walls. Sharon has been meeting with the building director about fixtures for the new space; the space will have dropdown electrical connections, storage, concrete floors, and butcher block tables. It’s not clear yet what equipment will be there. While the space will be finished in January or February, it will be used as a staging area for parts of the collection while construction proceeds on the second floor, so Sharon probably won’t be in the space until March or April. There will be online training on 3D printing, vinyl cutting, etc., and once trained you can work on your own. Sharon is currently having classes at other branch libraries. Gregory offered the Innovation Hub at Watertower Place.

Karen gave us an update and virtual tour of the Arts Alliance. Almost every area of their buildings is in some form of deconstruction with tenants moving in or out and stuff spread out. Karen started in her office where a volunteer is working on a new filing system. She showed us the autoclave studio, which Christine has filled to the roof. Karen recommended the bobble head class; see photo below.

She showed us the kiln, photography studio, and several galleries. Cynthia Ramu is working on installations for Dia de los Muertos. In the Liminal Space gallery, artists can rent wall space, or be a part of a show. The most recent show was for Pride Month and the next is for the Chile Fest. Karen is creating a memorial gallery for art that is given to the Alliance from estates. CROP (Creative Reuse of Pueblo) accepts gently used supplies and sells them at very reasonable prices.

Upstairs are 20 studios for about 27 artists. We could hear music from a class.  The grounds include edible gardens. One artist does caricatures; another holds dance classes. Many activities involve children, including big graffiti walls, stencils created by children, and chalk art. There will be a father / daughter show for October. The Alliance buildings will be open during the Chile & Frijole Fest, 5-7 pm on Friday evening, and 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Derrick, who used to be the maker librarian at Rawlings, still lives in Colorado, but now works as an innovative media specialist at the University of Wyoming in Studio Coe, which has creative software and training. Other makerspaces at the University include an easy-to-use recording studio, a student innovation center (run by Jane Crayton who used to live in Pueblo), an engineering WYrkspace, and a makerspace in the library.

On behalf of the Pueblo Human Relations Commission, Gloria told us about the student art contest for art to be used on a calendar. Open to students in categories from elementary through college, the theme is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” in conjunction with National Hispanic Heritage Month. The deadline for submissions is 8 October. See the attachment below for more information or email Pueblohrc15@gmail.com.

Gregory announced that there are three talks remaining in The Dig (https://www.facebook.com/thedigspeakeasy). 22 September, Rosina Sonntag on The Ghost Walk; 6 October, Gregory on Marian and Della Nuckols (a film is in the works); and the last (of 15), Regan Foster, CSU-Pueblo professor of journalism who will speak on News as a Community Asset. The recordings are being used in classrooms and The Dig Volume 1 will be a book with transcripts of all the presentations. Gregory is already working on story tellers for next year when he plans to take The Dig on the road into different neighborhoods in Pueblo. Also, on 17 November at Union Depot, Gregory will speak on Tunnels, Brothers, and Bars, Oh, My. $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers.

Jane announced information on two groups:

  • The contact person for Pueblo Write Now is Ledema Renfrow at 544-7918.  The group meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays.  “We are meeting for this year at Giodone Library because of the remodeling at Rawlings.  We have essayists, poets, and people who write children’s and adult novels.” 
  • Pueblo Poetry Project 4th Wednesday reading, September 22, 7 p.m., Steel City Art Works, 216 S. Union Ave. “Join us. Open mic every month.”

Russ reported that the 11 members of Woodturners participated in a hands-on event during the first weekend of the State Fair, 1st weekend. They did turning for kids and parents. They meet the second Wednesday of every month at IBEW.

Bahaa reported on a new program at CSU-Pueblo, the Discovery Scholars Program, in which new students engage with research work as early as possible. He has 5 engineering students working on a project in artificial intelligence (AI), including the concept, applications, and ethics. He said they are having good discussion and gaining understanding.  Gregory complimented him for including ethics in the discussion of AI. The group discussed how AI can integrate with making and with art. Karen suggested that the Liminal Space gallery could host show about beauty of the programs and other art forms also. Using AI explores ideas of what art is and highlights where art and science intersect. Gregory suggested the area of Augmented Reality.

Jason updated us on the FAME (Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, https://www.pueblocc.edu/FAME) chapter; there are 14 students in the program, all placed with industry partners. He hopes to have 2 or 3 more partners next year and they are already recruiting students for fall 2022. They are also restructuring the machining program. They plan to have a program in Automotive Precision Manufacturing within a year.

On 7 October, an event at Blo Back Gallery will be a fundraiser for the Keating remodeling. See https://www.eventbrite.com/e/keating-reimaginedcome-on-home-fundraiser-tickets-175811636337.

Damon Days began last weekend as a celebration of Damon Runyon’s Pueblo. See https://www.facebook.com/damondayspueblo.

Saturday, 9 October will be the 3rd Annual Multicultural Festival, 11 am to 7 pm at Mineral Palace Park. See https://www.facebook.com/events/342809797438739.

The Goodnight Barn will have a Fall Open House, Sunday, 10 October, 11 am to 3 pm, with authentic chuckwagon display, longhorn steers, pumpkins, music, barn photo booth, and tours. The event is free. See https://www.facebook.com/goodnightbarn.  

Ina reported that the Artisan Textile Company will have a tapestry show now for the month of October.

Artist in October. The 4th annual fashion show, on 17 October, will be virtual again. Everything is handmade by a local artist. The ATC emphasis is on traditional fiber arts but has lots of other items. See https://www.facebook.com/ArtisanTextileCo.

15 October is the deadline for this round of grants for individual and companies for Colorado Creative Industries Grants from OEDIT (Office of Economic Development & International Trade. See https://oedit.colorado.gov/colorado-creative-industries. “Creative” can be anything. Cap base don revenues. Gregory said the requirements are very simple and he offered to help.