“Turkeys” aka tourists

Central City is what my father called a tourist town. The height of tourist season was in the summer, and many stores completely closed up during the winter. Somewhere along the way, our family started referring to a tourist as a turkey. I don’t remember why it started exactly. I had always assumed that it was a fairly commonplace term and that all of the local townspeople used it. Certainly all of our family and friends did.

Beginning in the spring, people would come to Central and, while visiting, ask the shop owners where they could drive for sightseeing. Oftentimes proprietors would send them up the hill to the right of free parking and then into the ghost town of Nevadaville, past the Buck House, then across King’s Flat, down the hill and around the switchback at the ranch, past the Boodle Mine and down Gregory Street back into the heart of the city.

All summer long, vehicle after vehicle would drive by the Buck House. Sometimes a station wagon with a family and their dog, other times five or six 4x4s in a row, part of a club up from Denver. Not that anyone blamed them for coming. We lived in the midst of one of the most beautiful places on earth. Mountains, meadows, wildlife and wild flowers attracted everyone. Then in the fall, at the height of Colorado’s leaf season, someone from town would inevitably drive the loop stopping every once in awhile to hammer a home made sign into the dirt. These would safely lead the tourists along this road back into town.

With three dogs a part of our family, we knew each and every time someone drove by, even if we didn’t hear their engines directly. Sometimes the strangers would even come down our driveway looking for directions further up Bald Mountain or back to town if they missed the signs. These were the turkeys. 

Later, as we built our log house even further out in the woods, we found that the casual drivers in the station wagons gave way to mostly 4x4s and motorcycles. By and large I’m sure that most people are respectful of nature, but with that many people driving out into the woods to test the abilities of their vehicles and their own driving skills, there were plenty of bad apples. Sometimes they would decide to go completely off road through meadows or up hills tearing up the countryside and the destroying the pristine beauty. Particularly in the spring, when the snow runoff was highest, folks would race across bogs trying to make it to the other side. When they didn’t, their buddies would get their tug-ropes out, attach them to the bumper and pull them back out making even more of a mess. These were the turkeys. 

Especially during the summer weekends, campers would come up from Denver. Our property, like that of our neighbors, was a former mining claim. A piece of land granted to someone else years ago because silver or gold was found there. A five-acre strip of land otherwise surrounded by the Arapaho National Forest. The forestry department did not require a pass or otherwise restrict campers at all here in the middle of the woods. Too frequently, Mother Nature’s guests would leave their trash at their makeshift campsites by Pisgah Lake. Beer cans and diapers would be left behind to be carted off by wildlife or picked up by nearby families like ours. These were the turkeys. 

Many weekend visitors didn’t even realize that private property criss-crossed the mountainsides. That while they were driving on the actual road that it was perfectly fine, but depending on where they left the road they might be on private property – whether marked or not. Our log home was built down the hill from where public access crossed our property. Because we built our log home stockade style, it was mostly invisible to most passersby during the summer. Before we finished all of the matching log outhouse walls, you could could sit there, on the throne, tissue in hand waving at the tourists and not one would even know. These were the turkeys. 

My brother is nine years younger than I am. He learned to talk during our adventures in the middle of the woods. So naturally, he learned what a turkey was based on our family’s use of the word. We lamented the sounds of the turkeys coming around the curve on their motorcycles. We complained when we had to pick up trash the turkeys left. Dad bitched like hell every time we passed one of the pretty meadows now turned bog by the turkeys.

Sometimes the turkeys would stop in the middle of our property and start to unload for the long weekend. Tents, coolers, kids, and dogs would try to move in, not realizing that they were camping 1500 feet from our house. Before they completely unpacked, Dad would get his 12-gauge shotgun, open it and put two red shells side by side into it. Then, leaving it open, he would walk up the hill and approach the folks very friendly, but seriously and ask if they knew that they were on private property. Occasionally he would have them look not far from where they were unpacking to find the stone marker that proved it.

There was also the time that turkeys stopped at a meadow the other direction from our house where we used to play softball. We knew when they started shooting guns at our No Shooting sign, not because of the gunshots, but because we heard the bullets whizzing into the trees above our house. Dad loaded the shotgun, then loaded the Doberman into the Jeep. He mumbled something about the mother of these turkeys before he sped up the driveway. Mom made us stay inside the house away from the windows where we heard more gunshots and then one final loud one. It turns out that dad had to fire his 12-gauge into the air to get their attention and stop them from shooting. They were understandably mortified to know why Dad was standing there with a shotgun and why he was more than a little upset at them shooting toward our house.

As more and more colorful leaves joined their brothers and sisters on the ground, fewer and fewer tourists came by. Snow fell and stayed longer. Labor Day marked the last day of the season, then Halloween came and went. By the end of October snow is a permanent part of the landscape until spring. As Thanksgiving approached mom and dad began to talk about what we were going to have for our Thanksgiving dinner.  Mom told my sister, my little brother and I that there would be pumpkin pie of course at the end, but we would have ham, green bean casserole, yams and mashed potatoes with stuffing from the turkey.

Little Charlie started crying hysterically, loudly and rather inconsolably. “Why are we going to eat turkey”, he said between sobs. “I didn’t think we would eat them!”

It took us a very long while to calm him down and to explain that we would not be eating people this Thanksgiving.

The Belvedere Theater

It was Friday night and the Gibbins family was going to the movies. Not to one of the fancy new two-plex theaters like they had in Denver though. We were going to the Belvedere and like many places in Central City, this building had historical significance.

We had to descend one of two wood staircases that were on either side of the theater down to the main floor where we would watch the movie. We picked one of the round tables and spread our family of five around it. This was the first time I had ever been to a movie theater like this.  One with actual servers instead of concessions where adults could order adult beverages. We got to order real food too, not just popcorn.

In front of us was a stage and on the stage was a screen. That too was different from other theaters. I guessed that maybe they put on plays sometimes. I enjoyed looking around the big open area as our food was served.

So, the movie begins.  Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox was apparently a western. It wasn’t long into the movie when I realized that I was sitting in the middle of the scene that was being shown on the big screen in front of me. That I was sitting at a table that was in the scene facing the stage where Goldie Hawn was… er… she was… well dancing and singing about her fruit.

I was new to Central City at the time, so I didn’t even notice the opening sequences were taken in the town I lived in too. A few years later when video rentals became a thing, I got a copy of the tape for myself and watched it many times.

This was my first time seeing the movie though and I was enthralled. I loved seeing the buildings that I walked past on my way to school. Dad said that they had to cover the paved road in dirt for the movie. I guess he already knew that it was partly filmed here, but was keeping it quiet until we noticed.

Years later I met and became friends with the son of the people who owned and operated the theater. He was one of the older kids so I didn’t really hang out with him much, but I did get to go into the projector room with him sometimes.

We Are the Children of Clark School

The Schoolyard at Clark was a 4th grader’s dream and every modern mother’s nightmare. The kind of excitement we had then cannot be found on a playground today.

As I recall, the swing was on the only flat part of the yard and constructed of three inch iron pipe. Tall, three-legged triangles on each end with a supporting pipe between them all painted a glossy black. The swing seats hung down on chains from the support bar far above. Deep troughs in the dirt beneath the seats were worn by the countless children before us.

This was the setting for one of our playground challenges – Who can jump out of the the swing at the high point and land the furthest from the swing set?

By the 5th grade, I was one of the kids who could climb to the very top of the swing, shimmy out the chain support and drag the seat up and around the pipe thereby lifting the seats higher and providing greater distance for our flying jumps.

Tetherball provided additional modes of combat. Yes, combat. If you’ve not played tetherball in the schoolyard and had your face pounded by a hard ball swinging around a pole as fast as another kid can propel it, you just don’t know. Like the rest of the playground, the tetherball was on a hill. Surrounded by a few trees and the furthest away from the eyes we imagined on the second floor of the building, was another pipe. This one mounted vertically into the ground with concrete peeking out on the downhill side where water had washed away the dirt.

We creamed one another with the ball. Learning that the uphill position was the superior one helped me to at least win sometimes.

Another memorable game in the schoolyard was a variation on tag that could only be played here in this unique place and time.

The school, like the rest of Central City, was built on a hill. Sitting between Gregory Street and First High as it was, there was a need to ensure that run off water from the street above did not flood or wash out the playground. Stone masons from years past had built a stone wall on the north side of the yard, perhaps ten or twelve feet high supporting the road above. In the wall was left an opening that resembled a big fireplace or a small jail cell without bars. In reality it provided open access to the water flowing down from the street above, through the chamber and then down to a small corrugated drainage pipe in the floor that whisked the water away under the playground and the street into the creek in front of the school.

It was into this jail that we boys locked the girls during tag. The small chamber became sort of the opposite of a base with room enough for at least 4 kids. We captured the girls by tagging them, this meant that they also had to go up to the jail with the rest of the captured girls until they were let out by another girl who was in the game and had yet to be captured. This was pretty much the sum of the rules. A voluntary game on the part of all participants and a made up excuse to hang out on the playground with the opposite gender. In elementary school I was apparently partial to blondes, especially two particular ones. One with straight long hair and the other with shorter curly locks.

It wasn’t all fun and games though, not with Mrs. Gray as our principal. Now I’m sure she was a perfectly nice woman to adults. But to us kids she was terrifying. I had never been in a school setting and had anyone bang stainless steel utensils on a cafeteria table before. No doubt she had to yell and bang to be heard over the lunch noise of who knows how many elementary students. Nevertheless, it was frightening. The only time I got in trouble was when my sister and I were throwing rocks at on another after school. She called my parents and they handled that back at home. I was never in a chair in her office.

The hallways of Clark were lined with lockers, a reminder that it was a high school before it was repurposed into an elementary. The science room on the first floor also retained its high school lab equipment. Science class was taught by Mr. Allen who let the students light crayons on fire with the gas burners and draw colorful wax  drawings by dripping them onto paper. One year, during field day at Columbine Campground, Mr. Allen was in charge of lighting the grills for the cookout. He used a can of ether to get them started. I think he might have been a closet pyromaniac, but us kids loved him anyway.

Mrs. Quiller was probably a favorite teacher for most of the students. As the reading teacher, she certainly was one of mine. I especially loved reading alone in Mrs. Quiller’s reading loft — a literal loft built in the room to one side for the sole purpose of reading. When I started in 4th grade she moved me to a 5th grade reading book. When I advanced to 5th grade she moved me to the 6th grade reader. When it came to 6th grade though, Mrs. Quiller ran into a problem – there was not a 7th grade reader available in the elementary school. I was presented with the 4th grade reader since “at least it has new stories”. I knew that Mrs. Quiller was doing the best she could by giving me new material. I also totally understood the logic in why there were not 7th grade reading books available, but I still talked to my Dad. He talked to Mrs. Quiller and the new principal, Mr. Myers. Everyone agreed that it was silly and something needed to be done. That asking a 7th grade level reader to read a 4th grade level book simply because another book was not available in an institution of education…?

I received a new 7th grade reading book compliments of the Clear Creek County school system. Like all readers at that time, the book was named something related to the content within. On the front of my new reader was printed Serendipity.

Our Elementary Alma Mater

We are the children of Clark School,
We try to live by the Golden Rule,
We are the pride of our mother’s eye’s,
You know it true we really try,
We try to be our very best,
Do what’s good,
Forget the rest…

Or something like that, seriously, it has been 40 years! The song was written by one of the school administration, but I don’t recall who specifically.

Missouri Falls

One summer mom and dad surprised us with a trip to a local, but apparently not widely known, private location they referred to as Missouri Falls.

To reach Missouri Falls was a quick trip by truck since it was not too far off the highway outside of Blackhawk. After turning off the main road, we turned onto smaller ones and eventually passed the remains of a cabin. Dad said that this area was occupied in the past by the Hell’s Angels and their cabin was burned down by the law.  True or not, it added color to the trip.

We parked and then had to walk through the woods a little way as I recall before we came to the waterfall. In the middle of the woods, surrounded by aspen and pine, Missouri Creek dropped off the top of a rock cliff creating a pool of ice cold water in the soft stone below, then it cascaded down the smoothed rocks into another pool further down. After creating a series of smooth rock slides into natural pools like this, the small creek continued down the valley to eventually meet up with larger and larger creeks.

Dad’s favorite flower and a frequent subject of photos.

This was obviously not the kind of water park with wristbands and pay for entry. This was just a hidden spot, deep in the woods, discovered and shared with close friends over time.

Now, it also turns out that this place was clothing optional. Being only ten years old, this was the first I had even heard that public nudity was a thing. I decided that maybe it was related to the biker history?

We went with friends of the family who turned out to be comfortable in their birthday suits. I guess mom and dad knew, but Jen and I were very surprised. To be perfectly clear, we wore our bathing suits.

Getting to the very top pool over the slippery rock was a bit scary, but that one was the deepest because the water fell the furthest. Naturally, that’s where we headed first… last one there is a rotten egg… my sister was last. That trip to the top pool was the only one that day. That was fine with me because the most fun to be had was sliding down the rocks below it and splashing into the lower pools anyway. Truth be told getting to the top one was scary, but I wouldn’t give my sister the satisfaction of knowing.

It was one of those amazing Colorado summer days that creates memories forever.

We came back to Missouri Falls a number of times that year, but I never saw anyone there other than the various families we visited with. Some clothed, some not.

I came back a few summers later with my cousin Tommy. Not for the falls, but for the cliff. I learned to repel from that cliff. Tom and I walked around to the top and he tied off the rope to a big secure rock, assuring me that it was fine. Then he walked backwards and disappeared out of view over the edge.

That entire day was spent with him showing me the ropes… so to speak. I learned to tie knots, and clip on carabiners, and after repelling in tandem with Tom, I eventually repelled down by myself. That too was a thrill I would not soon forget, even after learning to ice climb at St. Mary’s Glacier and Mt. Evans with Tom later that summer.

Sword Fights and Train Robberies

As a tourist town in the summer, Central City made and exciting background for adventure for any nine-year old boy. Imagine living in the middle of a western set for a movie. Where almost every building is dedicated to bringing the essence of mining, the old west and the Victorian era into the hearts and photographs of visitors.

From staged gun fights on the street to jail house wax museums any kid would have had a hard time not imagining himself in the middle of an adventure every day while living in Central City.

There are even bed races down the street. What is a bed race you ask? As I did of my father at nine? Well guess what, they are actual races down the street in an old fashioned bed. I learned that a guy called John pushed a lady of the night down the street in a brass bed while she was dressed in a fancy lace night gown.

Many is the time on the short walk up the street from school to the Sauer House that we would stop at the literal candy store. If you’ve been to a tourist town, surely you know the type of store. Filled from top to bottom with delectable sweets of all types. Taffy, root beer barrels, those little dots of sugar on a computer-like tape and loads of different flavored sticks of candy.

Now imagine passing such a store (or two) every single day on the way home from 4th grade. The candy store is where I fell in love with Swedish Fish and dried pineapple rings.

Sword Fights In The Snow

In the winter time, the city would mostly shut down to all but local business. The tourists would leave and the city would transform. Some stores would close until spring. This left much of the city open to exploration to the local kids while not under watchful adult eyes.

Garden between the Teller House and the Opera House.

Between the Opera House and the Teller House there was a garden with a steep path and intermittent stairs leading up to the top of the hill and the street behind the buildings. The actual purpose of the garden is probably historical and as I recall there were those little metal plaques describing one thing or another on the way up the hill.

Boys of a certain age didn’t see the garden at all, instead we saw it as a place to chase one another with sticks as swords… fighting imaginary battles up the hill.

Train Robberies

During the summer time Central City had a train that tourists would ride for a fee. In the winter time the train was not used and sat in the same location. Put up and mostly ignored until summer, the train itself became a destination for the local kids. It didn’t really matter that it was sitting still. In fact, it was probably best that it was since we often climbed up on the engine imagining ourselves engineers. We took turns being the robbers boarding the train and jumping between the cars and even on the roof of some. Likely mom and dad would not have been as thrilled as we were.

One year the window to the last car was left open. The open window allowed skinny children to climb to the top of the car, slide down the side, into the window and then into the closed up car. Turns out, the window led to a “bathroom” on the caboose and that the toilet was just a bench seat with a hole leading down onto the track below. This was an amazing scientific find and one shared far and wide with wide-eyed friends.

Shortcuts Between Buildings

The city itself is nestled in a little valley between hills. So anything not literally on the main road through the city was on a hill above. When I first moved to Central I was tickled by the fact that the streets up the hill were named 1st High, 2nd High, 3rd High and 4th High Streets.

Much of the city itself has stairways leading up from the main street to the street behind it. The stairways were often made of wood and are really a combination of boardwalk and stairway depending on the location. When you are a kid the only way to get from point A to point B was often by foot. So we knew where ALL of the stairways were and which were the quickest.

Sometimes though, the stairs were ill placed and we would take or create short-cuts between locations. Back then there was a space between the Fire Station and the building next to it. It was no more than two feet wide (probably less), but that is plenty of room for skinny boys to slip through. So we would start on East 1st High, climb down the hill that was directly behind the Fire Station, then squeeze between the wall and pop out right onto the street in a section of town not serviced by stairs.

Sliding Down Tailings

Mine tailings are essentially everything that was dug out of the ground in search of gold. In certain types of mining operations this creates a tailing pile or to uninformed what looks like a giant anthill on the side of the mountain. To young children it is a great place to slide down on your butt and for mothers a source of never ending dirt in the laundry.

In those days there was a HUGE tailing pile between Spring Street and what is now known as Central City Parkway. That huge pile was cut into two sections of what we locals at the time called the free parking lot. There was an upper and lower section and tourists could park there free naturally. It was a bit of a walk from either lot to the main portion of the city, but there was a shorter way and that was to slide down the pile of dirt.

During my first visit to Central City before we moved into the Sauer House, this tailing pile / parking lot was my favorite part of the stay.

Raking Rocks And Watering The Floor

The first winter in the Cabin wasn’t really “in” the cabin at all, but kind of under it.  Since we only got two of the vertical log walls (mostly) up before the winter really hit, we had to live in the basement all winter.

While this might not sound horrid to the casual reader there are things one must know to understand what it was like.  The basement was NOT a finished basement, in fact it was so far from finished that there were really only tin walls with some insulation around the outside of the basement and dirt for a floor.  No really, not a dirty floor… a dirt floor.  It was actually a lot living in a cave. Basically, since the basement was a “walkout”, the roughly 10 foot walls started out ground level in the front of the basement, but as it went toward the back we had a 7 foot wall of natural dirt with about a 3 foot shelf to the back of the house (remember how the hole wasn’t dug out far enough ref. Beginning Work on the House).

Two year old “Charlie” helping around the basement by hammering nails into an old board.

This meant that as we walked across the floor we were constantly uncovering little rocks.  Mom dutifully used a rake to remove the rocks and smooth over the floor again. With the continued walking, or Charlie playing with his toy trucks on the dirt floor, or the dogs digging out a comfortable place to sleep… huge amounts of dust were raised.  Mom had an answer for that too.  She used a steel watering can to sprinkle water onto the floor.  Not enough to make mud, but enough to keep the dust down.

Once the snows came and settled on the flat basement roof, which was really just the plywood floor of the cabin above us… the watering can became unnecessary.  With a wood burning cookstove on one side of the basement and a wood burning potbelly on the other side we generated a lot of wasted heat which, of course, rose to the uninsulated plywood-floor ceiling above us and melted the snow.  This turned the snow into water that leaked into the basement in 4 foot by 8 foot sections (from the plywood seams).

This time it was Dad who came up with the solution when we didn’t have enough buckets or pots to trap the leaks.  We hung up plastic tarps and Visqueen scraps above the important areas (like our beds) at an angle and with a trough so that as the water leaked in, it was more or less directed into 5 gallon pails. This incessant dripping made a LOT of noise as we slept and perhaps that is why to this day I can sleep through pretty much whatever is going on around me.

Any time I hear the Phil Collins song “The Roof Is Leaking” I always think of the first winter in our house or rather the basement.

The roof is leaking and the wind is howling
Kids are crying ‘cos the sheets are so cold
I woke this morning found my hands were frozen
I’ve tried to fix the fire, but you know the damn thing’s too old

Many, many times I would wake early in the morning and wait for Dad to get up and start the fires in the stoves to warm up the basement just a bit… I know Jen did too.  Before we got up and out of bed, we would wait for Dad to get his first cup of morning tea and then take his trip to the outhouse… but that is another story.

Sleighrides and Hayrides

A Shire approximately the same color as I remember Sarge

Ever in search of a sustainable home-based business, Dad thought that providing hayrides during the summer and sleigh rides during the winter would be a good moneymaker. So Dad bartered something (I don’t remember what) for two draft horses.

Ace and Sarge were very large Shires, a particular breed of draft horse that actually exceeded the size of the better known Clydesdale (of Budweiser fame). These horses were so large that we couldn’t get saddles for them, so we rode them bareback. This was rather like riding an elephant. Even adults walked bowlegged after a short ride.

Once we had the horses, we also acquired a wagon and a bobsled. Then, it was time to go to “the city fathers” and discuss the business idea and get their blessing.  As it turns out they weren’t too keen about having horses clop-clop through town and leave their business behind in the street. Of course Dad had a solution to that!  I would walk behind carrying a large shovel and scoop up the “road apples”. You can imagine how anxious I was to perform that duty. Thankfully, the city still didn’t go for the idea and I never had to suffer the humiliation of my school mates seeing me scooping up horse droppings throughout town.

We kept the horses and they came in very handy later when we built the log cabin. We also kept the sleigh and wagon for a while. We used them to carry friends and family around the rural area outside of town near the Buck House where we lived before building the cabin. The wagon and the bobsled were very fun to ride in, but it was the bobsled that I have the fondest memories of. Wrapped up in wool blankets, drinking hot apple cider, dashing through the snow and singing Jingle Bells (of course) will be something I never forget.

The Buck House

View from Bald Mountain & The Buck House

In the spring of 1978, we moved from The Sauer House in Central City out into an even more rural area of the already rural town. Dad built a house for someone by the last name of “Buck” and in keeping with Central City tradition we dubbed this house The Buck House. As it was so far from civilization the owners were worried about vandalism and my family stayed in the house while it was finished up and before it sold. Dad called it a “spec house” which just meant that the owner built the house on the speculation that it would one day sell. Well, it didn’t sell right away and we lived there in the mean time.

The Buck House was a much larger house than we had ever lived in. In fact, it was so large that to conserve on the electric bill Mom and Dad closed off the entire basement and turned off most of the heat down there in the winter. The upstairs already had enough room with a master bed & bath, a main bath, three additional bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and dining room. Downstairs was a huge rec room, two additional rooms and the laundry. So, in the winter, they stuffed a door-sized piece of foam in the doorway.

This house was located on Bald Mountain in an area called Kings Flats. Mom and Dad bought a 5 acre mining claim not too far from where the Buck House was built and they prepared to build their own house. But… the bank wouldn’t loan money to build a house on an unimproved road. Unimproved?? What was that supposed to mean? It turns out that the property sellers didn’t fully disclose that the road wasn’t plowed in the winter time on a regular basis (only when the county got around to it). That meant to the bank that it was unimproved road and they weren’t going to loan money for building.

So, mom and dad decided that if the bank thought we were too rural and they had to build without a loan, then we were just going to get even more rural. They set about finding out what other properties were owned by the same real estate agency and traded a five acre mining claim on the outskirts of a very small town for a five acre claim way the hell out in the woods.

That summer dad and I moved into a tent on the property while we started building the cabin.

The Sauer House

In the fall of 1976 my family moved from Lakewood, Colorado to Central City, Colorado. Central City is a very small tourist town almost due west and 3,600 feet up. These days it is a gambling town which is much different from the tourist town it was. Back then the Central City Opera Company provided houses to the opera performers during the summer months and in the winter they rented them out. These houses were Victorian in architecture and fully furnished with antiques. They were perfect for a family to move into into in the fall, but only if they would be ready to move back out six months later.

We moved into a two story house at 218 Eureka Street called “The Sauer House” just up the street from the elementary school I would attend for 4th grade. Many of the homes in Central City were named after the original owners of the homes. This one was no different, but I have no idea who “Sauer” was and what he meant to the community… just that at one time the family owned the home.

This house was very exciting to move into when you are nine years old. After all, I had never lived in a house with a parlour – and didn’t even know what one was until I did. Ours had an upright piano, something that my mom was really excited about too even though she didn’t actually play. Baby Charlie slept in the master bedroom with mom and dad, Jen and I had separate rooms upstairs. The rooms were up a very steep staircase on the left and right side of the upper landing for the stairs. We thought it was very cool that each of us had a little door on the east side of the room. The door was short because this was where the roof of the house came down and space became unusable. So the owners of the house built in closets… but not just any closet… this was “wardrobe” that I could walk into, turn left and end up in my sister’s wardrobe. It connected our two rooms and for a young boy who had just found Narnia the year before this was seriously cool stuff.

As much as Jennifer and I were very happy to have our own rooms, before the six months were up we had moved back in with each other and made the unused room a playroom. The house was old, mom and dad were an awful long way away and Jen and I were very close siblings who had spent the previous year sharing a room in an apartment. So it just made sense to us to share a room again. Funny now when I think about it, Jen was the same age as my youngest daughter is now and I can see her wanting to share a room… and long as she didn’t have to and it was her choice.

The Sauer House was very unique and something I will always remember, but the six months were up very quickly and my family moved into a house that my dad built with his boss Greg. We called it The Buck House.