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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  

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Bill Radford

  Retirement: a misnomer for Falcon resident
  By Bill Radford

   Jahna Badger is so busy in retirement that she wonders how she ever had time for a job.
   Badger, 75, is head of the board of Falcon Senior Services and also is active in her church, Grace Community Church. She also used to volunteer at High Plains Helping Hands food pantry. And for a long time, she said, "I was taking a lot of people to doctor appointments and just helping anybody and everybody I could. I love people, and I just like to help."
   Falcon Senior Services brings area seniors together for a monthly luncheon; the group has about 55 members, Badger said. The organization also holds an annual car show in August. During the school year, the lunches are held at Patriot High School, where culinary students provide the main part of the meal while the seniors bring side dishes. "We tried a long time ago to get a building of our own," Badger said, but they weren’t able to raise sufficient funds.
   Badger grew up in California and worked for decades there for Lockheed Martin. "I started out on a key punch when I was 18," she said. In her later years with the company, she worked in mission control.
   "I really thought I would live in California until I croaked," she said. But work brought her and her husband to the Colorado Springs area about 20 years ago. He went to work at Schriever Air Force Base; she retired.
   "When we came out here, Woodmen Road was a little two-lane road and it dead-ended at Meridian," she said. "There was the Safeway, they were just starting to build it. If there hadn't been a grocery store somewhere out here, I probably wouldn't have moved here."
   Badger's mother came, too, and lived with them, though she is now in an assisted living facility. And Badger and her husband divorced just a few years after moving to the area. Badger now shares her home with only her 19-year-old cat. She has a passion for animals and had a beloved golden retriever who died a few years ago; people keep asking her if she is going to get a new dog, "But I'm so busy it wouldn't be fair to them," she said.
   She lives in a neighborhood that used to be Falcon Hills. “But now they've changed it to Paintbrush Hills,” Badger said. “One day I came home; and, as a I drove in, I did a double take because it had been Falcon Hills for years; and then they changed it to Paintbrush Hills."
   Badger had a son, but he died of suicide at age 21 — nearly 29 years ago.
   "It's just heartbreaking, and it stays that way,” she said. ... “I think about him all the time, and I think about the ifs; that I'm not a grandmother because he died.”
   She has also had to deal with health issues, including a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. But the condition was caught early and is managed with medication. "I've been on medications all this time and I will be, I guess, all my life; which is fine with me as long as it keeps me trucking along."
   Her father was a Colorado native, born in Lamar, but he didn't live in Colorado for long. She is happy, though, to call the Centennial State her home.
   "This is God's country, and it's just so beautiful.”
Jahna Badger is the chairwoman of the board of Falcon Senior Services. Photo by Bill Radfor
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