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"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month."
– Henry Van Dyke  
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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 3 March 2019  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Business Briefs   None Community Calendar  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None From the Publisher   None Guest Column  
None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News From D 49   None People on the Plains  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
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  Black Forest Meadery

The Black Forest Meadery is located at 6420 Burrows Road; and Shawna and Adam Shapiro offer an assortment of meads made on the property, along with Colorado wines, in a friendly atmosphere.
The Black Forest Meadery celebrated its anniversary on April 21, with tastings, a birthday cake and a petting zoo for kids during the day, and an evening four-course dinner paired with Colorado wines and meads. Gregory and Daniel Shapiro, sons of the Meadery owners, show their skills at shearing sheep.Black Forest Meadery owners Shawna and Adam Shapiro serve guests from Albuquerque — Dennis Tapia and Florencio Kent, who are enjoying a peach mead.
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Bill Radford

  Faces of Black Forest
  Couple that creates together … stays together
  By Bill Radford

   Randy and Shannon Bowen came up with an unusual way to meet their neighbors: Have a pottery sale.
   The two artists have lived in Black Forest since 1992 and love it there –- just as they love their "commute," a short stroll from their house to their 2,000-square-foot studio in their backyard. Still, Randy Bowen said, "We haven't been that connected with the community until recently."
   Connections have been forged since they have invited the community to regular sales at their home. The first studio sale was in 2013 –- just days before the Black Forest fire –- and was "super successful," Shannon Bowen said. Since then, they've been holding at least three sales a year –- Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend and around the holidays in November or December; last year, they added a sale weekend in March. They had a March sale again this year, spotlighting their "Dirty Bird Bird Baths."
   The couple have had their pottery displayed and sold in galleries –- and still have their work in a couple of places. Randy used to travel and sell his work at craft shows, but he didn't enjoy being on the road. "It was just a dreadful way to make money," he said. "So I always shunned retail. … And now I'm loving retail, because it's our neighbors."
   It can be tough in a rural community to get to know residents other than your next-door neighbors, Shannon said. With the sales drawing repeat customers, "We see people time and time again. We've made so many friends."
   And it's not just during those studio sales that they see those new friends and customers.
   "We encourage people to call up and stop by in between sales, and we do get that,” she said. People will call with "a pottery emergency;” for example, when they might need a unique wedding gift.
   While some artists rely on a day job to get by, Randy said they "eke out a living" with their work. However, he does have a night job. He is a jazz drummer and plays with different groups –- "kind of like an on-call drummer," he said.
   Shannon was a sculptor before she got into pottery. While she and Randy collaborate on sculptural work for occasional group art exhibits, her artistic energy is mostly focused on pottery. "I say I sort of dragged her into the black hole of pottery," Randy said.
   Their methods are different, though. "I do anything that is built from slabs," Shannon said; she joins those slabs of clay together or pushes them over molds to produce her pieces. “Randy does the thrown stuff," using a pottery wheel.
   Randy has an old clay mixer that he said allows him to still “act like a dinosaur.”
   “Most potters don't make their own clay anymore,” he said. But by creating his own clay, he can make it exactly the way he wants –- coarser, wetter or whatever. They also make their own glazes.
   What are their favorite things to create? "The one people are buying," Randy said, with a laugh.
   They always try to have something new for the studio sales. Alongside the mugs and vases and other smaller works, they like to have "a few huge, spectacular pieces," Shannon said.
   The size of their studio called out to them to make "big stuff" when they moved to the property, Randy said. But while making a big, spectacular ceramic piece can be fun and all-consuming, the audience for such a piece is small, he said.
   "You get infatuated with your work, but then the show's over and you bring it home,” Randy said.
   “We kind of need to have an income." He said he has come to appreciate "the everyday aspect of pottery," pieces such as a unique coffee mug that its owner will treasure and bond with.
   Randy and Shannon have been married for almost 30 years. When they met, Randy said, "There was an immediate attraction — on my part anyway." And the spark is still there after all these years.
   Being self-employed and working at home together, "We're in each other's face all day," Randy said.
   "It's a nice way to be married," Shannon said. "We like to hang out together."
Randy and Shannon Brown have been married almost 30 years, and have lived in Black Forest since 1992. They also work together every day in their 2,000-square-foot studio. Photos by Bill Radford
Pottery is the artistic medium for Randy and Shannon Brown. They have various studio sales weekends open to the public to sell their wares.
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  Black Forest foundation awards scholarships
  By Laura Barrette

   On April 19, the Educational Opportunity Foundation of Black Forest held their annual Scholarship Awards Banquet at the La Foret Conference and Retreat Center. Wayne Williams, Colorado Secretary of State, was the evening’s guest speaker.
   Nancy Billiard, Kris Schickler and Lynn Still presented $1,500 in scholarship money to 12 graduating seniors from the Black Forest area. The EOF scholarships are made possible through donations from local businesses and residents.
   The Patrick Marchbank Memorial Scholarship was presented to Kevin Prentiss, a previous EOF recipient. This award is given to a student wishing to pursue further education in a vocational field of study.
The 2018 EOF of Black Forest scholarship recipients include (left to right); back row: Wayne Williams, Jonathan Ehresman, Saul Mendez, Jordan Treka, Christian Andersen, Kevin Prentiss, Gianna Nagle, Claire Helmreich; front row - Lydia Rose, Marisa Edmonds, Kristi Hartford, Rachel O'Connor, Avery Ruff.
The Firehouse on the Run of Black Forest prepared a barbecue dinner for the Educational Opportunity Foundation of Black Forest.
Wayne Williams, the Colorado Secretary of State, was the featured speaker at the foundation dinner. Photos by Laura Barrette
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  AARP Black Forest
  Delivering community service
  Submitted by Stanley Beckner

   “To Serve Not to be Served” has been the AARP Chapter 1100 motto for the 47 years it has existed in Black Forest. This is best represented by what the chapter has accomplished this spring and the plans for this summer.
   In recent weeks, the chapter has organized several events, all free and open to the public. In February, a Stroke and Heart Attack Awareness and Response training session was offered. In March, the chapter visited Silver Key to learn how the charity operates. The chapter also hosted a safe-driver class for the public that earned attendees an auto insurance discount and updated them on Colorado traffic laws. 
   April started with the chapter teaming again with Black Forest Fire and Rescue to provide a hands-on class in fire extinguisher use, with real fires and extinguishers. Most recently, Rita Fitzpatrick, Chapter 1100 member and member of the Colorado Springs Commission on Aging, presented an interactive workshop addressing the challenges, stresses and solutions for someone suddenly thrust into caring for a spouse, friend or relative.
   The April chapter meeting honored Patricia Dix with the National AARP Chapter and REA Unit Community Service Award for her service as a Chapter 1100 officer, along with her active involvement in many projects and activities over an extended period of time. A letter of congratulations from JoAnn Jenkins, chief executive officer, AARP, Washington D.C.; a framed certificate and a distinctive lapel pin accompanied the award.
   Angie Vehlewald of the Colorado Springs Better Business Bureau presented at the April meeting, and spoke about the BBB’s Certified Age Friendly Business program in Southern Colorado — the first of its type in the nation. Business accreditation through this program helps protect residents from scammers and other nefarious individuals who try to con residents in Southern Colorado. 
   Upcoming on June 2 is the annual free shredding event that takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Black Forest Lutheran Church in Black Forest. This event, co-hosted through the AARP Foundation ElderWatch, has, over the years, raised hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food and thousands of dollars in free-will donations to benefit a local food bank. More importantly, it is a local venue that provides a safe opportunity for citizens to counter potential scam and identity theft threats by destroying personal documents through an on-site professional shredding operator.
   The chapter will participate in the four Senior Resource Council Golden Guidance Series expos in June at Kaiser Permanente in Colorado Springs. In August, the chapter will have a presence at the Black Forest Festival and later partner with Penrose-St. Francis Hospital for a community blood drive. 
   Two upcoming chapter meeting programs will feature information on the famous Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, and information on how captioned telephones can improve the life of a hearing challenged person.\
   The chapter will have its annual picnic in July at the Black Forest Regional Park.          
   Anyone who would like to join this vibrant group is welcome to visit a chapter meeting or event. There is no age requirement for chapter membership. Annual dues are $10 per person. Call Ray at 719-495-6787 or Stan at 719-596-6787 for details or visit the website at
   Black Forest Chapter 1100 of AARP has been designated the Best Chapter for Community Service in Colorado for the past nine years.
AARP Chapter 1100 President, Ray Rozak, presents the AARP Chapter and REA Unit Community Service Award to Patricia Dix on behalf of Joann Jenkins, AARP CEO, Washington D.C. Photos submitted
These are some of the chapter members volunteering at the June 2 shredding event (9 a.m. to noon) at the Black Forest Lutheran Church, 12455 Black Forest Road.
Rita Fitzpatrick, Colorado Springs Commission on Aging and Chapter 1100 member conducts the interactive workshop on caregiving with the assistance of Jermiah Mora, AARP Colorado Associate Director-Community Outreach.
Under the supervision of Ray Rozak and Black Forest Fire and Rescue personnel, Chapter 1100 member Anna Skinner shows how to use a fire extinguisher.
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  Annual shredding event

   Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 2, which is the free annual document shredding event, sponsored by AARP ElderWatch and AARP Black Forest Chapter 1100. The shredding event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Black Forest Lutheran Church at 12455 Black Forest Road. Three boxes or paper bags will be accepted per car. No plastic or 3-ring binders. Fight hunger at the same time with a nonperishable food or cash donation to the Black Forest Cares food pantry. Please enter from Black Forest Road. Call Ray at 719-495-676 or Stan at 719-596-6787.   
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  No fee senior social

   A monthly informal occasion for seniors is the no fee event. They meet in the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road in Black Forest.
   Seniors are welcome at the Black Forest AARP and Black Forest Lutheran Church monthly informal gathering, held at the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road. The social is from 1 to 4 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month, and all are invited to socialize, play games, work on hobbies or to simply sit and talk about “whatever.” Light refreshments are available. For more information, contact Lavonne at 719-494-1276.
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  Black Forest Women’s Club

   The next meeting of the Black Forest Women’s Club is May 10 at the Black Forest Lutheran Church at 12455 Black Forest Road. Coffee and refreshments will be served at 9:30 a.m.  The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. The program this month is on evacuations. Visitors and guests are always welcome. Call 719-495-3846 for more information.
   Last month, Wild Hair Alpacas in Black Forest presented a history of alpacas; on display were many beautiful items made by felting the alpacas hair (vests, scarves, hats, and many other items). They also brought two alpacas with them! Wild Hair Alpacas has a shop, where you can purchase their items. If you would like more information, call 719-495-6693 or contact
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