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A farewell to Mary Ginn

Relaxing atmosphere, comfortable friends, good home cooking. Those are the things Falcon residents think about in relation to the Rock Island Restaurant. And Mary Ginn is the person who has made the Rock Island Restaurant those things.Ginn was born and raised in Lakin, Kan. She grew up with three older brothers and one younger sister. In 1995, she married Terry Ginn, who had two children, Eric and Missy, now ages 20 and 19; and together the Ginns have a son, Gavin, who is now 5 years old.Terry Ginn worked for Colorado Interstate Gas (now El Paso Energy) and was transferred to Colorado in 2001. The Ginns moved to Falcon, where they became investors in The Pasta Place. In 2003, Ginn bought out Rodney Quinn’s interest in the restaurant and changed the menu and eventually the name. When she began thinking of a name change, some of the locals who had been regulars to the restaurant suggested the name Rock Island Restaurant (after the old railroad center). Ginn said the name has been a plus for the business, as some customers have stopped in because of the name.She said the greatest benefits of owning a restaurant are the people you meet. “I know my customers,” Ginn said. “I know what my regulars want.” Ginn knows what they want, and delivers it as well. She has a stream of regular customers and many come in daily, often sitting at the same table, ordering the same thing. Some customers from Black Forest come in two to three times a week, she said.”Many of my customers have supported this place from the get-go,” she said. “The people have made this restaurant over and above what I thought it could be.”Ginn’s favorite night is Friday. Her neighbor, Jamie, sits for Gavin, and Ginn and her husband work the restaurant together. The special on Fridays is barbecued ribs, which draws a big crowd. Everyone has a good time. Every Friday night, there is a lot of stir around the arrival of one particular couple. It’s time to prepare for the evening’s busyness when one of the waitresses calls out “Laurie and Vernon’s in the house!” Ginn said that she and her husband grin at each other and know the rush is on.Things change, however, and Falcon is losing Mary Ginn and she is selling the favorite restaurant of many.Ginn’s husband accepted a job with Tri-State G & T in Montrose and has been working there awhile, returning to Falcon on the weekends. Ginn has stayed behind to sell the restaurant and their home, and wait for Gavin to get out of school for the summer. Then Ginn and their son will join her husband in Montrose. Ginn plans to be a stay-at-home mom for a little while and enjoy catching up on time with Gavin.She may not have become wealthy owning the Rock Island Restaurant, at least monetarily. But if wealth is measured in the people who care about and support you, then Ginn is a wealthy woman. She confessed that it’s going to be tough to leave because of the people she’s come to know. “Some of these guys I look up to and it’s going to be real hard to leave,” she said. “I’m really going to miss my staff, too.”***And there are a lot of people in Falcon who will miss Mary. From the NFH, best of luck and keep in touch!More on Mary Ginn:Any favorite childhood memories? A lot of those. Just hanging out in a small town. Riding bikes, going swimming.What’s the best thing about Falcon? It has a hometown feel.What is your idea of success? Bringing people together and watching them become friends. The friendships I’ve made here.What is your favorite vacation spot? Pagosa Springs. My husband, our son, Gavin, and I went there once. We spent our time fly fishing and hiking. We had a great time. I want to go to Mexico. That’s been a real joke around the restaurant. We sing Kenny Chesney’s song “No Shoes, No Shirts, No Problems.”Do you have a favorite football team? The Kansas City Chiefs. There are so many Bronco fans here, someone has to root for the Chiefs.Any favorite TV shows? The series “24”. My husband and I bought the DVD set so we could catch up. Neither of us can watch it without the other. That’s something we like to do together.What do you do in your spare time? I haven’t had much of it, but I’m trying to teach myself to crochet.

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