Colorado-Texas Tomato War Stories

I fought for Texas in the Great Tomato War of ’85. Them hills ran red that day and the sounds we heard, oh, the sounds we heard, as tomato met flesh upon those fruited plains.

I lived briefly in Albuquerque, New Mexico and then moved to Rollinsville, Colorado. I stayed with friends there for a while before moving down about 8,000 feet in elevation to Lakewood, not too far from Golden.

Running Mustangs in Colorado

Colorado was interesting in different ways. I commuted up and down the mountains three hours each way from Rollinsville (Gilpin County) north of Boulder, north of Nederland, north of Central City—north of the third moon of Saturn—I think, to my job at a printshop in Aurora. I drove a brown 1981 Ford Mustang that I had to practically push up the hill. I’d leave in the morning with a foot of snow on the roof and get into town where it was 80 degrees.

Beer, Volleyball and Catholics

I did a lot of bike riding and had friends who did the same. I also climbed the Flatirons and played volleyball at a rec center in Boulder. My friend, Darryl, worked at an ad agency in Boulder and worked on Boulder Beer marketing. That was some good beer! I also visited the Mother Cabrini Catholic Shrine with my friend, Betsy, who came to visit me, and my car got pelted by massive hail. Was that a message from Mother Cabrini?

It’s War, Boys!

This is not a Colorado tomato

This is not a Colorado tomato

My fondest memory of Colorado, and probably the strangest, was the Colorado-Texas Tomato War. This was an event where thousands of people would take up tomatoes and represent either Colorado or Texas. To my dismay, there were not enough Texans to fight so I was “drafted” as a Texan. Oh, if ole Sam Houston coulda seen me then….

This was in 1985, and for all you young’uns this was when famous Hollywood star, Ronald Reagan, played the part of “The President,” we still had a Soviet Union to worry about, there was no Internet and we had to watch TV…on a TV! Absolutely medieval.

The President of Colorado and all these United States

The President of Colorado and all these United States

And My Uniform was Made Red

So, anyway, we all went out into the fields of Twin Lakes, Colorado, where innkeeper, Taylor Adams, hosted the big event. I got a chance to meet her while I was there, so that was cool. We all had T-shirts, but I don’t remember what it looked like. What I do remember was that getting pelted by over-ripe tomatoes hurts. You would think they would just squish and drip, but when a tomato comes flying at your head, thrown by one of dem dere Coloradahs, it dang near took my skull off.

I Remember the Alamo. I Was There.

Why did I even think of this? I left a tomato on the counter overnight and it began to sprout. Seeing that tomato sitting there, taunting me, brought back my old “war memories” as an Alamo defender, fighting for the rights of Texians in the hills of Colorado.

For some information on the C-T TW, here’s a Wikipedia link.