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Life in Fountain

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Aren't small towns great? Isn't life strange? We came here about four years ago more by necessity than choice, to get more bang for our housing rental buck. The Broadmoor area wasn't returning our calls, and Briargate was about 20 percent more expensive, so we moved on down to Fountain. We just didn't brag about it.

And you know what, a funny thing happened on the way to the ghetto. (That's what I've heard us called, The Ghetto, by more than one mouth. It makes me laugh. I grew up around Detroit.)

Anyway, we've come to like it here, quirks and all.

We've got a guy named Jim Coke, no relation to the Atlanta Coca-Colas, I don't believe. He owns a main street diner that used to be a gas station. I've never eaten there. It trips me out about the used-to-be-a-gas-station-thing. It still looks like one from the outside. He's running for mayor in the Nov. 7 election. He's got red signs all over town.

The dental assistant at Dr. Noble's office says a lot of the main street business owners aren't happy with our current mayor. A short time back there were lots of recall signs up along the street. They were asking for the head of his honor, and a lady sidekick.

The recall didn't go through and I wondered why they bothered anyway with the regular election so close, but I haven't needed dental work lately, so I never filled that molar.

I did talk to the pawnshop guy, or maybe Sally at the Loaf & Jug told me, but it seems part of the discontent is with the Fountain zoning person. He evidently lives in a Broadmoor or Cheyenne Mountain neighborhood and he's making rules for us. A no-no among the ranks. He's what we call a Commuter Zoner.

Mars at the auto repair was really mad. I guess some of the zoner's rules were diminishing his livelihood. He parked a bunch of junk cars in plain sight just to irritate people, and did handwritten nasty-grams on the side of his building. The code enforcement trucks were there all the time, and the cops, too.

I have it on good authority that Mars will be voting for Jim Coke.

There's another guy, Al Lender. He is related to the frozen bagel Lenders, according to my son's baseball league president. Al's running for a city council spot. I don't think he's happy, either. He owns a horse ranch out on Ohio Street. I know, I know, it don't seem like a fit to me, either, a bagel guy and a horse ranch, but the president said.

I've been past Al's place a few times. He hangs signs on his fence. They say things like "Stop the Growth" and "No Horse Boarding, or Sales, or Trespassing," or something like that. I think he sells some horses now. The frozen bagel business must be down.

My neighbor Linda brought up a point. She asked if Al became a "No Growth" advocate before or after he moved in. Either way, I prefer fresh to frozen.

And I like our city. We never lock our doors. There's tons of police, fire, and other public service personnel. School district test scores are solid. There's a diverse student population. We've got a shiny new city hall. They're improving sidewalks and planting trees along our other main street. There are fitness trails and nature walks, clean parks, horse ranches, neighborhoods, and little town festivals throughout the summer.

It's good here, ooooh it's good, but it's not perfect. Train whistles can go all night long, and when Fort Carson artillery range is in session, the picture window rattles just a bit. I don't think they get that up in the Broadmoor or Briargate communities, and that suits me fine. We're getting ready to buy a house here, at a discount. It's a ghetto. Stay away. Save yourselves.

Malcolm Allyn is a local writer and the uncelebrated author of The Average Man, an unpublished fictional novel of boyish innocence and the struggle for direction.


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