Finding a home, filling a niche
Citizen Telegram Contributor
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A family man, a business man and a man with vision and a heart for his community — all words to describe Rifle resident Brook Loving.
You could say Loving’s affinity for small-town living started in Aledo, Illinois, a community of only 3,100 people and where Loving was born. However, he seemed predestined to end up in Colorado.
When Loving was 5 years old, his two sisters, mom and dad piled into their old Buick, with no air conditioning, and embarked from the Midwest to their vacation destination in Colorado Springs.
Upon leaving Colorado to head back home, Loving sat in the back of the Buick and as soon as the Colorado Rockies were out of sight, he cried and cried, which at that time his mom knew he belonged in Colorado, according to Loving.
“Rifle is my hometown but in the middle of the mountains,” he said of the similarities between his birth place and Rifle.
Loving grew up in Illinois and moved to Missouri after his college years.
In Missouri, where he lived for nearly 20 years, he owned his own construction company and worked his way into management of Wendy’s restaurants, a career move that ultimately brought him to Glenwood Springs. He established his new home in Rifle, where he has collectively resided these past 21 years.
Though Loving has taken part in many professions, his biggest passion has, and remains, the world of checkered flags, powerful engines and burning rubber — the world of competitive racing. His love of the sport was evidenced during an interview by the hat he was wearing: A regular baseball cap with checkered racing stripes along the bill.
Loving smiled as he recounted the days in Missouri, where he followed the racing circuit and for nine years raced Pro Stock motorcycles. Loving was publicized in magazines and the company was ranked No. 5 in the nation for two years in a row, he said. Racing has been a part of Loving’s world throughout his life.
“Being from the Midwest, there’s a lot of [racing] sports out there,” Loving said. He continues to take part in the racing community … no matter how small the cars.
“I am heavily involved in the RC park,” Loving said, referring to Rifle’s local Remote Control Racing Park located beside the Rifle Operations and Maintenance facility. He became involved in the RC Park three years ago.
“I like to be involved in the community and this is something I enjoy,” he said.
Loving’s work with the park directly relates to his business endeavor and self-owned company: Summit Sun Graphics, which specializes in screen printing, embroidery and graphics. He started the business five years ago when he saw a niche in the community that he wanted to fill.
“Before people would always have to go a hundred miles the other direction to get anything done, and we just started out with the shirts and have expanded into graphics and promotional items,” he stated.
Loving tries to add something each year to his company, keeping it versatile and cutting edge, however, online ordering has been “the biggest struggle” during his time in business. Loving is all about quality and believes in creating a personal business relationship with each customer.
“People don’t really know what they’re getting when they order online,” he said.
Loving also believes in his community and has donated to many local nonprofit organizations, causes and events.
“Anything that has to do with our little community I try to take care of,” he added.
Loving also was the coordinator for the Rifle Rendezvous for three years, during which participation in the event swelled to more than 10,000 participants at his last coordination effort, which culminated in the Sawyer Brown band concert. “It’s been a fun ride,” Loving said. “I enjoy the people, but I love Rifle in general.”
Listening to Loving, it’s certainly clear that he found his niche here in Rifle.
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Rifle Police say Chayton Reynolds was arrested after allegedly driving drunk and hitting Robert Baumwoll, 50, around 7:20 a.m. Jan. 22 on Highway 6 east of Rifle.