CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-ANN ANDERSON

Hi. My name is Ann Anderson. I live with my husband of almost thirty years, Gary, on a small farm just out of town off the highway.

Are you from Peakview?

Almost, I grew up over in Aspen Ridge. I met Gary when I was in high school. We both went to Mountain High.  It was pretty much love at first sight, we started dating when we were Juniors and have been together ever since. It must run in the family. The same thing happened with my daughter, Penny and her now husband, Luke.

Anyway, once we decided to get married, Gary bought our farm, and we’ve lived there ever since. Gary runs a few head of cattle, some horses, and chickens. My pride and joy is my vegetable garden.  I sell produce to all the neighbors each fall.  I love growing things and seem to have a green thumb.

You mentioned Penny. Is she your only child?

Yep. God only blessed us with one, but she is our pride and joy. And now I have a grandson, Bronco. He’s just the cutest little guy. Penny and Luke live a the Walker Ranch which buts right up to our property. I can walk over there and see my grandson every day. Some days, Penny even drops him off when she works at the camp. Gary and I both love our new role as grandparents. We’re hoping that they have a couple more.

Do you have any other interests besides your garden and your grandson?

I have more interests than time these days. I love to crochet. I’ve made a few new baby blankets recently. I’m part of the women’s group at church. We do a lot to help the needy in our community. Gary says I need to slow down, but that’s not happening any time soon.

Anything special you can tell us about living in Peakview County?

It’s the best. The weather, the scenery, the friendly people–it never gets old. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. It’s the best place on earth. Drop on by and see you, you’ll see what I mean.

Character Talk Tuesday-Nicole Brady

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My Name is Nicole. I was born and raised right here in Peakview in that big white house across the street from the café.

So you’ve always lived here.

No, I left for college in Fort Collins and then moved to San Francisco. The big city was fun and exciting, and I met a guy who I thought was fun and exciting also. Until he wasn’t. When it all fell apart, I came back to the only place I felt safe.

Why had you stayed away so long?

My mom died from cancer. There were so many memories of her here. I hated coming back to a home without her. Oh, I loved my dad, but it just wasn’t the same.

Had this town changed when you came home?

The town itself not much, but the people. Dad was engaged to Vickie (who I’ve learned to love, by the way) And then there was Rick.

Rick?

My wonderful husband, Rick Brady. I’d known him since kindergarten. He was the skinny, nerdy kid we nicknamed., Scarecrow. I never gave him the time of day. But boy did he fill out nicely! And I discovered what a wonderful person he was. He’s a vet, and we live and work on his ranch. Life couldn’t be better.

Anything you’d care to share that we don’t know about you?

I’m an amateur artist. I love to sit outside our home overlooking the Brady Ranch and paint. Stop by sometime and I’ll show you what I’ve done.

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.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-HOWARD CRANDALL

Welcome, tell us about yourself.

My name is Howard, my wife, Violet, told me I had to do this interview. What do you want to know?

What do you do in Peakview and how long have you lived here?

I’ve been here almost 40 years. I was in my twenties, when I happened upon this town. Never left. I’d worked a mechanic, so I was able to purchase the gas station and shop cheap from the estate of a man who had run it many years before. I love it here. You asked what I do. Besides running the garage, I own some cabins down by Apple Creek that I rent out in the summer, I plow and tow folks out of jams, and I’m kind of the unofficial mayor of this place. Someone’s got to make sure the town functions.

Tell us about your family.

There’s Violet, of course. My beautiful bride, We’ve been married a couple years now. Known her for over thirty. Stan, her deceased husband, was my best friend for years. After he passed, I watched out for her. You know, it’s what friends do. Somehow, it gradually become more than a friendship. I still don’t see what she sees in an old cout like me, but I’m glad she gave me a chance. That same year, I met my daughter, Melanie and my granddaughter, Sophie for the first time. I didn’t even know they existed, now I can’t imagine life without them. And now there’s Melanie’s husband Hank and their daughter, Marissa. My life is full.

What do you like best about living in Peakview?

Aside, from it being far from any big city or civilization, I like how everyone looks out for each other. We’re one big family here. No one goes without help. I credit my wife for much of that, she’s the glue that holds this town together.

Tell us one thing most people don’t know about Howard Crandall.

Let’s see. I used to be quite the dancer in my younger days. I could really cut a rug. I may appear clumsy, but I’m pretty limber as long as my arthritis doesn’t flare up. Violet loves it when I take her dancing. We don’t get to do that near often enough.

Any last words.

If you’re ever in north central Colorado, stop on by and check out our tiny town. Who knows, you might never want to leave.

 

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.

Character Talk Tuesday-Violet Crandall

Today I have the pleasure of talking to Peakview’s very own, Violet Crandall. Introduce yourself to us.

Hi! My name is Violet and I am the owner of Violet’s Café. The café is the center of our small town of around 150 full time residents.

How Long have you owned and run the café?

Goodness, for almost 40 years now. My former husband, Stan, rest his soul,  and I came to Peakview right after college and opened this place. The rest is history. Sadly, I lost Stan ten years ago, but I’ve continued on with the restaurant he loved. And now, of course, I have my Howard. God has blessed me twice.

What can you tell us about Peakview?

We’ve got the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. We’re really just one big family. Not a soul here who won’t help out his neighbor. I love helping people. In fact, I’m known as quite the matchmaker. I can spot a connection from a mile away. Most of the folks here have me to thank for their happy relationships. Frankly, I don’t know what they’d do without me. This place would probably shrivel up and die, but instead the town is growing. I might add that many of the new babies we have here, would never have been conceived without a little nudge from me. Have you seen that little Bronco Walker? What a cute child.

Any thoughts about retiring?

Heavens no. I don’t want to just sit around and play bridge all day. Howard suggested we might want to look into heading south for the winters. I told him I’m not that old yet. This old girl has a lot of good years left in her. I’ll be around for a while.

Thank you for being my guest today, any final thoughts you want to leave us with?

If you find yourself in Peakview County, please stop by the café and say hello. There’s a good chance some of your favorite characters will be hanging out. It’s a special place. Oh, and if you want to know anything that’s going on in Peakview, leave a comment below and I’ll answer all your questions. Nothing gets by me.