By GORDIE LITTLE, Small Talk
---- — “Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.” Mother Goose knew her stuff, didn’t she? The boy went to market to buy a fat pig and came home again dancing a jig. He went to buy a fat hog and came home again “jiggety-jog.”
We’re also home again after a five-day excursion to Colorado for the wedding of our grandson, Conrad Baker, and his lovely wife, Holly. As we arrived in Denver, we couldn’t help but sing a chorus or two of John Denver’s tune “Rocky Mountain High.” What a beautiful place. From the airport, we could see what appeared to be a mist on the mountains. It was smoke from a terrible wildfire.
We stayed in Boulder’s historic Boulderado Hotel and were charmed from the moment we entered. Those who know me are aware that I don’t believe in coincidences. I smile when I notice how pieces in the master plan come together. I registered at the desk and looked slightly to my left. There, on a table in a glass-covered cabinet, was an old hotel registration book, opened “randomly” to a page. Not just a page. The left page read “June 15, 1937.” On the right was “June 16, 1937.” Was it a coincidence that I stood in the lobby on my 75th birthday, June 15, 2012, and the wedding was scheduled for June 16? I think not.
Thanks to our daughter-in-law, Leslie Baker, and her husband, Greg, we were sent to room 403 in the oldest portion of the hotel. An Otis elevator, installed in 1907 before the hotel was completed, is still operational. You push a bell button, and an attendant ushers you into the tiny cubicle. He swings the old lever down to put the elevator into motion. You rise slowly. He moves the level back to the “stop” position and cautions you that it might have stopped a few inches off from level with the floor. We stepped up a bit and exited. There were antiques in the hallways, including a 100-year-old foot-operated parlor organ. Wonderful, old wooden doors, each complete with a transom on top, led into the rooms. Inside, the space was replete with antique furniture and a beautiful, old wooden bed.
It took our breath away. Excitement built as the guests prepared for the big day on June 16. The wedding was perfect in every way as the couple stood with their wedding party in front of a curved balustrade on the Mezzanine and exchanged their vows. Guests watched from the floor above. Over our heads, a fabulous colored-glass skylight reflected light down on the assemblage.
The reception, held right there, was equally wonderful, with family and friends together sharing their happiness.
Everyone knows I love to collect, write and tell “true” ghost stories. As Kaye and I settled into bed around 11 that night, I made an unspoken request for any residual spirits to make themselves known. We were aroused from a sound slumber precisely at the stroke of midnight when the radio in the room clicked “on” and began blaring music with the volume at the maximum. “Enough, already,” I muttered as I jumped up, turned it off and tried to calm the adrenaline rush. It was awhile before sleep came again.
On my birthday, our granddaughter, Sara, who lives and works nearby, took us to another historic hotel called the Brown Palace in Denver for a “high tea.” I tried to mind my manners in such an august place, and we thoroughly enjoyed tea, scones, finger sandwiches and tiny desserts. All of this was accompanied by a fabulous jazz pianist performing live on a grand piano mere feet behind my head. He played old songs that thrilled and delighted me, with arrangements that blew me away. I shook his hand and offered my hearty congratulations when it was over.
What golden memories. Now, we’re home and we’re happy with yet another set of magical memories from my birthday, a wedding and Father’s Day. And how was your week?
Have a great day and please, drive carefully.