corner 3.jpg

Before I shut my plate glass eyes

one last time, I survey

the intersection of Hwy 24 and

Main Street where I’ve lived

since 1940. Let me tell you my story.

I once existed on what’s called

Court Street. It used to be the main road

through Buena Vista. “Pikes Peak

Ocean-to-Ocean Highway” is

how that street was known then.

That’s when Buena Vista was named

“The Lettuce Capital of the World.”

Tons of head lettuce were grown in our

glacier-rich soil and shipped

by rail all over the US, packed

in ice from Ice Lake, right here in town.

Those were the days! Our salad days!

I remember when

Highway 24 was built in 1937.

The Texaco folks decided to

make me into a spiffy new station

and move me from Court St.

to the corner of Main and Hwy 24.

I watched men driving to work

at the Climax mine. I serviced

ranchers, miners, cowboys,

tourists and locals for eighty years!

In the summer, the flatlanders

came, at first in drips and drabs, 

later by the bus-load, to all those

adventure camps and much later

those hoards from Denver

and beyond, who’d gotten wind

of Beunie and its charms stopped

for a fill-up and a snack.

But it’s 2021.

I’m tired now. My pumps are shot.

The shingles on my roof are cracked.

The motorhomes people drive today

can’t fit under my canopy.

I’m obsolete. This is my final

testament as I see the back hoe

moving in.

It’s okay, though. The town will

turn my plot into a garden with some

benches at first. And later,

down the road, I’ve heard they’ll

build a Welcome Center on this spot.

Eighty years is not a bad lifespan

for a service station. . . do you think?

 Maria Weber, March, 2021

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