Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Lighted Rosary and three big bells

Dedicated on July 4, 1920, Holy Rosary Church was last of the ethnic churches built in Globeville. Slovenes and Croats could attend St. Joseph's Polish Church in the neighborhood, but longed for a place where they could receive the sacraments from a priest who spoke their language, be married and buried with the comfort of their own religious traditions, and celebrate their distinctive Slavic feasts. Planning and collecting funds for the parish had begun as early as 1902, and when the parish was finally constructed, many people and organizations were eager to contribute.
One such contribution was the lighted Rosary, which surrounds the statue of the Blessed Virgin in the center of the altar, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Gale and constructed by Mr. John Kucler.
Over the years, the lights forming the Rosary have stopped working, as have the sockets and the band that holds the entire mechanism. Finding someone who could restore the Rosary took some time - the technology dates from the 1920s and the altar itself is fragile. But a craftsman within the parish, Jose Garcia, and Monsignor Jorge de los Santos, found a way to restore this important symbol.

 Photo of lighted Rosary ® Mary Lou Egan
Information about Lighted Rosary and bells
from 25th Anniversary, Silver Jubilee Holy Rosary

Parishioners are also proud of Holy Rosary's bells in the north tower of the church. The largest bell was cast in a foundry in Baltimore, cost $700, weighs 1700 pounds, and was the gift of tavern owner Joseph Jartz. The second largest bell weighs 500 pounds and was donated by parishioners, who raised $400 for the purpose. The third bell was a gift of Joseph Horvat at $300. The smaller two bells were cast in a foundry in Denver. Bells have called people to Mass, announced weddings, funerals, the end of wars and impending natural disasters. This last year, the bells have become increasingly hard to ring, and there was concern about the structural soundness of their mountings. Experts in restoration were needed.
On June 28, Andrew Ruder and Corey Nook of Haselden Construction joined Monsignor Jorge to investigate, climbing the stairs to the choir loft, a narrower set of stairs up the tower, and then a steep ladder. It was worth it!
Even covered in dust, the bells are magnificent, the stamp of the foundry still visible in the metal. The structure holding them seems sturdy, but the rope pulls are frayed. All in all, some fine craftsmanship. Haselden Construction and Verdin (a 175-year-old foundry) will put together recommendations and estimates for the work and the Holy Rosary finance council will review the proposals. It is hoped that the founders of the parish will bless our efforts to continue their legacy.

The largest bell, Rings the note "A"
Presented to Holy Rosary Church By
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Jartz
In memory of
Their parents
And their son Joseph
Who died Oct. 29, 1918 Photo ® Mary Lou Egan

Two smaller bells were cast in a foundry in Denver.
Bell to the right rings the note "C"

Kraljica sv roznega venca
Darovali clani in clanice zupnije
Denver, CO. 1919
 Text written in Slovenian which means
Queen of Holy Rosary
Donated by members of parish

Bell to the left rings the note "E"
Presented to Holy Rosary Church by
Joseph Horvat
In memory of his wife Katie
Who died Dec. 25, 1918
And son Edward who died Dec. 26, 1918
Photo ® Mary Lou Egan

Andrew Ruder and Corey Nook enjoyed the task. Photo ® Mary Lou Egan

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Shave, haircut and a beer - barbershops in Globeville

In the years before World War II, a visit to a barbershop was a regular and frequent occurrence. The all-male hang-out was not only a place to get a shave and haircut, but to catch up with friends, tell jokes and generally unwind. Conversations included family, sports, local gossip and politics and everyone participated - the fellow getting the haircut and those waiting for a haircut. A newspaper was on hand to verify the facts.
Barbershops were classy establishments, with large mirrors, marble counters lined with colorful glass tonic bottles, and comfortable chairs fitted with leather upholstery. Everything from the shaving mugs to the advertising signs featured an artistic treatment. The aromas of cherry and butternut-flavored pipe tobacco and the scent of hair tonics, pomades and oils welcomed the patron with a warm familiarity. Men would take their sons to the barber to carry on the manly tradition.
Some establishments, like Alex Kohut's at 4945 Washington, or Paul's Barbershop at 4500 Washington included a saloon. There was also John Folcik's at 4531 Washington, Lee Gregston's at 82 E. 45th, Alex San Roman at 190 E. 45th and that of Sam Maestes at 4485 Washington.
Many of those former locations still exist in the neighborhood - perhaps an opportunity for regular grooming, a social center, civic forum and bastion of manliness.  

Sam Maestes Barbershop at 4485 Washington
Photo ® Denver Public Library