CB & Q Burlington Locomotive Bell
If you haven’t already noticed, take a look in the front parking area among the pine trees, at an impressive large brass bell on top of a 4 foot concrete pedestal. This is no ordinary large brass bell, but comes to us steeped in history. It is a CB & Q Burlington locomotive bell from the Winston Jones International Bell Museum collection formerly on Upper Bear Creek Road at the Jone’s manor home, “Granite Glen”, in Evergreen. This bell was on exhibit with 9,000 other bells in the collection for almost half a century. Winston lovingly and painstakingly assembled over a span of 80 years, what was, in all likelihood, the largest collection of bells in the world. In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed that all the large bells in the nation should be rung simultaneously each July 4th for 5 minutes, a gesture signifying freedom, peace and unity. So began the tradition of Winston and his volunteers ringing the large bells every July 4th, a tradition that lasted 44 years!
After his wife , Erma, died, Winston joined the Evergreen Elks Lodge in 1981 eventually becoming an Honorary Life Member. He was an active member for 27 years until his death at age 92. He remarked many times that the Lodge was a tremendous source of comfort and companionship for him.
Upon his death the International Bell Museum collection was donated to Winston’s alma mater, Hastings College in Nebraska. Per Winston’s wishes, the Hastings College Foundation donated and sent the bell to our Lodge in Winston’s memory.
Clayton Huffman decided to make it his ER Project to bring the bell out of the Lodge Dungeon where it has been stored since 2014. Jack Jordan and Gene Lewis joined Clayton in a great effort to get the bell moved and mounted to the present outdoor location. Future plans are to display a plaque on the bell pedestal and to install several seating benches and uplighting. Many thanks to Clayton, Jack and Gene for capturing a part of our history in such a meaningful and attractive exhibit. This will be the perfect spot to sit and reflect on Winston’s legacy to us, a bell that rings for “freedom, peace, and unity”.
Submitted by: Connie Greenberg
Our very own PER Clayton Huffman has been recognized as a Nominee for Community Leader of the Year by the Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce!
Here is a look at the Bio that was submitted to the Chamber, highlighting just SOME of the seemingly thousands of things that keep Clayton in a perpetual state of DOING, for our community and his fellow Veterans!
Clayton Huffman is a long time resident of the Evergreen area, a Past Exalted Ruler at the Evergreen Elks Lodge, and a Veteran of the United States Air Force, having served in the Vietnam War.
He is an ever present supporter of the Evergreen community through the Elks Lodge. He helps with the planning and execution of many Evergreen traditions, such as the Jazz Festival, Evergreen Rodeo, and the annual Easter Egg Hunt & Free Breakfast (which has been on hiatus due to COVID).
Clayton is always doing what he can to support and better the lives of his fellow Veterans, and his community. He is the CNW District Veterans Chair for the Colorado Elks Association, a Member of the CEA Veterans Committee and the Clear Creek Veterans Coalition, and he is the Evergreen Elks Lodge Chair for Laradon Hall and Veterans Services. When he is not fulfilling his duties for those roles, he is taking action to help Veterans in any way he can, including: transporting them to/from doctors appointments, the airport, etc., buying breakfast for Veterans awaiting appointments at the VA Hospital, planning Veterans Day and Vietnam Veterans’ Day Dinners, helping out at Family Day, deployment, and other CO National Guard events, helping load and transport food to Buckley Space Force Base for National Guard Families, and SO much more. And, when he’s not doing those things, he’s participating in the annual Veteran’s Walk for Hunger (COANG), the annual 9/11 walk in Idaho Springs, delivering gift cards for Veterans in need funded by CEA grants, gloves for Veterans at the Spinal Ward at Aurora VA Hospital, or working on making each year’s Wreaths Across America Day in the Evergreen area bigger, better, and more meaningful than the year before.
To say that his efforts go above and beyond would be an understatement. He strives to ensure that each and every Veteran he interacts with and supports knows, without any doubt, how valuable they, and their service to the Unites States and it’s Armed Forces truly are. They part with him knowing that they are appreciated and honored, and, very likely, with Clayton’s phone number in their pocket, so that, should they ever need a thing, they know how to reach him!
He is, without question, a selfless and devoted Champion for his fellow Veterans. Regardless of age, Branch, Rank, or any other factor, he treats every Veteran as a Hero, who deserves honor and respect from all American citizens. He never backs down from a challenging situation, and is never too busy to lend a helping hand when it is needed. And all that he does, he does with a warm smile, and a kind heart.
Make sure you submit your vote for Clayton at https://evergreenchamber.org/
Evergreen Elks Lodge is announcing its 8th annual Field of Honor that will take place on the Lodge grounds at 27972 Iris Drive. This event takes place on Armed Forces Day and begins at 12 noon on Saturday, May 15th, 2021. Flags will be flown until Monday, June 14th, 2021 (International Day of Peace). The Field of Honor that involves creating a dramatic, emotional-filled display of American flags, is open to the public, and the public is encouraged to participate and attend. Tours and refreshments will be provided as well as music by Pat Travis and The Barley Bros!
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