Mike and I have subscription tickets to the Colorado Symphony and we had a concert on Saturday evening. Our usual route to the Denver Performing Arts Complex was unavailable due to numerous street closures for a zombie crawl. We had to detour around most of downtown Denver and found ourselves traveling west toward Speer Boulevard on 13th Avenue. As we passed the Denver Public Library and crossed Bannock Street I was reminded of my idea to do some research at DPL about the property on Bannock that housed LeBlanc Printers. At the same time I was well aware of the difficulties (traffic) of getting myself in place to do that research. Therefore, I decided to forge ahead with my story. If and when I get to DPL I will add the information that I discover there.
George’s business card is one of those little treasures from the Black Box. It is interesting, additionally, for the phone number and the postal zone number. I remember when the phone numbers began with a word, like “Keystone” in this number. The K and E are capitalized because you dialed those two letters. So 53-3432 Later another number was added. An example from my memory is PEarl 3-5175 or 733-5175. That was Grandpa and Grandma’s home phone number in 1955. The postal zones were to help route mail in larger cities. ZIP codes extended this idea to all addresses and ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan. So there is a bit of cultural history for you.
When George bought LeBlanc Printers, I believe that it was housed within or close to Autrey Brothers which was in what we now call LoDo or Lower Downtown. I remember that business as one that supplied graduation gowns and caps as well as diplomas and announcements. This was before the throw-away variety of graduation garb. Uncle John David may be able to add some information here, but as I remember hearing, there was some reason for relocating the printing business and that was done to 1066 Bannock which was a Victorian-style house. Shop space was added on between the house and the alley. The building permit for that addition is one of the things I want to see if I can find. The house and the shop have been replaced by a larger building that extends for most of the block.
Anyway, I remember going to kindergarten in a school that was just a few steps away from “the print shop” at 11th and Acoma. I was in the afternoon class so Mom would take me because she didn’t want me crossing Speer Boulevard by myself and then after school I would go to the shop to wait for her to come pick me up. I was doing this because the kindergarten in our neighborhood was full. It seemed like heaven to walk into the door that opened off the alley, smell the wonderful aroma of printer’s ink and get scraps of paper to play with. I remember that there were steps that went up from the shop into what had been the house. I can’t remember ever going into the house part.
You will want to know who these folks are and I want to tell you. If we start on the left, that girl is Ruth Cutrell,. Next to her is Dorothy Stutzman Cutrell though her face is obscured. Then there is Kathy Cutrell and we can see Dick’s head above Dorothy’s. Gail Keck Cutrell is next and we see Paul Holdeman and then Sam Cutrell. On the end is Dorothy and Poily’s younger sister, Evelyn Stutzman with Polly next and Orie beside her though all we see is his forehead. Little Jim is next and then Janet Cutrell and Mel Yost. Around the corner is Sylvia and Enos Stutzman, parents of the Stutzman girls. George sits at the end and Frances has her back to the camera as does John David. The photographer’s place is visible between John and Ruth and I assume he was Ben. I also assume that Helen was working somewhere as a nurse. I have this photo labeled as 1950 but that cannot be correct. In November 1950, my parents and I were in Gulfport, Mississippi. I will let John David weigh in on the date.