Genevieve Penno Arzich

Written by Genevieve Arzich, one in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”

I’m a native born “Trinidadian,” born in 1911 on Alta Street of English Canadian parents. Having lived here all my life. I received all my formal schooling here at Centennial Trinidad High School and some classes at Trinidad State Junior College, and a lifetime member of Trinity Episcopal Church.

My further education came from travel, which my parents did extensively as I was growing up. I remember my first trip to California. We went for three months. I got off the train and my folks went to the nearest garage and bought a car so we could tour the state. My brother, Glenn and I could hardly wait to see the ocean. Our main base was at Pasadena, where they rented a lovely home from a woman that just lost her husband. She left all her sterling and good china and everything for us to use. It was a different day and age from today.

My father, being a newspaper man got us in to see the movies made, which was the beginning of motion pictures. They were so packed they would not let even millionaires buy their way in, much less anyone else. I got to play with Mary Pickford’s niece while Glenn and Dad were extras in a jury scene. This shows the power of the “Press.” The press was always big, no matter where we went. Often, over the years, we would stay at the best hotels like “the Brown Palace” in Denver. This was done in exchange for advertising. All the free passes to all the best stage shows and movies. We never paid for a show till after 1950. I’ve see as many as two dozen kids following my dad around town for a free pass to the circus or carnival in town. He gave them out by the hundreds.

For my 16th birthday, he gave me a theater party for everyone in my class at T.H.S and Holy Trinity. Swimming and bridge have always been my favorite hobbies. My husband, Thomas was born in Calumet City, Illinois, of Austrian parents who came to Raton, New Mexico in 1945. He and two brothers bought the “Chicken In The Rough Cafe” where they used to eat while trucking from Chicago to Los Angeles. They tore it down and built what is known today as the “Crystal Cafe”. Tom designed and the three brothers built it. It has a lovely glass dance floor with colored light underneath that makes the place sparkle. This was where we met and danced many a mile for two and a half years. He sold it in 1949 and we were married on September 16, 1950. We took an eight week honeymoon to Mexico City. He invited my mother and father to come with us and we had a wonderful time. When we came back he accepted a job with a plumbing and heating contractor to work at Las Alamos for three years. Then started his own business in Raton called “Tom’s Plumbing and Heating”. He also has a Colorado Master plumbers license so he does a lot of business in Trinidad. He had put in the boilers in our Court House, Old Age Home and several schools. He still finds time to be on the Bishop’s Committee at the Trinity Episcopal Church.

We’ve traveled extensively for the past thirty years seeing 49 states, Canada from coast to coast, Mexico, British Isles, Europe, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Hawaii, Porto Rico,Venezuela and South America. The Caribbean Cruise included the Virgin Islands, Mortinique, Granada, Trinidad and Curacas. We always came back to live in Trinidad, Colorado which we consider the best climate in the world.

(Note: if you have Photos of this family or know of anyone that does, please have them get in touch with us so that we might share some photos of the family here)

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