Mike McKibbin

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October 3, 2012
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A good week for fans (and Rifle businesses?)

So, Todd Helton wants to sell me a new Ford from my local dealer.

Word of the Colorado Rockies first baseman's plans began to make the rounds in Rifle a day or so before news broke Tuesday that Columbine Ford, the 20-year-old local dealership that's become a fixture in the area, is now co-owned by Helton.

Just think, of all the automobile dealerships in Colorado, Helton and his partner, Mike Peebles of Barbee's Freeway Ford and Longmont Fork, chose Rifle. That should say a lot of good things about their feelings about the Rifle economy.

Now Rockies fans - and there are a lot of them on the West Slope; just look at how the entire city of Grand Junction shuts down for the Junior College World Series each summer. I know, I lived there for six years, and it was a struggle to get any news that wasn't JUCO related - can come to Rifle to buy a new car or truck from a dealership owned by Helton. And "while we're here, let's stop for lunch" is what more than a few of those visitors will say, I'm betting.

It could turn out to be a noticeable improvement for any number of local businesses. Let's hope. Anything positive in an economy like this is great news.

And I thought being in the stands in Denver for the Broncos' shelling of the hated Raiders on Sunday was great. It was, definitely. I guess the sports world decided to treat us kindly for a change, given the Rockies just-ended worst-ever season we all want to forget, and the Broncos first three games that weren't all that inspiring,either.

Anyway, I'm wondering if it will be long before the Toddster, as he's sometimes called, puts in an appearance to look over his new investment. He probably already has, but now he's one of the bosses.

And every one of the 20 or so people who work there can say "my boss is Todd Helton."

OK, maybe I'm getting carried away. It's likely not much will change at the little dealership down the road, or whatever they call themselves in those radio commercials.

Sam Levine and his son, Randy, have done Rifle proud for the last 20 years, so we should thank them for all their contributions and willingness to stick around in tough times. Remember the dealerships that shut down in Glenwood Springs and elsewhere after the recession really hit the auto business? Not here, the Levines kept the lights on and the doors open. Hats off to both of you gentlemen and everyone else at Columbine Ford.

Now, when is Todd coming to Rifle, so I can get an autograph for my mom? Really, it's for her; he's her favorite player. I'm not kidding. ...

Mike McKibbin is the editor of The Citizen Telegram.

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The Post Independent Updated Oct 3, 2012 05:45PM Published Oct 3, 2012 05:43PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.