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.