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Holding ground

In September 1971, Jerry Marriott’s driveway was the only road past Garrett Road that allowed access to the east side of Meridian Road. Forty years later, in the midst of change, Marriott is one of the ìlast men standing.îìWhen we moved out here there was nothing but dirt roads and a two-party overhead telephone line,î Marriott said. The ìweî is Marriott and his wife, Peggy. They moved to Falcon from Colorado Springs in 1971.Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1943, Marriott lived in many places as a boy because his father was in the U.S. Army Air Corps of Engineers. When World War II ended in 1945, the Marriott family moved to Lincoln, Neb., and then to Lamar, Colo., where he met his future wife (his high school sweetheart).Marriott and Peggy married in Lamar and moved to Colorado Springs in 1965. ìWe were paying $75 per month in rent in the Springs,î Marriott said.In July 1971, Marriott bought 10 acres off Meridian Road and remodeled the main house. He and his wife and three children, twins included, settled in. A few years later, Marriott and his wife experienced a major tragedy when one of the twins died.In 1975, Marriott became involved with the newly-formed, volunteer-only Falcon Fire Protection District. He helped build fire station No. 3; in 1977, he was put in charge of the entire construction. ìI put in about 1,000 hours on that job,î Marriott said. ìWe tore down five buildings in Colorado Springs and used the old blocks and roofing T beams to build fire station 3.îTo raise funds for some of the materials, Marriott said the crew organized a fund drive, with him in charge once again. ìWe covered the same area as District 49, so we just went house to house asking for donations,î Marriott said. ìOne man donated 37 cents. We told him it might take a little longer to come put out a fire at his house, which actually happened not long after that.îFFPD volunteers raised $2,700 toward the construction of fire station No. 3, he said.Marriott served with the FFPD for 20 years; and, during that time, he became an electrician and joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. ìI worked on hospitals and the power plant in downtown Colorado Springs,î he said. ìI also did some residential work on Pete Field (Peterson Air Force Base), the Air Force Academy, Schriever Air Force Base and Fort Carson.îMarriott’s wife operated a day care out of their Falcon home. ìShe had a day care in the house for 20 years,î he said. ìIt was a lot of fun around here. I fell in love with a couple of those kids, and it broke my heart when their parents had to take them away.îIn 2010, after 46 years and 10 days of marriage, Marriott lost his wife to bone cancer. She fought it for just over a month, he said. In March, Marriottís church, Falcon Baptist, held a ceremony to dedicate a stained glass window to the memory of his wife ñ a stained glass window that Marriott created. ìI designed, installed and dedicated a stained glass window to my wife,î he said. ìShe was loved by a lot of people.îHaving retired from both the FFPD and his work as an electrician, Marriott now spends time on his woodworking business, Running JM Custom Frames and Knives. He started the business six years ago, making rustic wood frames and knives. After Thanksgiving 2011, Marriott traveled to Texas, Arizona and other parts of Colorado to sell his wares. During the three months, he said he didnít sell a lot of his frames and knives, but Marriott still makes them because he enjoys working with wood.Marriott said he also likes spending time with his only granddaughter, Ariel. He said he is fixing up an old Jeep truck for her, buying the parts and doing the work himself.He also attends functions at his church. ìMy church family treats me really good,î Marriott said. And he collects buffaloes (not the real kind), Dale Earnhardt memorabilia and old whiskey bottles. He also remodeled his home again and added to the house.Amidst all the changes, one constant remains ñ 10 acres and a home filled with memories.

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