CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY–SUZY DECKER

I understand you’re fairly new to Peakview. How long have you lived here?

It’s been almost a year. I moved here on the first of June last summer.

What brought you to Peakview?

I first wandered into town in a blinding snowstorm right before New Year’s Eve. My son had passed away, and I needed to get out of Denver. I just drove. I think God brought me to Peakview. I met Jerry, my husband and a world that had turned dark, was suddenly worth living again. Anyway, we fell in love and decided to open our bed and breakfast, Heart’s Haven. We’ll celebrate a year in business July first.

How’s the business going?

Great. I didn’t know it, but I think I was born to run a small inn. I love all the people we meet. Some become almost like family. We even do specialty weeks. We had weeks for veterans, families who’ve lost a child, and foster families. We plan to do a lot more of that kind of thing in the future.

Any plans to expand your family?

If you mean kids, not right now, but our four-legged family keeps growing. Since opening the inn we acquired a pony, another dog, several cats and goats. It’s fun. Being raised a city girl, I’m loving the mountain life.

What would you like to tell people about Peakview?

It’s a magical place. It saved my life. I want to do that for others. If you find yourself in our area, come on by and spend the night. I think you’ll love our little slice of heaven on earth.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-JAKE MIDNIGHT

Welcome, how long have you lived in Peakview County?

All my life. I was born and raised in Aspen Ridge and now live with my wife and stepson on my ranch outside of Peakview. We also have three horses, two dogs, six cats, 6 chickens, and two pigmy goats. It’s quite the zoo sometimes. My stepson, Ethan, constantly wants to add more animals. I think he should grow up to be a vet.

What do you do for a living?

I’m an EMT for Peakview Fire and Rescue. Have been for over twenty years. We serve all of Peakview County.

Tell us more about your job.

It’s always interesting. We handle all kinds of calls here in the Colorado high country. From vehicles accidents caused by flatlanders driving too fast on curvy mountain roads, to bear and mountain lion sightings, to rescues of hikers and climbers. Every day is different. That’s one thing I like about the job. It never gets boring. And I help those in need–it’s rewarding.

You’re newly married, how’s that?

Married life is wonderful. Kelly, my wife, manages Sam’s Hardware in Peakview. I love having her and Ethan at my ranch. Actually, I met her as part of my job, when Ethan had an asthma attack. He wasn’t used to the high altitude.

Was it love at first sight.

Hardly, we didn’t hit it off very well at first, but it all worked out in the end. I’m glad it did. I’d lived alone for a long time. Having a family is the best.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

If you’re planning a trip to our beautiful county, rest assured that you will have the best help if anything happens. I think we have the best fire department around. Hope to see you all soon.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-LUKE WALKER

How long have you lived in Peakview?

All my life. That would be 24 years. I grew up on the Walker Ranch, with my parents, Jeff and Susan Walker and my older brother, Matt. What a place to grow up. My earliest playmates were horses and cows. You could say ranching is in my blood. Unfortunately, Mom died of cancer when I was just twelve. Dad did a pretty darn good job of being a single parent. Although his cooking skills took some practice. I credit Violet for keeping us alive those first few months.

I hear you meet your wife, Penny, in kindergarten. Was it love at first sight?

Not exactly. We were always friends. Her parents own the ranch right next door to ours. It wasn’t until Mom passed that we became more. She was just there for me, got me. I don’t think I’d have made it through that time without her. After that, we became an item–dated all the way through high school. But my dream was always to stay on the ranch, raise quarter horses with Dad, and Penny wanted out. She dreamed of big cities. We broke up when she went off to college in Chicago. I hardly saw her for four years. And then she was back. She found a job at Peak Adventure Camp and the rest is history. I never really stopped loving her.

Tell us about your son.

Bronco. He’s the best. He’s four months old now. He already loves horses. Being a dad is the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done. Every day he does something new. I hope he grows up to love the land as much as Dad and I do. Penny is a great mom. I knew she would be.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I’m an introvert. I was the football star in high school, ran with the popular crowd. Everyone viewed me as outgoing. Really inside,  I hate crowds. I’m more comfortable around horses than people. Give me a nice evening at home with my wife and son, that’s heaven for me.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-MARISSA DALTON

What’s your name and how old are you?

My name is Marissa, and I’m ten years old. I live on the Dalton Ranch outside of Peakview.

Have you lived here your whole life?

Nope. First I lived with my mom and Grammie in Denver. Then Mom couldn’t take care of me anymore so I just lived with Grammie. But she got sick and couldn’t take care of me, so I had to go live in an awful foster home. The other kids were mean to me. That’s when I got to come to Peak Adventure Camp. I loved it there, and I learned to ride horses. I met my best friend, Penny, and her boyfriend, Luke. I guess Penny told her friend, Melanie about me, and Melanie said she’d be my new foster mom. I was so excited when I ‘rived in Peakview. I got a new mom and a sister, but Mom started dating Hank, and I thought she’d run off with him and leave me like my real mom did. I was scared. But you know what? They didn’t run off, Hank lobed me too, and asked all of us to be his family. Hank is  a cowboy, and cowboys don’t lie. Now I have my own dog Scruffy, and my own horse and we live in a big, beautiful house. They’re going to ‘dopt me and keep me forever.

It sounds like you like it here.

I love it. I have my fambly and all kinds of grandparents. Penny just had a baby, and Mom is going to have a baby brother for me. I got lucky, some foster kids don’t. That makes me sad.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I think I might like to be a horse trainer, or a dog trainer. I love animals. Or maybe I’ll be  a social worker and find homes for kids like me. That would be good.

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Character Talk Tuesday-June Walker

Good morning and welcome. I hear you are a relatively new resident to Peakview. How do you end up in this little town?

That’s right. I’ve only been here about two and a half years. Actually, coming to Peakview was totally unintentional on my part. After Alexis, my youngest, left for college, I decided to take a roadtrip from my former home in Ohio to visit my son and granddaughters in San Diego. The Colorado Mountains were so breath-taking that I decided to take some back roads. That’s when my car broke down along Apple Creek Road. Lucky for me, my now step-son, Luke, happened along and rescued me. He graciously invited me to Walker Ranch while Howard worked on my car. The rest is fate. I met Jeff and fell in love. I sometimes wonder if Luke planned it that way.

What do you think of the community?

Honestly, it’s the best place on Earth. I don’t think you’ll find friendlier folks anywhere. They’ve accepted me as one of their own. I’ve made some great friends here. And Violet’s café. Let just say it’s the center of this community. Violet doesn’t miss a thing, and she has a heart of gold.

Tell us about your family.

I have three children. My oldest, Paul and his wife Cindy life in San Diego with my three adorable grandchildren. My middle child, Mary, is a world traveler. I hope to get her out here for a visit again soon. Then there’s Alexis, she’s in college at LSU. And, of course, my step-sons, Matthew and Luke. Matthew is a CPA down in Denver, and Luke lives on the ranch with his wife, Penny, and their new baby boy, Bronco. Honestly, he’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. We’re so lucky that they live so close to us.

Tell us something we might be surprised to know about you.

I’ve always been an amateur artist. Since moving to the ranch, I’ve taken up water color. You can find me on a nice afternoon, out in one of our pastures, painting scenery or horses. I’m not very good, but it’s fun. Jeff has even humored me by hanging a couple of my paintings in his office. I have the best husband.

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