Vidakovich Column: Keep on walking, Arlene
It was late April as I was driving my car south along Colorado Avenue in downtown Glenwood. I do some lawn care work during the summer months and I was cruising at a leisurely pace so I could check out the length of the grass at a few of the places I take care of in that area.
Nearing the end of my business journey, satisfied with the way things looked and knowing when I should probably make my next visit with the lawn equipment, I spotted a purple-clad walker with a cane, easing her way along the sidewalk. The pace was slow, but the gait was one of determination.
As I drew nearer and noticed the number 17 jersey of the retired Rockies’ first baseman, Todd Helton, I knew this traveling lady could only be one person before I even saw her face. So I pulled to the curb and brought the car to a stop.
“Need a lift, Arlene?”
My walking wanderer, and famous Glenwood artist, Arlene Law, saw it was me making the query and broke into her usual wide smile and gave me a hug. I immediately told her I was hoping to see her in a Charlie Blackmon number 19 jersey, but that I would forgive her for the oversight. Going with a Rockies legend like Helton was OK on this sunny spring afternoon.
Like me, many of you have spied Arlene through the years walking around town from place to place in her Rockies purple or Broncos orange. She’s even been know to don Nuggets attire on a rare occasion. She’s usually on her way to the athletic club to workout or run some errands in town, most often for other people. To this day, I don’t really know if Arlene owns a car. Exercise and effort always seem to be her first priority.
Not just a renowned artist, and matriarch of the Law family which has spanned many generations in Glenwood, Arlene was the backbone of the Fall Art Festival in this town for more years than any of us can count. Her husband was a well known dentist and the Law boys were all standout athletes for the Glenwood Demons.
I’m not sure if Arlene loves to paint landscapes or to talk sports most. She loves the Demons – always has – and she and her son Rich are longtime Bronco season ticket holders. They even made the trek to Canton, Ohio years ago when John Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame; that’s dedication.
Arlene will chat up local sports as long as you are willing to listen and voice your opinions. You won’t pull any wool over her eyes either, this lady knows of what she speaks, and she won’t leave you wondering what her thoughts are one way or the other.
It wasn’t at all surprising to me that when our little Colorado Avenue breakdown of all Colorado sports was finished, Arlene refused a ride back home. I know where she lives and I knew that she would have to cross a busy late afternoon Grand Avenue rush hour to get there.
“I don’t need a ride, Mike. I have to get in my mileage.”
I had to smile a big one to myself at this statement. Just like when I see her doggedly working the machines at the athletic club, Arlene simply had to complete her mission for the day. A ride home would mean giving in to fatigue. A defeat for the home team if you will, and Arlene would have none of it.
When it became apparent that she would not accept the offer to be my co-pilot, I bid her a fond farewell and promised to see her soon.
I often talk to myself, because there are many times when I know that I am the only one who will listen. As I drove away and looked in the rear view mirror, I had to say out loud, “That lady always fires me up!”
Keep walking, Arlene. You’re not quite up there with the legends of the NFL, but you are already in my Hall of Fame.
Mike Vidakovich is a freelance journalist for the Post Independent.
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Thanksgiving seems to be ever-present here in the Roaring Fork Valley. I’m not talking turkey and gravy, I’m speaking to the gifts we receive constantly, throughout the seasons.