Thursday, March 30, 2006


Here's a slogan for your consideration: "the world wide web: bringing people URL at a time!"

I happen to live in a pretty neat community in southern Oregon. You can visit Eagle Point online at

But my other "home" is in the state of Colorado. I was born in Pueblo (for those who don't know, this is where the Consumer Information Catalog is located ( The Colorado State Fair is located in Pueblo (this was actually a Jeopardy question!). I had the opportunity to pastor a small church in the city for a short time. All three of my children were born in Pueblo, so it's a sentimental location.

But the place I really consider home is Florence, Colorado. This is where I spent my formative years. This is where I graduated. This is where I returned for a time in the mid-80's. Florence has never been a big city. People ask me where I am from and I tell them "Florence" and they look at me with blank stares, followed by "is that anywhere near Denver?" (nope).

Or at least they used to have that response. A few years ago, the newest, most technologically advanced maximum security federal prison was built on the outskirts of Florence. Some of the most notorious ne'er-do-wells in the United States end up at "Super Max." Of course, it took a little while for the national media to find it. At first it was like, "Lex Luthor will be housed at Super Max Prison, located 150 miles south of Denver." Then they got a little closer: "Otto Octavious will serve his sentence at the Super Max Facility west of Pueblo" (about 30 miles west!). Well, now the media actually uses the word "Florence", making it sound as if Super Max is its only claim to fame. Not so, oh blog reader!

Over the years, Florence has gone through a re-birth of sorts, becoming a center for arts, antiques, and sidewalk cafes. I have missed many of the changes, simply because I have not lived there for so long. In fact, my last visit was ten years ago (due to illnesses, I was not able to return for the funerals of my parents, who died a few weeks apart a couple of years ago. That was a tough time...if there was ever a time to return home...but anyway.....). So periodically, I would scan the web for some info on Florence. I found a neat photo business directory (, which shows outsides and insides of the eateries and shops in town, most of which didn't exist when I lived there (the local burger joint/hangout is now an oriental resteraunt). But I couldn't find anything that really captured the heart and soul of my home town....

...until yesterday, when I discovered sister websites: and These websites are like a letter from home. And for more government/community development stuff, check out After a ten year drought, it's suddenly raining web sites!

And speaking of home: if you would like some downhome wisdom and touching, sentimental devotionals, check out I have known the website's author Don Brown for decades. Brief story: when I was a kid in Florence, I had a best friend named Rod. One day, Rod's mom came to pick up Rod from my house. My mom answered the door. Surprise! They had gone to high school together! Anyway, I always enjoyed hanging out at the Brown household. I lost touch for a while, but later, Don (Rod's dad) began publishing his thoughts and insights via email and, most recently, created the above website.

One last item, in the interest of full disclosure: although I call Florence, Colorado my home, my family actually resided most of the time in the small community of Williamsburg, Colorado, just outside the Florence city limits. And if you thought the location of "Florence" got me blank stares, just try to describe the whereabouts of Williamsburg! But my adventures in Williamsburg (and the greater Fremont County area) will have to wait for a future blog. Until next time....

Monday, March 20, 2006


I'm more ways than one.
First of all, obviously, I'm back to the blogs. It wasn't my intention to be away this long, but I've been busy doing different things. Now that things have settled down a little, I'll probably be able to do updates a little better.
I'm also back in my "other" career. I am a children's ministry director at our church, but it is, technically speaking, a volunteer gig. One of my paid jobs is on the church staff, assisting the pastor in assorted tasks from screening phone calls to filling the pulpit. My other job is as a preschool teacher for 4 year olds. It is a job I have not been able to do for nearly three months!
I won't belabor the details, but due to an error on the part of the government folks who check out backgrounds, my wife and I got "flagged." This was the most incredible, amazing, and potentially embarrassing development in our lives. After years of working with children (and raising three kids of our own), we were told that we could not report to the daycare. We had to go back and document and demonstrate why this government agency goofed (and we all know that the government never ever makes mistakes!).
It took three months. In the meantime, my class had substitute teachers and the assistant director took up the slack left by my wife (the director). But as we heard of difficulties, it was heart-wrenching knowing that we could not charge in to the rescue. It was frustrating to deal with the speculation of curious parents who kept wondering why we got "canned" by the government.
And suddenly, it was over! No apologies. No niceties. Click...we're back in. A simple change of code and all of a sudden, we're daycare teachers again (when people ask me why I was gone, I tell them I had a bad code(cold)!).
So I have returned to hugs and smiles from kids and parents alike. It is nice. There's no place like home ..... or daycare.....or any venue that fulfills our purpose.