Judge Joseph Spicola


By Maryann Gil. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”

Judge Joseph C. Spicola was the first, blind judge in Trinidad. He was born on May 29, 1900. The only child of Salvatore and Sarafina Spicola. His father Salvatore was a coal miner, they lived in the coal mine camp in Ludlow. Joseph was 9 yrs old, when his friends and he were playing with a cap, near the railroad tracks. My father broke the cap and it exploded leaving him blind in both eyes. Luckily, in that time of hardships he was sent to Colorado Spring School of the blind. There he learned to work with his handicap, to survive in the outside world he attended school there until the age of 21.

Joseph returned to Trinidad, where he worked making brooms, and tuning pianos. I’m not sure what else he did at that time. I do know he married a women named Sadie who had one child. She died in the late 40’s. Joseph was elected Judge in the early 60’s. He also was in charge of the Italian program on KCRT Radio Station. Which he did from his home. He played the drums, piano, accordion, and no telling what else. He married Mary Lopez in 1950, they had 2 children, my brother Joseph and myself Maryann. They divorced in 1957.

My father was the greatest, his didn’t let his handicap interferer with life. He loved playing poker at the Volunteer Inn, he worked, cooked, cleaned house, raised to children. and contributed to the history of Trinidad. I read about all the prominent people in history and think my father is most deserving of the recognition. He passed away in January 1968. He was truly unique.

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