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Bo and Sherry have tried to stave off any further deterioration of the statue by repainting it; they chose bronze because the green Bob had covered it with "always looked terrible," Sherry says. But they've been unable to find anyone to do more extensive repairs, including replacing missing coils of hair. "Tin work is an art, and people who can do furnaces can't do that anymore," she explains. "We've tried to hire people, but they don't want to mess with it."

So how Ms. Liberty looks today will be the way she'll stay unless she has to be moved -- and that's a very real possibility. There's been talk of widening Federal in front of the building, Sherry says, and while she generally supports the idea, one plan she's seen would eat up practically all of the property between the curb line and the street, leaving no room for the statue.

If that prospect comes to pass, the statue could always be moved to the current Ramsour homestead, where all of Bob's robots and tin men are stored. But Sherry doesn't think the block would look quite right without Lady Liberty -- or Federal Heating, for that matter. "I'll be here until the day I die," Sherry says. "And I hope she will be, too." -- Michael Roberts

Psychic Readings by Fatima
1624 South Federal
10 a.m.

A brightly colored wooden sign juts out almost to the street, enticing passersby to stop in for "Psychic Readings." But some of you already knew that. Cue creepy, metaphysical music. At the left and right corners of the sign, above a crudely spray-painted tag -- pretty much the definition of bad karma -- are the words "Adivinadora" and "Espirituista," and as I pull into the parking lot of the small, stucco building, I prepare myself for a preternatural powwow in Spanish. How do I even broach the subject, I wonder, passing two ceramic geese protecting the staircase, each clad in festive, country-fair regalia.

¿Cuanto cuesta una consultación? ¿Lee manos aquí?

I picture an ancient Mexican woman on the other side of the door, blind and reeking of incense. She takes my hand and leads me into a small, dark room, where she sits inside a giant seashell and begins to rock violently, channeling the ghosts of dead Indians. She starts howling in agony, gnashing her teeth uncontrollably; as the walls shake as though they'll crumble, the woman tells me awful tales of bloody battles past, battles high in the Sierras, where men suffered unjustly -- and how these querulous souls now haunt me like rain clouds, as they shall for as long as I walk the earth. Like Ryu at the end of Street Fighter, except Mexican.

Then Fatima opens the door and immediately confirms my non-psychic abilities. Because she's definitely not Mexican.

"Do you accept walk-ins?" I ask nervously, despite the fact that the board outside the door announces "Walk-ins Welcome."

"Come in, come in," she says in a vaguely Eastern European accent, though it could just be the lisp. "My fee is $40."

The living room smells of old carpet and hamburgers, which, as we pass the kitchen, I see is because a man is sitting at a table eating hamburgers. Fatima is clad in a blue sleeveless T-shirt whose designer lacked the good sense to end it at the waist and so it became a dress. It is unbuttoned to slightly above Fatima's supersensory navel, and I struggle to avoid staring at the abundance of floppy, old-woman cleavage cascading down the hallway. She glides like a slug.

We slip into a small room with a table and three giant crosses on the wall. The shelves are lined with more religious paraphernalia; strewn about on the table are numerous Ziploc bags full of crystals. Fatima asks if I would like to have my palm read or sit for a tarot-card reading. I ask what she recommends, and she opts to read the cards, unearthing a stale deck and explaining that palm-reading is more personal, but tarot sees all. Like when Oprah has a panel as opposed to one specific guest.

She splits the cards into three piles, takes my hand and has me touch each pile, making a wish out loud while touching the first two, then keeping the third wish to myself. I wish for success, then the well-being of my family, realize I probably should have done it the other way around and that I'm really a selfish prick, and keep the third wish silent. Fatima begins methodically laying the cards out in various patterns, unearthing mysterious figures like "The Fool," "The King," "The Chariot," etc.

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Sara Behunek
Drew Bixby
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun
Jessica Centers
Amy Haimerl
Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera
Jared Jacang Maher
Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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Jason Sheehan
Contact: Jason Sheehan