Over the weekend, C-SPAN3 unleashed its American History TV
program on Colorado Springs. It's not exactly a history of the city — more a breakdown of a handful of highlights — but it's still interesting, if slow moving. But it's also an hour long, so to save you the trouble, we watched every minute.
0:00 We open with a monotone narrator who’s just woken up from a nap in the library.
1:41 “Pikes Peak protrudes out on to the eastern plains.” #gross
2:41 Matt Mayberry
sighting. The director of the Pioneers Museum stands in front of a background at Crystal Creek Reservoir that’s so incredible it looks fake.
4:44 Zeb Pike
was the city’s first stoner: “He identified the mountain as a location where he could get high enough and begin to understand how the rivers flowed.”
7:03 Pike never called it “Pikes Peak” — he called it Grand Peak. I would’ve called it Grand Peak too if I would’ve known the feds would be dropping possessive apostrophes like it’s hot.
7:35 The first recorded summiting of the Peak came in 1820, by botanist Edwin James
. I move that we rename the mountain Ed. Just Ed.
9:55 “[Pike’s] journals ... furthered the idea that the West was what he and others called the Great American Desert.” But at least it’s a dry Great American Desert.
12:41 Cue the Pure Moods
zoom on Pikes Peak.
13:40 “[Palmer] built this town in particular to be his home, and he always saw it as an anecdote, if you will, to eastern industrialization.” I’ve listened to this part eight times and I’m convinced she doesn’t say “antidote.”
17:30 You would think railroads would be more interesting.
18:46 George Foster Peabody
may have business acumen, but, damn, DAT BEARD.
23:54 Cool shot of Ute peoples riding near what looks like Garden of the Gods.
24:01 My name is Melissa Walker
and I’m a Hand Talker.
25:21 It turns out the “Pikes Peak or Bust” gold rush actually happened in Cherry Creek. Fucking Denver.
25:22 The following four minutes are dry, dry, dry. But at least it’s a dry dry.
29:54 This scene is what you get if you wall off the Great Pit of Carkoon
30:55 Tesla’s bedroom eyes really don’t get the credit they deserve. My stars!
32:04 Bryce E. Crawford would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the Richard F. Celeste Theatre is inside the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center for Life, the Universe and Everything.
32:50 There’s a long bit here about resonant rocks, in case you like resonant rocks.
34:14 They have got to stop just springing
those eyes on me!
40:15 Enter: TB. Back then they called it tuberculosis, but science has proved the ailment is actually named Taco Bell.
40:38 “People would come to Colorado Springs essentially on the recommendation of a doctor, who would tell them to go chase the cure.” THANKS DOC. BIG HELP.
42:33 You would think mineral water would be more interesting.
44:18 Van Briggle pottery is cool ...
44:54 ... early Chamber of Commerce pamphlets less so.
46:53 I’m going to be honest: I’m actually on Facebook instead of still watching. (I guess Russell Brand has a book.)
48:38 Spencer Penrose
has a pretty rocking ‘stache, but you know who’s not impressed? George Foster Peabody. George Foster Peabody is not impressed.
48:47 “[Penrose] was a personality, a spirit, a being such as the Pikes Peak region had never seen before, will never see again. He was a scholar and a gentleman. A rugged individualist. A man apart.” HE WAS A CENTAUR. A HORSE-BEING WITH A HUMAN HEART. A GIDDY-UP BARN DANDY WITH HOOVES OF GOLD.
49:15 Hey, it’s Thayer Tutt. Is he still rich? His family’s like astronaut Michael Collins
: Historically critical but, you know, not the star.
53:01 Penrose looks like a douche.
54:46 Penrose paraded an elephant around the city — which he named the Empress of India because he told everyone it was a gift from the country, but it was actually a “discarded,” worn-down circus elephant he called Tessie after a “pink-stockinged, buxom bar girl” — because he was a douche.
55:43 Similar douche reasoning explains why Penrose used the elephant as a golf caddy, and kept it in his car-repair garage.
57:18 Penrose buys the Evening Gazette
, setting a historical precedent of oligarchs owning the Broadmoor and the daily newspaper.
57:48 Tutt stumbles over the World Arena’s new name, which recently arrived courtesy of today’s regional money man, Philadelphia Anschutz
58:45 And that’s our show. Thanks for watching. You would think our recap would’ve been more interesting.