Longform

A Run for the Border

Page 4 of 13

Veterans like Poundstone, who died earlier this year, are falling at a steady pace — so many that on days like August 20, the ranks of the All Veterans Honor Guard, a group of approximately 100 men and women from assorted American Legion and VFW posts who offer color-guard and gun-salute tributes at burial services, are stretched thin. On this morning, however, no Guard members are on hand, and there isn't a single random visitor in view. The only signs of life are identically clad maintenance-crew members mowing and trimming the grass, and traffic whizzing past along Sheridan.

McCoskey knows people will be along later, however, and he's looking forward to seeing them. The prospect of dealing with grieving relatives for hour upon hour might seem depressing, but he insists that it's anything but. "I'll feel better going home tonight than I did coming in," he says. "It makes me feel good that I've helped someone."

No doubt his wife agrees. — Roberts

Town of Bow Mar
Quincy Avenue and South Sheridan
11:20 a.m.

A rustic wood-and-cast-iron sign announces the boundary of the town of Bow Mar — population 800-plus — at the point where busy Sheridan splinters into a broken mix of residential streets. Segregated from the suburb of Littleton by a stone gate, the former farmland is abundantly green, some of the beautifully manicured lawns sporting that almost-fluorescent verdant shade that suggests the owners aren't too concerned about so-called water shortages. Two Columbine Valley Police SUVs cruise the streets, securing Bow Mar's safety from intruders.

Today is trash day in the town — which was incorporated in 1958 and named for two pioneering local farmers, John Bowles and John Marston — and sedate plastic bins adorn the end of each driveway, waiting for a garbage truck to remove the unwanted contents and carry them away.

Figurines prance atop the street signs located at each corner: a soldier on a horse with his sword drawn on Sheridan; a man in a top hat and tails driving a carriage on Bow Mar Drive; a Mexican boy with a large hat lounging next to a cactus on Sombrero Street; a sailboat on Lakeshore Drive; a sunset on Sunset Drive; a geyser and a bear on Yellowstone Street. The roads are flanked by residences, many built in the prairie-style architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and confined to the one-story limitation placed on Bow Mar in the 1950s. But there are a few mansions as well.

It's quiet. A soccer-mom-aged woman pedals sedately past on her bicycle. Tennis courts nestled by the road are deserted, and a skateboard-ramp construct waits in the driveway for potential riders to return home. A lone gardener toils in the front yard of one beautiful residence as a tow truck ambles along the road.

Cruising alongside the lake, it's clear where everybody has gone: to the private beach, with its volleyball net and splashes of bright color against the yellow sand. A gate prevents outside cars from entering the parking lot, and there's no street parking available, adding to the ominous presence of the police and the tow truck. Visitors are quickly conscious of what a nearby sign loudly proclaims: "Members and Guests Only." ­ Amber Taufen

Anthem Ranch
Sheridan and Lowell boulevards, Broomfield
12:15 p.m.

"Okay! Dance-floor rumba! Heart pumping? Nice!"

Sonia Puccio shouts out directions to the seven women in her Latin Cardio class as her hips sway to the feisty beats emanating from the boombox. She pumps her arms and shakes her shoulders, making her butterfly tattoo, visible on her dark-skinned back between the straps of her tank top, appear to flutter energetically in the early-afternoon sunlight. She and her charges rumba past the wall of windows framing a wide-angle view of 450-acre Anthem Ranch, Broomfield's new, age-restricted development for "active adults" 55 and older. The class is using the main room of Anthem Ranch's marketing building as an ad hoc community center because the 30,000-square-foot Aspen Lodge Recreation Center, which will feature a four-lane pool, a weight room, an aerobics studio and an outside amphitheater, is still under construction down the road, past rolling fields bordering Sheridan and Lowell that will soon sprout rows of houses.

As saxophones and snare drums signal a new song on Puccio's stereo, she calls out "Flamenco!" Everyone stomps the wooden floor and claps their hands in the air. "Oh, oh, oh!" exclaims the animated teacher. "Yip, yip, yip!" her disciples respond.

Puccio's students are part of the country's 76 million baby boomers who are ready for retirement — but not in the old-fashioned sense of the word. This generation wants to accessorize their twilight years with running trails, tennis courts and cardio classes — eat your heart out, Richard Simmons. The fact that they can get all that in planned communities such as Anthem Ranch, plus amenable weather and gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains, is the reason Colorado now boasts the sixth-largest concentration of boomers in the country.

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