In 1973, as an employee of the Olin American Company, I came from Dallas to Denver to be project manager of what was to be the Galleria on South Colorado Boulevard. The plan was for a mixed use development consisting of two offices towers, two hotel towers, a 300,000 square foot retail area and 800 spaces of parking. After completing the first phase in 1975, Olin elected not to complete the balance of the development, leaving a half finished project.
By then I was pretty well acquainted with the Denver real estate market, so following a family decision, I resigned from Olin and relocated from Dallas to Denver. I entered the real estate brokerage with a company that later became Moore Commercial and then Coldwell Banker Commercial where I was primarily a land broker doing site acquisition prior to my retirement in 2013. My late wife Lore, retired in 2000 from teaching French at Gateway High School in Aurora. My work schedule and her retirement permitted considerable travel, to about 110 countries.
The most significant event in my life was a yearlong bicycle trip around the world as a way to celebrate the centennial year 2000. The trip, consisting of 250 participants, was organized and managed by a Seattle travel agency. The trip was fully supported in that all our gear was carried on trucks through the 45 countries we visited. In order to avoid traffic we traveled the backroads of the world, seeing the locals who had seen few tourists and none on bicycles. We had 11 air hops, three train rides and a ferry or two.
The size of the group dictated we camp and most morning and evening meals were provided by local groups, i.e. a church or school. At most stops we were greeted by the mayor and entertained by locals. This provided the opportunity to have one on one contact with the host. Notwithstanding the language differences, we still communicated. The trip was well organized, we did not miss a single meal and also had a camp site each night. Occasionally we were able to stay in a school gym, church or sports facility. As long as there was a water supply we had a shower facility with hot water which was mounted on one truck.
Being in such close proximity to the locals in smaller towns, we were able to see actual conditions existing in the visited country, the infrastructure, schools housing and commercial buildings. The trip started and ended as a part of the Rose Bowl Parade.
My next major event was an attempt to climb Kilimanjaro Mountain in 2011. It was an easy climb that takes 4 to 5 days for most climbs. I had no trouble what soever until I reached 18300 feet on the last day of the climb when you start at midnight and reach the top about day break. Altitude sickness got me with only 1000 feet to go to the peak. This is the biggest disappointment I have ever experienced.
Following Lore’s death, I took myself on a second around the world trip visiting 22 countries in six months. Being a long time Rotary member I attended meetings in 40 countries during my trip which was quite an experience. This is another way to feel the pulse of a country.
During my 36 years in Aurora, I have been active in community activities. A major event was being one of the founders of the Community College of Aurora. I have served on several boards including United Bank, Aurora, the Aurora Chamber of Commerce and Aurora Rotary. Currently I am a board member of the Aurora Sisters City, Community College of Aurora and The Rotary Foundation. I was recently appointed by Aurora City Council to serve on the newly formed Immigrant and Refugee Commission.I have been a member World Denver (and IIE) for approximately ten years. World Denver has given me the opportunity to broaden my understanding of world events through speakers and foreign visitors as well as offering the ability to continue my world travels. Plans for the future include continued travel with wife Molly, spending more time in areas we enjoy,