Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

First Lady Moving and Hauling

Yesterday afternoon, after making my daily pass by the Darrent Williams shrine, I drove by the old Ritter/O'Brien campaign headquarters at 11th and Bannock. And what did I see but First Lady Jeannie Ritter, loading furniture into the big, green family van. Not supervising -- although she had a few helpers -- but doing the heavy lifting herself. And given her background as a Peace Corps volunteer/flight attendant/missionary/teacher, it looks like she'll continue to do a lot of heavy lifting on important social issues over the next four years.

I'd seen that van before. The Ritters live around the corner from some friends in Platte Park, and one Saturday morning, as I was sitting on the parkway helping at a yard sale (i.e., drinking beer and blabbing), a green van with one-day-governor Bill Ritter behind the wheel, Jeannie beside him and a load of kids in the back pulled over. Ritter stuck his head out the window and hollered this: "Hey, Calhoun, what are you doing there? I'd have thought you'd be in Cherry Creek getting a pedicure." And then the van zoomed off, its driver apparently unaware that there were two mismatched tennis shoes on the roof.

A man who can deliver such a zinger while maneuvering the city streets should have no problem setting a worthy course for this state. -- Patricia Calhoun

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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