Meet Your Neighbor: Ken Henry
Meet Your Neighbor — Fruita
Denise: What is your occupation?
Ken: I currently work as the building manager of the Canyon View Medical Center in Grand Junction, but I describe myself as a “Fruita booster” and a “recovering politician.”
Denise: Are you from Fruita?
Ken: Yes, I was born in the old Fruita Hospital on Elm Street. My family homesteaded in eastern Colorado in the early 1900s and moved to the Fruita area in the 1930s, and my wife, Jan, and I still live on five acres of my family’s original 160 acres. One of my earliest memories is that of seeing German prisoners of war being marched across the old Fruita Bridge from the prisoner of war camp near the West Entrance of the monument to the town of Fruita. I graduated from Fruita High School, Mesa College, and was the first person in my family to complete a college or Bachelor’s degree, when I graduated from Colorado State University. I also earned a MBA degree with a specialty in finance from CSU.
Denise: How did you get involved in politics?
Ken: I got involved in local politics to save the old Fruita Bridge. The Fruita City Council had budgeted $100,000 to demolish the bridge, which was built in 1907 to transport water in a pipeline from Pinyon Mesa to Fruita. The bridge is one of the few remaining three-span steel bridges of its type, and it is an important part of Fruita’s history. I was instrumental in getting money allocated for its demolition transferred into its stabilization. I got on the City Council with the goal of preserving the culture and heritage of Fruita.
Denise: What did you learn from your experience in politics?
Ken: I now know that you can serve your community without being an elected official.
Denise: What are your plans for the future?
Ken: I plan to stay involved in the community. I represent Fruita on the board of Ute Water. I would like Fruita to be a greater participant in the Dinosaur Diamond. I am looking forward to having the Math and Science Center move to Fruita. Of course, I love spending time with my family, and I enjoy exploring the Colorado National Monument.
Denise Hight is co-author of Images of America: Fruita, which was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2011. She is currently working on another book for Arcadia, Legendary Locals of Fruita, which will be published in 2016. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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