Sunday, April 23, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Driftwood Motel Neon Sign

A fine lookin' sign. The Driftwood Motel, as photographed by Walt "Highway 40" Hackney.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blue Star Memorial Highway

Blue Star Memorial Highways are highways in the United States that are marked to pay tribute to the U.S. armed forces. The National Council of State Garden Clubs, now known as National Garden Clubs, Inc., started the program in 1945 after World War II. The blue star was used on service flags to denote a service member fighting in the war. The program has since been expanded to include Memorial Markers and Memorial By-ways (since 1994). These markers are used in National Cemeteries, parks, veterans facilities, and gardens.

The Marker is at Abbie Duston Roadside Park on West Colfax Avenue (U.S. Route 40) in Lakewood, Colorado. (photo courtesy Jonny B.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#SeenOnColfax: Leon Russell

Colfax Avenue has sure seen its' share of legends over the years. We lost Leon Russell in 2016, but Denver will never forget him!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tour de Fat coming to Denver August 26, 2017

Fat Tire’s Tour de Fat Brings its Party to 33 Cities in 2017
More cities, bigger acts, and greater attendance to generate more $$ for local causes

Ft. Collins, Colo., March 21, 2017 - New Belgium Brewing’s “Fat Tire presents the Tour de Fat” is back for its 18th season and this year without question will be the biggest and boldest yet. The traveling philanthropic beer, music, and bike festival will kick off a 33-show season May 20th in Asheville, NC and wrap up Oct. 7th in Tempe, AZ.

In addition to greatly expanding the festival’s reach to accommodate more fans, this year’s events will include world-class entertainment by the likes of The Roots, Third Eye Blind, The All-American Rejects, The Naked and Famous, Michael Franti & Spearhead, X-Ambassadors, and many more.

All events will be ticketed (price varies by city) and tickets will be available in advance online at tour-de-fat or at any of the box offices for Tour de Fat venues. New Belgium has raised more than $4.5 million for partnering non-profits since its inception. This summer Tour de Fat hopes to generate more than $600,000 in support of local causes.

"This is one of the greatest ways we can give back to local communities,” said Brand Manager, Sam Sawyer. “Not only do folks get a great event with top musical acts and plenty of spectacle, local non-profits get a cash injection and the opportunity to share their message. It’s like a win-win-and win-again scenario. This is without a doubt some of the most fun we have all year.”

In addition to musical headliners, a touring ensemble of artists, cirque performers, and general mayhemists will appear alongside local buskers and street performers. New Belgium Brewing will host a battle of the bands in many cities prior to the event to give local bands the chance to represent their hometown scene.

The 2017 Tour de Fat schedule is as follows:

5/20 Asheville, NC Third Eye Blind

5/27 Charlotte, NC A Thousand Horses

5/31 Atlanta, GA Corey Harper

6/3 Orlando, FL Jamestown Revival

6/6 Baltimore, MD Hollis Brown

6/6 St. Petersburg, FL Corey Harper

6/10 Philadelphia, PA Plain White T’s

6/10 St. Louis, MO Nick Waterhouse

6/11 New Orleans, LA Corey Harper

6/17 Boston, MA AWOLNATION

6/17 Dallas, TX Jamestown Revival

7/1 Columbus, OH Smallpools

7/5 Cleveland, OH Rainbow Kitten Surprise

7/8 San Diego, CA The Naked and Famous

7/11 Sacramento, CA Hollis Brown

7/15 New York, NY The Naked and Famous

7/15 Santa Cruz, CA Wilderado

7/21 Oakland, CA Hollis Brown

7/22 Washington, DC Vintage Trouble

7/29 Chicago, IL The Roots

7/29 Grand Rapids, MI Nick Waterhouse

8/5 Indianapolis, IN The Record Company

8/12 Detroit, MI Skylar Grey

8/12 Boise, ID Blackberry Smoke

8/12 Kansas City, KS Atlas Genius

8/19 Minneapolis, MN The Record Company

8/19 San Francisco, CA Vintage Trouble

8/23 Madison, WI Atlas Genius

8/25 Boulder, CO Wilderado

8/26 Denver, CO Capital Cities

8/26 Colorado Springs, CO Wilderado

9/2 Fort Collins, CO The All-American Rejects & X Ambassadors

10/7 Tempe, AZ Michael Franti & Spearhead

Ticket sales are first come, first served. Information will be updated online in the weeks leading up to each event.

About New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews fourteen year-round beers; Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Citradelic Lime Ale, Voodoo Ranger IPA, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale, Dayblazer Easygoing Ale, Tartastic Lemon Ginger Ale, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Bohemian Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Ale, Trippel and a gluten-reduced line, Glutiny Pale Ale and Glutiny Golden Ale. Learn more at:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

RUSS coming to the Fillmore Auditorium


 Fillmore Auditorium
June 26
Showtime 8:00 pm / Doors 7:00 pm

“I’ve been at this shit nine years and now they start to call,” Russ sings on his breakout single, “What They Want.” Don’t confuse this as idle boasting from the eclectic Atlanta phenom; it’s a reminder that his rapid ascent was anything but accidental.

As the truism goes, there are 10 years of hard work behind every overnight success. In an industry filled with plants and manufactured hype, Russ did it all himself. No deep-pocketed managers funded his ascent. No co-signs propelled his rise.

Since 14, the Atlanta native has dedicated himself to music with a passion you usually only see in Tour De France champions and fictional whaling captains. His music boasts the diverse tastes of someone who grew up everywhere: New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio, and eventually Georgia.

You can detect those regional influences in his hooks of the artists he grew up with—a rich gumbo that resembles 50 Cent passing blunts with Jim Morrison; The Allman Brothers jamming with Drake; The Beatles with George Martin swapped for Outkast.

Early in his teenaged years, his family eventually settled 20 miles outside of Atlanta. Around that same time, he began making beats. Towards the end of high school, he picked up a mic, and taught himself how to play the piano, guitar, and drums. After dropping out of Kennesaw State as a freshman, Russ formed his DIEMON Crew. They shot their own videos, made their own merchandise, and mostly recorded in isolation. At the age of 23, he’s emerged as a DIY pioneer.

When most of his peers mimic the most popular disposable art, Russ has created an uncategorizable style—one almost as brilliantly alien as history’s finest ATLiens.  No exact analogues exist. Russ doesn’t slip back and forth from hyper-melodic inspirational guitar anthems to raw East Coast hip-hop—they’re all effortlessly combined in the same song. There are hints of hammock-rocking reggae, whiskey-soaked Southern rock, and soul-scarred R&B. No gimmicks, just eclectic fusion at its most advanced.

Russ made all the beats. He wrote all the raps and the hooks. He engineered and mixed and sang the songs, played the guitar, programmed the drums, and delved deep into his soul to figure out who he is and what he wants out of life. Then he wrote manifestos like “Do It Myself” to outline the road map for others to follow.

This is heartfelt, truthful music for self-empowerment. Real soul. It’s hard but melodic, sophisticated but with a direct emotional message. There is a quote from the Alchemist, “and, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Russ internalized that message, actualized it, and now, this story’s really about to begin.

at the Fillmore Auditorium Box Office, online at or call 800-745-3000.   

Tickets are $29.75 GA ADV and $33.00 GA DOS plus applicable service charges.   

The Fillmore box office is open Monday - Friday from 12:00 Noon - 6:00pm & Saturdays from 10:00am - 2:00pm. On days of Fillmore shows, the box office is open from 12:00 Noon – 9:00pm.  The box office accepts cash, MasterCard, Visa and American Express – No checks!  Service charges may apply.



CONNECT WITH US ON THE WEB                                                         

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bonfils Memorial Theatre

Artist rendering of the spectacular Bonfils Memorial Theatre for its' opening in 1953. Today it's the Tattered Cover Bookstore.

When former Denver Post publisher Helen Bonfils built her 550-seat theater palace as a memorial to her parents, it was the first new live theater built anywhere in Denver in 40 years. It soon became the epicenter of Denver society.

For untold millions of Coloradans, the Bonfils served as their first experience in live theater. And for many of their grandchildren as well.

Bonfils Theatre: Some of the names

A few local Bonfils theater alumni:

John Ashton, Dwayne Carrington, Tony Church, Joe Craft, Tupper Cullum, Paul Dwyer, Michael R. Duran, Robert Garner, Michael Gold, Bev Newcomb-Madden, Jeffrey Nickelson, Cleo Parker-Robinson, Deborah Persoff, Alex Ryer, Rick Seeber, Roger L. Simon, Robert Wells.

Celebrities who appeared in Bonfils Theatre productions:

Helen Bonfils, Mary Jo Catlett, Julia Child (she gave an onstage cooking demonstration), Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Gary Montgomery, Ted Shackelford, David Ogden Stiers, Marilyn Van Derbur (Miss America), Joan Van Ark, Paul Winfield, Emlyn Williams.

Ten unforgettable events in the theater’s history

1. When the Bonfils Memorial Theatre opened in October 1953, millionaire Broadway producer Blevins Davis (“Porgy & Bess”) called it the finest theater of its kind in the country. “There is nothing better in New York,” he said. A congratulatory telegram was sent to founder Helen Bonfils by president Dwight D. Eisenhower. “All of Denver society would show up for every opening night, presided over by Miss Helen, who would walk to her seat as the audience applauded her,” said former theater critic Thom Wise. “The society writers would cover, in detail, what all of the prominent women would wear, and who sat next to whom. In those days, the Bonfils Theater was the social center of the city.”

2. Tragedy struck in 1954. During the intermission of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” a crew member fell from 18 feet up the stalk and down through an open trap door to his death. A shaken Bonfils was determined “she better have someone in there who knew what they were doing,” said producer Henry Lowenstein. “And that’s how I got hired.”

3. People still buzz about the night Carol Channing attended “Sorrows of Stephen” in 1982 and hung out with the cast for hours afterward. But nothing topped a 1955 tribute to Denver playwright Mary Chase. She was being honored after a performance of her “Harvey” when Jimmy Stewart, the star of the film version, emerged from the back row; he had watched the entire performance unnoticed.

4. In 1957, Judge O. Otto Moore, chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, played the William Jennings Bryan-inspired role in the Scopes Monkey Trial drama “Inherit the Wind.” “We all thought that issue was finally behind us, and look what’s going on now,” Lowenstein said. “Here we are 50 years later and the issue is as alive as ever.”

5. In a 1965 production of “Dark of the Moon,” a backwoods Ozarks preacher rapes a woman as townspeople crowd around, shielding the audience from view. Lowenstein was prepared for the worst when he was summoned to the lobby to face a preacher who had an unexpected agenda. “He said, ‘I have a couple here who really wanted to see your show before they leave on their honeymoon. But they haven’t been married yet. Since you already have the lectern set up, can we marry them onstage here?’ They got married right then and there, with all my staff as witnesses. It was absolutely wonderful.”

6. The new “Perry Mason” series was filmed inside the Bonfils from 1987-89, among many other Denver locales. Raymond Burr was a consultant to Helen Bonfils on the original design of her theater. That’s why he chose to film his series there, Wise said.

7. A large portrait of “Miss Helen” graced the building’s foyer. The newspaper magnate’s first love was the theater. She would spend most theater seasons in New York as an actor and producer. She summered in Denver with her husband, George Somnes, who produced and directed plays at the Elitch Theatre. After her death in 1972, many Bonfils regulars became convinced that in her portrait, the sky behind Bonfils would grow gloomier if the current show were one she would not have liked.

8. In 1971, 23-year-old Kevin Kline was joined by David Ogden Stiers, Patti LuPone, Mary Lou Rosato and others from John Houseman’s The Acting Company to perform three shows in repertory for three weeks. Lowenstein fondly remembers driving the young stars in his beat-up Scout through a blizzard to the Career Education Center, where they conducted a workshop for children. Kline came back for at least two other runs at the Bonfils in the 1970s.

9. In 1971, 10 days before an opening night, Lowenstein canceled a production of “The Imaginary Invalid,” being staged in conjunction with the University of Denver. After four months of rehearsal, it was looking like a disaster. “I was the bad guy,” said Lowenstein, who then rushed “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Becket” into simultaneous production so that the entire cast of the canceled show would have parts. But that didn’t quell the animosity. Opening night was canceled by a bomb threat. Then the next night as well. “By the third night I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore. They can close us forever if we do this night after night,”‘ he said. That night a threatening note was found in a dressing room with letters cut from a magazine. “It was pretty clear that somebody in the cast was involved,” Lowenstein said. “But I said, ‘I don’t give a damn. This show is going on. I am willing to risk it.”‘ Neither show, it turns out, was a bomb.

10. Lowenstein considers Robert Wells’ 1983 production of “Sweeney Todd” the theater’s greatest artistic achievement. “That was the one show I would say absolutely got it right,” he said. “Everything about it was the way it should be.” It was the highlight of Wells’ 35-show run as well. “It was a knockout,” he said. Three years later, the theater closed.

Thank you to John Moore for the information on this post.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Westmoor Garage

Westmoor Garage, used to be at 9901 W. Colfax Avenue in Lakewood. Courtesy the Lakewood Heritage Center.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Denver Mint Holdup: Wildest Gun Battle in Denver History

Submitted by Tom Fesing

On a December morning in 1922, $200,000 was stolen from a Federal Reserve Bank delivery truck as it picked up its weekly cash shipment from the U.S. Mint in Denver, Colorado. A Federal Reserve Officer was killed in the line of duty as five gangsters engaged in a shootout with United States Mint Police.

The first Federal Reserve Bank in Denver was in The Continental Trust Office Building at 16th & Lawrence from 1918 to 1925. The building did not have adequate security or vaults to store cash going into circulation throughout the Rocky Mountain region, so the Denver Mint stored large cash deposits for the Fed from 1918 up until 1925.

The Federal Reserve would pick up shipments of cash from the Denver Mint and deliver it to banks in the area. A Federal Reserve truck would drive down Lawrence to W. 14th Ave and then drive East on 14th Ave until turning right on Tremont St to Colfax, stopping one block up at the front of the Denver Mint.

In 1920, the following five men arrived in Denver along with two women, whom were the common-law wives or girlfriends of Harold Burns and James Sloan: • Harold Burns - aka (Robert Leon Knapp) • James Sloan – aka (Nicholas Trainor) • Frank Farland – aka (Curley Gordon) & (The Memphis Kid) • Harvey Bailey – aka (Big Jim Franklin) • James Clark – aka (Frank Burke) • Margaret Burns – Wife /”moll” of Harold Burns • Florence Thompson – “moll” of James Sloan - aka (Queen of the Mob).

On November 15, 1922, gangster James Sloan, aka (Nick Trainor) and his girlfriend Florence Thompson started renting apartment # 37 at the Lemita Apts. at 1915 Logan Street, in downtown Denver.

On November 25, 1922, sometime between 5:30pm - 6pm the license plate of a Hupmobile Roadster belonging to a storekeeper D.C. Dabney was stolen from his vehicle in Brighton, CO. Later this stolen plate would be found on the Buick touring car used in the Mint robbery. At around midnight that night, another license plate of a car belonging to S.B. Fleming, the Deputy County Clerk of Jefferson County, was stolen from his vehicle in Golden, CO.

A 1922 Buick was stolen around 7pm from in front of 1410 Grant Street from the home of Clara Harie Peairs. Her son Arthur, a student at The Colorado School of Mines, was home at the time and saw two men get into his mother’s vehicle. He ran outside, jumping on the running board of the car as the thieves sped off. He claims to have yelled “Stop!” The man in the car put a revolver in his face, shouted back “this isn’t your car kid,” and pushed Arthur off as the Buick sped away down Grant.

On December 9, 1922, gangster Harold Burns and his wife Margaret Burns moved into Apt. #23 at the Arno Apts. at 18th & Logan.

A 1922 Cadillac was stolen around 10pm from the house of Peter C. Pierson at 1717 Williams Street. This car would be used by the gang as an alternate get-away vehicle that they would leave at 1424 Delaware Street, behind the Denver Mint building, in case their Buick broke down during the robbery attempt. Eventually it came to light that this was the residence of a local bootlegger who had met the gangsters before the robbery. During the investigation into the crime, the bootlegger proved to be a valuable witness, providing much of the information that finally let police solve the crime 10 years later.

After the robbery Paula Kenny (Kinny), a librarian at the Denver Public Library, said she witnessed a well-dressed man come in to the library every day for two weeks before the robbery and sit in the window looking westward toward the Mint. He disappeared one day before the robbery and she never saw him again. Could it have been one of the gang keeping tabs on the shipments of money leaving the mint?

The night before the robbery, Federal Reserve Guard Charles Linton struggled to get to sleep in his house on South Pennsylvania Street in Denver. His wife later stated that Charles had not slept well and that he had told her that he had a “premonition of a dire event.”

At 8am on December 18, 1922, the Harold Burns gang met at the Altahama Apartments at E. Colfax and Lafayette Street on Capitol Hill. The five gangsters were seen leaving the apartment house and getting into a 1922 Buick touring car at 9am.

Federal Reserve Bank cashier Joseph E. Olsen, Federal Reserve guard and driver Wilburt Havenor, and a US Treasury Agent drove to the Denver Mint at 9:30am to prepare for the transfer of $200,000 (in $5 bills) from the US Mint vaults to the Federal Reserve truck. After making sure everything was in order, Federal Reserve cashier Joseph Olsen stayed at the Mint while Federal Reserve guard Havenor and the Treasury Agent headed back to the Federal Reserve Bank to pick up two additional guards.

At 10:20am, two Federal Reserve Bank guards, John P. Adams and Charles T. Linton, joined Havenor as he drove to the Denver Mint to pick up the $200,000 shipment. The Federal Reserve truck pulled up to the Denver Mint on Colfax Ave. at 10:30am. Federal Reserve guard Charles Linton got out of the truck and opened the back door of the truck. Two U.S. Mint Police officers came out of the Denver Mint with two packages, each containing $100,000 of 1922 Federal Reserve 5-dollar notes. The money was put into the back of the truck, the doors were locked, and the two officers headed back into the Mint.

As soon as the officers had turned around to head back into the Mint, a Buick Touring car pulled up on the left side of the Federal Reserve truck. Two gangsters jumped out of the car and took cover behind telephone poles across the street. One gangster stayed in the driver’s seat and another, Harvey Bailey, ran to the back of the Federal Reserve truck and shouted, “Hands Up!”

Federal Reserve cashier/guard Olsen hit the sidewalk and Federal Reserve guard Havenor dove under the truck, while Federal Reserve guard Charles Linton turned in response to the shout and was hit in the chest with buckshot from Bailey’s shotgun. Bailey then shot at the locked doors of the Federal Reserve truck and blasted out the rear windows. He reached in, retrieved the bundles of cash and headed back to the get-away car.

While the robbery was underway, the Mint entrance was assailed by a barrage of shotgun blasts from the gangsters behind the telephone poles across the street. Even though 30 United States Mint employees were armed and came to the windows after the Mint alarm was sounded, they hesitated to shoot back, concerned that the Federal Reserve guards and the Mint Police officers would be caught in the crossfire.

A Mint officer in a second story window did start shooting though, hitting James Sloan in the face, hand and chest with his .38 caliber service revolver. The gang jumped back into the get-away car, pulled their wounded comrade into the car, and sped away Eastbound on Colfax Avenue towards the Capitol.

Within 90 seconds, the gang shot up the Denver Mint in a hail of gunfire, fatally injured a Federal Reserve Guard and got away with $200,000.

As the gang’s stolen Buick sped away from the Mint it ran a small truck off the road one block to the East at Bannock, causing it to run into a fire hydrant and sending an eruption of water into the air that rained down on Colfax Avenue. The bandits were chased by motorists in the area, but the car disappeared after heading south on a Pearl Street.

Crowds gathered across the street at The Mint Hotel to watch the excitement after the robbery took place. A gentleman that lived in a house at 323 West Colfax across from the Mint stated that a bullet went through his living room. Patrons in the Mint Restaurant also reported that some of the windows had been shot out as a result of the barrage of gunfire during the robbery.

Between 11:30am and 12 noon, a speeding black Buick Touring car with curtains drawn ran R.V. Dye, a Denver resident and salesman for the Auto Owners Service Association, off the road south of Loretto Heights. Some believe this was the gang speeding away from the scene of the crime.

Voices were heard in the Burns’ apartment between 12pm and 1pm that afternoon. It is theorized by some that the gang was dividing the money before leaving Denver.

Charles T. Linton died the following day from the chest wounds he sustained during the shootout. When he first had arrived at the hospital he stated to Dr. Edward F. Dean, “Doc, I tried to get ‘em - I fired three shots at ‘em, but they shot me.” His wife was with him by his side at Denver County Hospital when he passed away. Witnesses say he told her “Don’t worry dear, I will be all right, my back hurts some now, but it won’t hurt long.”

The day after the robbery, the Denver Post portrayed Denver’s Mayor Dewey, a close personal friend Linton’s, bidding farewell to the fallen Federal Reserve guard. Linton was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery after a ceremony was held at the Downtown Masonic Lodge # 5, of which he was a member. The funeral was delayed until his sons, who were Vaudeville actors in New York City, could arrive.

Denver Police tracked the weapon dropped on the front steps of the Denver Mint during the robbery by gangster James Sloan when he was shot by a US Mint Police officer from a 2nd floor window. The single barrel shotgun had been purchased in 1917 from Tritch Hardware at 1648 Arapahoe Street in Denver.

Two days after the robbery, at about 3pm, Florence Thompson, girlfriend of James Sloan, along with Harold and Margaret Burns were seen leaving the apartment with suitcases.

Residents of two houses near the Mint were questioned because they had rented their houses two weeks prior to the robbery and then left the homes on December 21, “in a hurry” according to witnesses. This was just three days after the robbery occurred. The houses were located one block from the Mint at 1335 and 1339 Delaware Street. The residents of 1339 Delaware were Joe Loretta and his wife, who were questioned and then released. It was discovered that the four men who resided at 1335 Delaware were bootleggers and had left abruptly in fear of being caught and charged with bootlegging because of the increased police presence after the robbery.

Police were also notified by a gentleman who had rented a garage at 1631 Gilpin to four men the previous month. The owner became suspicious when he discovered the men had put a large heavy-duty lock on the garage. Police cut the lock and opened the garage to find the Buick used in the Mint robbery and the body of James Sloan aka (Nicholas Trainor) who had been shot in the face, hand and heart by .38 caliber bullets, wounds he received during the robbery. The vehicle was littered with empty and loaded shells. A fully loaded .30-30 Winchester repeating rifle lay in the back seat, along with two shotguns. The side of the car was splattered with blood.

According to the Denver Police and FBI records, Florence Thompson, girlfriend of James Sloan, told the gang that, “I’ll blow up the whole case and turn you in unless you let me go to the garage and bid Nicky goodbye!” Afraid that she would go to the police, the gunmen took her to the garage. “There she bent over and kissed his frozen face.”

It is theorized that the gang left Denver within a few days of the robbery and headed to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, which was a hotbed of gangster activity at the time. In Minneapolis they turned the $200,000 over to a prominent attorney. The lawyer allegedly kept the loot in his basement overnight, passing it on the following day to an “underworld” mob character for laundering.

James Sloane was buried on January 23, 1922. The Meyer Undertaking company donated his casket and The Riverside Cemetery gave him a plot. The appeal of gangsters and their lifestyle in the 1920’s, along with the Mint robbery being the most famous robbery in Denver’s history, made Sloan’s burial so popular that there was a larger gathering at Sloan’s funeral than for that of the Federal Reserve Guard Linton’s. In fact so many men volunteered to be pallbearer’s that the undertaker was forced to choose who would bear the casket.

The evening before the funeral a large assortment of carnations was left on the front door of the funeral parlor. An unsigned note asked for them to be placed on Sloane’s casket. Just two days earlier police had suspected that Sloane’s “Bandit Queen”, Florence Thompson, had slipped into the funeral parlor wearing a disguise to say goodbye to her love. According to witness statements, a woman with fists clenched by her side, stopped at the casket and raised one hand to her lips as if to stifle tears. She than looked fearfully over her shoulder, wrung her hands and fled from the parlor, never to be seen again.

Two years after the robbery, $80,000 dollars of the stolen money showed up in a sting operation after a Minneapolis doctor was charged with money laundering. Yet authorities could not connect him with the Mint robbery or the gangsters that pulled it off.

On December 2, 1934, newspapers across the country carried the story that the robbery of the Denver Mint had finally been solved, claiming the five men and two women that were involved were either dead or jailed on other crimes. No one was ever actually charged with the crime and for all intended purposes the gang got away with the robbery.

The Secret Service and Chief Detective Albert T. Clark of the Denver Police announced that Harvey Bailey had driven the get-away car and was currently serving a life-sentence in Alcatraz “Devil’s Island” for the kidnapping of an Oklahoma City millionaire Charles Ursschell. James Clark, another member of the gang, was serving a life sentence in the Indiana State Penitentiary in Michigan City for the robbery of a bank in Clinton, Indiana. Harold Burns was dead, although the circumstances of his death were not fully known. Frank McFarland “The Memphis Kid” was also dead. James Sloan had been found dead in the get-away car shortly after the robbery. The bullet riddled body of Florence Thompson “Queen of the Mob” was found in 1927. And in 1932 the bullet riddled body of Margaret Burns, wife of Harold Burns, was found in the wreckage of a car near Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, along with an unknown woman. Both had been shot, then daubed with acid and gasoline and burned in their car.

Bailey was released from prison in 1964 after serving time for the kidnapping in Kansas, and died in 1979 at the age of 91. You can read more about him in the book written by J . Evetts Haley “Robbing Banks Was My Business...the Story of J. Harvey Bailey.”

Pfeifer's Restaurant and Lounge

Photo by Walt "Highway 40" Hackney
Today it's gone, but at one time the Pfeifer's Restaurant and Lounge sign lit up East Colfax in style!

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Wow! What interesting history behind this little menu from Denver Colorado. It is painted in black and white 3100 E. COLFAX/PICK-A-RIB/SPEER & BROADWAY. This was a Barbecue Car Hop, which started in 1940-1945. Some older Denver residents have such a fond memory of this place. They said that it was owned by an Ike and Lil Levitt, a Jewish couple who ran the place with the cook being a huge, Black man, who was a very imposing figure, so it was told! The color scheme of the restaurant was black and white, which makes sense with the menu. I think it closed down in the 1950's at some time. It was known to have the best barbecue in town. The building is now Annie's restaurant at the Colfax location and the Speer and Broadway location is business office space now.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Highway 40 (oz.)

Show your support for this website and get a crazy cool T-shirt to boot! Introducing the Highway 40 (oz.)! Email info[at] with your shirt size (M, L, XL only) and we'll send you a PayPal invoice for $25. Once it's paid, the soft, high quality shirt will be shipped the same day! Special thanks to Karl Christian Krumpholz for giving life to my idea.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Flogging Molly coming to The Fillmore Auditorium

Special Guest The White Buffalo
Fillmore Auditorium
Saturday, May 13
Showtime 9:00 pm / Doors 8:00 pm

FLOGGING MOLLY announces their 2017 North American Headlining Tour which kicks off on May 4th in Oakland, CA and brings the band’s adrenaline-fueled live performances to cities including Vancouver, Denver, New York City, Montreal, Chicago and more.  Tickets go on sale Friday, March 17 at 10:00am local time.  The tour is in support of FLOGGING MOLLY’S long awaited new album LIFE IS GOOD out on June 2nd via Vanguard Records.  Fans will be excited to know that every ticket order will include a digital download of the new album upon release.  For additional ticket information visit

Produced by Grammy Award winning Joe Chiccarelli (U2, White Stripes, Beck) and recorded in Dublin, Ireland, LIFE IS GOOD marks FLOGGING MOLLY’S first studio album in six years since 2011’s highly acclaimed Speed of Darkness which reached #9 on Billboard’s Top 200. Founded by Dublin-born frontman Dave King and fiddle-player Bridget Regan, FLOGGING MOLLY have long been hailed for their compelling lyrics of exile, rebellion, history and struggle told through exuberant anthems with a fierce blend of raucous punk/rock and traditional Irish music. 

The band has just wrapped up their annual "Salty Dog Cruise" and will be in Los Angeles tonight - St. Patrick’s Day, for their "Devil’s Dance Floor" celebration at The Forum with special guests Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Mariachi El Bronx.  The show will also be live streamed on TIDAL.  Tune in on
beginning at 7:30pm PST.

FLOGGING MOLLY IS:  Dave King (Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bodhran), Bridget Regan (Violin, Tin Whistle), Dennis Casey (Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar), Bob Schmidt (Banjo, Mandolin), Matthew Hensley (Accordion, Piano, Concertina), Nathen Maxwell (Bass Guitar), Michael Alonso (Drums, Percussion).

For more information contact:
Lucy Sabini – – 310-385-4321

at the Fillmore Auditorium Box Office, online at or call 800-745-3000.   

Tickets are $32.50 GA ADV and $35.00 GA DOS plus applicable service charges.    

The Fillmore box office is open Monday - Friday from 12:00 Noon - 6:00pm & Saturdays from 10:00am - 2:00pm. On days of Fillmore shows, the box office is open from 12:00 Noon – 9:00pm.  The box office accepts cash, MasterCard, Visa and American Express – No checks!  Service charges may apply. 
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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

East Colfax/East Montclair Neighborhood History

East Colfax\East Montclair Neighborhood History

This interview was in regards to one of the older residents in the neighborhood whose house on Ulster was built in 1925.

My parents built this house in 1925. My dad was a patient at Fitzsimmons and my mother was an Army nurse. That's where they met. They moved here in 1925. After my mother died my father's health was not so good so when I got married I didn't leave home. I brought my husband home instead. The house has been remodeled repeatedly because it was so small. I was not born yet when they moved here. I am the youngest of three. My sisters went to Ashley elementary the day it opened in 1929. All three of us went to Ashley. Of course it was just the little corner part at that time. We had a half-time kindergarten teacher and a half time principal and we shared them with Montclair Elementary which is now the Paddington School at Quebec and E. 13th Ave.. Miss Lyons was the kindergarten teacher and Mrs. Godsmitten was the principal. I know the last year I was at Ashley elementary it was small enough that we didn't have a fifth-grade class, the fifth grade class was divided between the fourth and the sixth grades.

There wasn't much around here at that time. The 1700 block of Spruce Street was filled in on the side. 19th Ave. stopped at Rosemary and the house on the north east corner with its redbrick was there. Between Rosemary and Quebec people had driven cars through it but it wasn't a Road. There was one little house that was there but most of it was vacant land except for a couple of houses on E. 17th Ave.

There is that big house at E. 17th Ave. and Quince Street, the pretty White one belonged to the Carsons and the Carsons grocery Company. It was a real big house that they remodeled and put the garage on it used to have the great huge lilac bushes. Then there was a house across from that. Then there was a house at 17th Ave. and Rosemary a red brick house nothing further up those blocks.

Of course the park (McNichols) had a greenhouse and a little Old house with windows out. It was simply four walls. Where McNichols park is now was just a vacant lot and the greenhouse. The greenhouse was a active business.

My folks built our house in 1925 and I was born here in 1929. The winter of 1932-1933 was the first years I could remember. I know that over here on Ulster Street those two big houses on the Eastside were there. The National Greeters Home was for retired hotel people. They had a big orchard. Over where Evergeen Apartments (now Advenir at Stapleton) is now that was the Jewish Tubercular patients home. They had three or four buildings.

Tamarac never went through from E. 19th Ave. to Colfax. I think there were four buildings. Then down about Ulster Street At Colfax I think were some little business buildings that were torn down eventually. These were all people who lived in the back of their stores. Next to the store there was some kind of feed store with turkeys. It was only there a few years. There were a few other little things on Colfax. No businesses on the south side, none at all. But there were a few people who lived on East Colfax.

I had friends who lived east of here and they had running water but there were not on the sewer line. I would say that probably about 1940 over at E. 19th Ave. and Spruce Street that they just got indoor plumbing about that time. When this house was built it wasn't on the sewer line. They had a cesspool and had running water and electricity.

The streets were not paved until 1946 after the war, it may have been closer to 1950. Montview Blvd had a surface and E. 17th Ave. did and of course East Colfax Avenue, but the rest of the neighborhood streets were gravel. There was a sidewalk in the 1600 block of Trenton Street. We couldn't rollerskate around here because there weren't any sidewalks.

My husband was raised over at E. 16th Ave. in Pontiac street. Of course, he was allowed out and he said he and his friends used to go over and rollerskate on the runways at the old Stapleton Airport. I remember going up on the hill by the school when they had airshows with parachute jumpers and wing walkers to watch and when we went over the hill to get pollywogs. Used to be lots of little swamps over at the airport.

The little house across the street that sets back was the garage and they were going to build a house in front and they dug a basement and then 20 years somebody built a home on the foundation. In the corner house was Tom and Marie Hendricks. Tom made leather jackets. The guys would bring in their deer hides. He would send them into be tanned and then would make jackets out of them. They were there for years and years. She had typhoid fever and was an invalid for many years. We had chickens but that wasn't unusual at the time. During the war lots of people had chickens because there wasn't enough to read points for meat. We had chickens for a long time. My mother brought us to ducks and my sister dropped one duck after she had it 15 minutes and it died, and the other one lived for about 15 years. That duck had never seen another duck and she thought she was a chicken. For many years my dad kept the chickens simply to keep the duck company. We called her Donald of course what else would you call a duck.

We didn't have a library of any kind except for libraries in each classroom and school. Once a week we go over to the Montclair school. I guess you could call it a forerunner of the bookmobile they would come up and set the books up inside. I went to St. Luke's church and that was expanded a lot over the years. There wasn't much built south of Colfax. The kids on the southside went to Montclair elementary and on the northside to Ashley elementary. We went to Smiley and they went to Gove. When we were kids here that was the only church except for the Catholic Church. There was a little Baptist Church where the Zion Church is now. That was there for many years. We went to vacation Bible school there. Right after the second world war we had 500 children in the Sunday school. That was the only church except the Catholic Church. Aurora didn't have any church so to speak of.

In the 1940s times we're not good and when the war came along they were not building anything. They didn't send a bus around for the children. You got there on your own. In the late 1940s and early 1950s there were big families with five or six kids in the neighborhood. I was at the end of that period. Many kids were born in 1956 in 1957.

We have to make our own amusement so it was kick the can and very simple game is because and if you own a baseball and a bat you were almost wealthy. Jacks, paper dolls, Momoli Paiges and jacks. Of course, at that time you could go down to the museum and the zoo for free. I can remember when we were kids they have some kind of band at city Park in the fountain and I can remember our parents taking us down there for the band concerts. Park Hill was built up not as thick as now but it was a very established neighborhood. West of Monaco was built up pretty good. We would go to Cheeseman Park because the Denver Post put on an opera there for years and years. You went to the park and sat on blankets. One year there was a terrible forest fire that was so big you could see it burning from cheesman park. That is the only thing I can distinctly remember about it. That was probably in the late 1930s.

When I finish six grade there were 10 or 11 of us in that grade. Mary Grace used to live about 1610 Ulster St. and she was raised in this neighborhood. I don't think Rose Wilson came until after the world war. I don't think those houses were built yet.

Mr. Woods had a body shop and they owned the red house and then they built the cream colored brick house and moved into it. On the side of Spruce Street it was built up. The house on the corner is a stucco house with a porch and a little bitty house. I think where they built the last vacant lot. On the other side there were houses down on this end of the other side.

My husband and I went to the Beacon supper club very frequently before we were married. That was in the 1950s the first time I can remember going to the Beacon was when I went there with the man I married. We started going together in 1951. Willy and Jerry Hartsell. They didn't have dancing. It was so jammed into dance. I'll put it differently they were more interested in selling booze and food than putting people on the dance floor. Part of the deal was that they would have a show and then they would stop and then it was Time to have drinks. They push the booze on Saturday nights it would be very crowded. We would also go to the famous chef restaurant where Saturday's (PT's) strip club is now. That was an excellent restaurant the same people had a restaurant downtown. The food was superb. We would also go to the Yucca which was in a big building on the north side of East Colfax maybe at Beeler St. in Aurora. It was a big Mexican hacienda tight building. After the war the Yucca traded for a little place further down. What was the Yucca turned into one of those veterans organizations that showed up and disappeared and it was basically illegal gambling.

Regarding the heavy vine covering all the front of her house my mother planted that vine and she was an invalid by 40 or 45 so it must be at least 50 years old. The trees are older than I am around the house. I know my mother worked at Colorado women's college when I was in high school. A lot of us in the neighborhood worked at the women's college. We set the tables clear the tables and made meals and if I remember clearly we were paid something like a dollar 25 a day plus our supper.

The first job I had a 1945 was for millers supermarket I made $.50 an hour. That was a Miller's for that $.99 store is opening up and it was one Elm and Colfax Avenue and one in Aurora.

The streetcar is turned around at Poplar Street and E. Colfax Ave. they sat back from where the streetcars turned around. They had a streetcar turn over there. It didn't turn on a turntable. And it was almost a complete circle so we had to slow down quite a bit to get around it. It was a little building in there and the buses came in on one side in the street cars on the other. My family had a little concession stand there for years and years and that was a place you could go inside and eat. Every so often something would happen on the streetcar. One of them would jump the track or when that happened the whole line would close down because there was no way to get around it. The streetcars went out about 1949 or 1950. Then they put an electric buses that ran like a bus but they ran on an overhead wire they didn't run on the track they were a lot more comfortable than the streetcar.

In my younger dating days you went either to the moon drive-in, the pick a rib, or the oasis. They were all East of Colorado Boulevard down on E. Colfax Ave. about Cherry Street. I think there is a Winchells donuts shop there now.

When I was a kid there was a barrel shaped one down there I know in the early 1950s that was an A&W root beer stand east of where the Apple tree shanty (Xanthia & Colfax) is on the same side of the street. That was the first drive I can remember in this part of town. When that opened it opened as the famous restaurant. It was really busy they had good food. I remember we had always have chicken livers they made beautiful chef salads.

Article courtesy East Montclair Neighborhood Association

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ever Wonder How The Tony Awards Got Its' Name?

 by Anistacia Barber

The prestigious Tony Awards honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway. Sponsored by the American Theatre Wing, the awards program debuted at a formal dinner with over 1,000 guests in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1947. The big winners that night included José Ferrer, Arthur Miller, Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Patricia Neal, Elia Kazan and Agnes de Mille.

But who the heck is Tony? Tony is none other than Denver’s own 1906 East High School graduate, Antoinette “Tony” Perry: actress, director, producer, community activist, humanitarian and the dynamic wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing, which she co-founded to realize her lifelong efforts to encourage young theatre talent. The official name of the award is the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre.

Antoinette Perry
Born June 27, 1888 in Denver, Colorado, Antoinette Perry spent her childhood aspiring to become a thespian like her aunt and uncle who were both well-respected touring actors. As a teen, Antoinette joined their stock company billed as "the youngest female star in America" and enjoyed great success for many years.

Miss Perry fell in love with and married utilities magnate (Denver Gas and Electric), Frank Frueauff in 1909, eventually leaving stage life and having two daughters, Elaine and Margaret. After Frank died in 1922 she returned to theatre, becoming the very first successful woman producer/director. Strictly Dishonorable, which opened in September 1929 and ran for 557 performances, was Perry’s first great success as a Broadway director. She produced and directed an epic run of hit shows (17 plays in 13 years), including Personal Appearance (1934), Kiss the Boys Goodbye (1938) and Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize- winning Harvey (1944). Antoinette made her mark unselfishly flinging open doors of opportunity for women in theatric arts.

Her esteemed place in history was sealed by her tireless drive as an activist and humanitarian, often against impossible odds.

The American Theatre Wing which she founded in 1939 with actresses Josephine Hull, Gertrude Lawrence and Helen Menken operated the famed Stage Door Canteen in the basement of the (now razed) 44th Street Theatre, where stars worked as dishwashers, servers, and entertainers providing relief to World War II armed forces members. The sale of film rights for a story about the canteen, a generous donation from Perry and additional financial support from Rodgers and Hammerstein, provided USO show tours to overseas troops. At the end of the war, Miss Perry was the guiding force in setting up a drama school for veterans under the 1944 GI Bill. Tony also coordinated 1,500 auditorium programs and 6,700 hospital entertainment units in the U.S. and abroad.

To the great sadness of countless fans, Perry died from a heart attack on June 28, 1946, one day after her 58th birthday. She is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.

Antoinette Perry was an East High Angel in the truest sense.