Kitty’s Cornered Complex

By Kitty DeVere


As a distant relative of my dear old many times Great Auntie Pearl DeVere, I have to ask what is wrong with the folks in Teller County? Sometimes I must ask myself what is actually right with them. But, being descended from one the former fine inhabitants of Teller County that would not be overly fair. However, I must say that when the Caberet or SOB (sexually oriented business) was voted down by the SOBs (needs no explanation) in Cripple Creek I had to wonder how such intelligent people could be so short sighted and misguided. I mean the oldest profession isn’t the oldest profession because it isn’t profitable.

My dear old Auntie Pearl was the pride of Cripple Creek and the only Madame respected enough to be buried in Mt. Pisgah cemetery. I take great pride in that she was so successful and such a colorful character. In these tough times it takes people with flair and creativity to “make it”. Obviously those good people in Cripple Creek wish to ignore reality and their own past and stick to “good” evils such as gambling. I think many of the council missed the point. Had a cabaret been allowed then more men might have brought their wives up to gamble while the men attended the cabaret. Now as for me, I like living well. Being an independent and upright woman I have a plan. I do believe that Teller County needs a little more flair and connection with the old west. So if I get my way, I would love to start a saloon and pseudo brothel. A stage, complete with can-can girls and a player piano would be just what Woodland Park needs for our wayfaring passers through. I am sure gamblers en-route to Cripple Creek or skiers headed for the slopes would find great enjoyment in my establishment. The question is where can I locate such a business? Would my business be considered an SOB? Would I need to get approval from everyone for every little nuance of my business? Now imagine an Old West Saloon built in Woodland Park.

Woodland Park does need a little bit of balance since the religious college moved in on the Old Star Ranch. Papa never did much care for religion after mama ran off with the wife of a preacher. I truly think that the Ute Inn bar and grill/saloon would make a great location for a cute little theme saloon. It would be right in line with good old Bert Bergstrom’s personality. Gruff old man that he was according to my papa, I just hope dear old Bert left enough room in the basement for some additional bodies. Now my papa told me that I should be creative when times get tough so creative I will be, a proper thumper still to make Moonshine, which would help with the profit margins and five dollar a minute rooms for men who wish to talk to my girls. I would love to add bartender costumes for my employees and properly dressed girls to play the part of the dance hall girls. This might possibly make Woodland Park a destination which I know the Downtown Development Association so desperately wants. Now several of these good people are in favor of my thoughts on the business so I am hoping that when I present my proposal to the county commissioners and the planning department that they will fall in line with my plan. I can hang red lights just like my Auntie Pearl did and red velvet curtains in the second floor windows to give the place some real old fashioned flair. Spittoons and men dressed as old west cowboys would add even more of an old fashioned feel and make jobs for some of the good old cowboys who still frequent the area, many who are getting on in years but were good friends with Bert. I am sure Bert would approve. So in keeping with tradition I picked the Ute Inn because of the façade front and location, location, location. I will turn the place into the “Risque Cabaret” of the century.

Even though we plan on keeping it clean for family fun. We will need to raise the front of the building to add a second floor. I can see it now, the girls sitting in the windows for passersby’s to hoot at and a man in a herring bone suit and a bowler hat with a sandwich board to rival the Chicken Man. I think the patio would be an outstanding place for a cigar bar and poker room and leave the bar in place to serve high end or watered down whiskey of your choice, and cold beer. That way I can hang the sign with the age old business slogan “liquor in the front, poker in the rear”. The stage will be reserved for melodramas on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Rotten tomatoes and cabbages will be sold at admission time for the pleasure of our guest should the performance turn out to be less than savory. I have already discussed this proposal with Mike Mueller who owns the Historic Ute Inn and offered a couple of different business proposals. The only thing left to decide is if we will become partners or if he will sell out to me in entirety. Personally I hope he stays. His insight will be much valued, but most of all I think his better half Erin would make the best Madame due to her “wild as a drunk coon” personality. I like that expression, my papa used it from time to time. Although we can’t have the modern slot machines we might be able to add in some old mechanical nickel slot machines that dispense gumballs for the kiddies. The card tables in the rear will not be for money but I would imagine that the guys can play for Ute wampums that they have earned on trivia nite or with the wheel. The Ute is an awesome place with a great personality and I think we could add a lot to the decorum of Woodland Park. Our goal is to create jobs and promote business. Besides, we might be able to bring a few women actors into the area and break the spell of Woodland Park being called Womanless Park. I am not so sure we will ever be able to break the spell of the other nickname of Woodland being called Wierdland Park. Just something about Woodland Park drawing the odd folk from other parts of America in the summertime for their vacations. Wish me luck in getting past the planning commission. I think some of the planning commission people may have remained after their vacations from California. For all of those who care to drink and drive remember the Woodland Park motto; Arrive on vacation, leave on probation.