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"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread."
– Edward Abbey  
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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 9 September 2019  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher  
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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Bill Radford

  Faces of Black Forest
  Passion for cars jump-starts auto business
  By Bill Radford

   Colin Schmeisser, it seems, was practically born with a wrench in his hands.
   Schmeisser is the owner of CRS Auto Repair and Restoration in Black Forest. He has been working on cars for nearly a half-century, since he was a kid growing up with an older brother who was always tinkering with his own cars.
   Schmeisser grew up in California and served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. During his time in the service, he continued to work on his own cars as well as helping friends.
   "Then I was at Space Command in the '80s and had someone come to me, 'Hey, a dealer wants $300 to change my water pump.' That's crazy, I thought, I could do that for $50. So I made a little bit of money, and thought I could do this as a sideline business."
   He followed the Air Force with 18 years in government contracting, but he continued to repair and restore cars on the side. He decided to make that his full-time job in 2013. He has three employees, including mechanic Chris Burt –- "an old gearhead like me," Schmeisser said, along with Stephanie Gorden, who specializes in body repair and painting, and a young part-timer who helps with repairs and cleanup.
   Schmeisser doesn't have to go far to report to work; his shop is next to his house. "It's a tough 70 feet from the front door," he said, with a laugh. "When the wind is blowing and the snow is falling, I go, gosh, I hate this commute." He can turn on the heater in the shop with a remote control in the house, though, so it is toasty when he starts work.
   The work is divided about evenly between repair and restoration. "We usually try to keep two restoration projects going at once," he said. On a recent Wednesday, the projects included a 1966 Ford Mustang coupe that had already undergone an interior restoration but was still in need of body work and a paint job, a 1968 Mustang needing new floorboards and a 1936 Ford pickup. “Then, I have daily drivers coming in for brakes and timing belts and shock absorbers and electrical problems and so on,” Schmeisser said.
   Restorations can cost several thousand dollars. "As you can imagine, it's very labor intensive,” he said. ... “A lot of it will have to do with how much rust it has and how much has to be cut apart and new pieces welded in.”
   But it is worth it for the people who have a treasured car they want brought back to life. It might be a car that has been in the family for generations. Other times, Schmeisser said, "It's been a car they always lusted after or wanted and got to the point where they bought it but hadn't had the time or money to put into it and are now like, OK, let's finally get this thing nice."
   The oldest cars can pose the biggest challenges. "When you get really, really old stuff; it's like start from scratch, because everything you touch is going to fall apart or be rusted or has to be replaced,” Schmeisser said. “You touch wiring in a 1930s car and it just sort of crumbles."
   On the other hand, the cars of yesterday were a lot simpler than today’s cars. "With a volt meter, you can completely troubleshoot this car's electrical system," he said, referring to one car in the shop.
   Still, what is simple to one person is not necessarily simple to another. "What I'm finding is that people who have '50s, '60s cars, classic cars, they go to one of the local places and these kids, they don't know what a carburetor is,” Schmeisser said. “If they can't plug it into the computer, they don't know how to deal with it. So people come to me."
   With the older cars, it can be tough tracking down parts. But Schmeisser is aided by "a pretty good culture of old car businesses out there." Hemmings Motor News produces "the 'bible' of the collector car hobby," with classic cars and parts for sale.
   "A lot of times you can get new old stock parts, which are the original parts that have been sitting on the shelf for 50 years, but those can be expensive," Schmeisser said. With some popular old cars, he said, “There are companies that make repro-parts for them, that's their business. And those can be pretty price competitive."
   As for repairs, he acknowledges it can be tough for people to find a place they trust. He talked about one woman who came in for a second opinion after being told she needed $1,500 of work done on her car. He checked it out, and determined it didn't need a thing.
   "She walked away very happy,” Schmeisser said. “I want people to know they can trust Colin."
   At the end of the day, there is that short stroll home. Schmeisser has lived in Black Forest since 2000, starting with a home on the north end of the Forest before downsizing and moving to his current home, which is deeper in the woods.
   "I love it," he said. "It's peaceful, it’s tranquil, it's not far to the city. My neighbors have several dozen deer that wander through the lot every day. I've got wild turkeys in the back in the trees. It's perfect."
   (To learn more about CRS Auto Repair and Restoration, go to
People trust their beloved classic cars to Colin Schmeisser and his CRS Auto Repair and Restoration business.
Colin Schmeisser typically has two restoration projects going on at any given time at his CRS Auto Repair and Restoration.
Colin Schmeisser is standing next to a 1930s Ford pickup in need of restoration work. Photos by Bill Radford
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  McNulty Jewelers grand opening

Edward McNulty III, owner of the jewelry store, Andrew Watson and Cassandra Carter (manager) enjoy the May 25 grand opening of the McNulty Jewelry store in Black Forest.McNulty opened the first McNulty Jewelers in Briargate 10 years ago, and expanded to Black Forest when he took over the store previously occupied by Black Forest Jewelers. The store offers many services, from jewelry repair to custom designs. Photos by Cara Lord-Geiser
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  Business cards and brews
  By Leslie Sheley

   Businesses in Black Forest and the surrounding areas are invited to the Black Forest Brewing Co. the last Thursday of each month, from 4 to 6 p.m., to connect and network with each other. There is no charge for the event, and the brewery offers a free beer of the month to all attendees. Ann Pappas said she collaborated with Donovan Routsis, owner of the brewery, to start the networking group because, although there are networking groups in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas, there was no group in Black Forest. Pappas, who owns the Colorado Gifts and Favors Co., provides a gift for the monthly drawing.   
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  Black Forest block party
  By Leslie Sheley

   Residents of Black Forest were invited to a block party held at the Black Forest Regional Park on Saturday, June 15. There were bounce houses and games for the kids and plenty of pizza, chips and sodas for everyone.
   Nathan and Megan Johnson moved to Black Forest about four years ago. Nathan Johnson, who is a Realtor with Remax, said he and his wife wanted to do something to meet their fellow neighbors and give back to the community. About 160 people attended, Johnson said.
Jake Skifstad, founder and president of Shield616, and block party hosts Megan and Nathan Johnson enjoy sunshine and camaraderie at the June party in Black Forest. Photo by Leslie Sheley
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  Local dressage riders join Century Club
  By Robin Widmar

   On June 16, two local dressage riders performed their Century Rides at Inside Track Training in Black Forest. Elaine Thomas, who rode 33-year-old Forest, and Jane Worral, aboard 26-year-old Solo, each completed a dressage test consisting of patterns performed at the walk, trot and canter.
   Janet Foy judged the tests. Foy was recently appointed to the Dressage Grand Jury for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
   The Century Ride, in which the combined age of horse and rider totals 100 or more, is a requirement to join The Dressage Foundation’s Century Club. The Century Club was created in 1996 to commemorate the longevity of senior horses and senior riders. Thomas and Worral each received a gold and black rosette ribbon after completing their rides, and each horse and rider team will be featured in The Dressage Foundation’s Century Club News.
   For more information, visit:
Elaine Thomas (left — riding Forest) and Jane Worral (riding Solo) take a victory lap after completing their Century Rides at Inside Track Training in Black Forest on June 15. Photo by Robin Widmar
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  AARP Black Forest
  Shredding event a success once again
  Submitted by Stanley Beckner

   The rain held off until after lunch, so the free shredding event June 15 in Black Forest played out as planned! During the morning, a total of 368 individuals, from 26 different Postal ZIP Codes, contributed to the shredding of about14,850 pounds of personal paper documents that were no longer needed.
   Having these documents shredded and recycled by a professional shredding company prevented the chance that sensitive personal information could fall into the hands of a nefarious individual who might attempt to use them for identification theft or some scam.
   This was the 11th year that Chapter 1100 of Black Forest has partnered with AARP ElderWatch in Denver to provide this community service. The chapter also provided free coffee, snacks, water and fruit to the participants. Free-will donations given to a local charity by the participants were also accepted.
   AARP Chapter 1100 in Black Forest participates in several community service events each year. The chapter motto is “To Serve Not to Be Served.” There is no age requirement for chapter membership. Individuals interested in visiting or joining Chapter 1100 should contact the Ray Rozak, chapter president, at 719-495-6767. Additional information on Chapter 1100 can be found at
   Black Forest Chapter 1100 meets at noon the second Wednesday of each month at Black Forest Lutheran Church. The July meeting will be a catered picnic. Persons interested in joining the chapter should call Ray at 719-495-6767 or Stan at 719-596-6787. Dues are $10 per year. All are welcome.
The one-way, dual stream, shredding drop-off line shown here was developed by Chapter 1100 to facilitate safety and increase efficiency. Cars dropping off documents for shredding are directed to either side of the line of shredding trucks and processed four at a time. Individuals can quickly have their documents offloaded by volunteers, then be quickly on their way.
Chapter members and volunteers in bright “Fight Fraud – Shred Instead” shirts and safety vests unloaded personal documents from cars and fed them into the commercial shredding trucks during the June 15 free shredding event in Black Forest.
Free refreshments were served at the shredding event. Individuals also donated to a charity after they dropped off their items for shredding.
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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 Black Forest Women’s Club is not meeting in July and August. The next meeting will be in September. For information, call Carol at 719-495-3846.   
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