One of the highlights of my trip to Colorado Springs was my visit to the Garden of the Gods park. This park would be impressive even if it were a national or state park, but the fact that it is a city park, owned and operated by the city of Colorado Springs, is even more impressive. The park is free of charge and contains incredibly beautiful rock formations and miles and miles of trails to wander.
The real highlight of my trip, however, was the opportunity to meet and get to know the beautiful people pictured below.
These were my hosts for two nights. In front are Rick Schwarz and his wife Marguerite Terze, and behind them is their housemate Heidi Cooper. Rick, Marguerite, Heidi, and Heidi’s daughter Deanna just moved into this housing arrangement last month, and Marguerite had to do some serious searching and unpacking to find the spices necessary to prepare the delicious dish on the table.
I was introduced to them by Tom Linz, formerly of the Springs but currently living in Maui with his wife Mary-Mike and their daughter’s family. My connection to the Linz’s is through their daughter, Erica Linz, and the connection between the Linz’s and Rick and Marguerite runs through the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, a wonderful organization that both Erica and Rick and Marguerite’s daughter Ann were members of. Both Tom (formerly) and Rick (currently) have been heavily involved in supporting that organization with their efforts, Tom as the sound-master and equipment wrangler, and Rick in running the Bingo activities that help to fund the ongoing operations of the chorale.
Service runs deep in both families–Erica Linz is the creator and guiding force behind the Las Vegas based Circus Couture, an annual charity circus/fashion show/art auction that has raised well over a half-million dollars to fight pediatric cancer to date. Erica credits her mother, Mary-Mike, with inspiring her in her charitable efforts. Heidi is also committed to service, and is currently working as a social worker and pursuing a Master’s degree in that field.