We’ve done a lot in 2010, and now, in the spirit of year-end self-satisfaction, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite Big Somethings of the year that you may have missed.

We’ll be back in January. Happy New Year!

Number 10:

An Entomologist’s Xanadu

You’ve driven past it dozens of times, if not hundreds: the giant Hercules Beetle on Hwy 115 just south of Colorado Springs next to the sign for the May Natural History Museum of the Tropics. And you, like me, probably thought it was a hokey roadside attraction. And so you drove past year after year after year until one day you decide to see what it’s all about for a little staycaytion and….

Click HERE for more.

Number 9:

Heartless Bastards at KRCC

Good old-fashioned rock-’n’-roll plus a voice from the Goddesses equals Cincinatti-based rock outfit Heartless Bastards who stopped by the Big Something headquarters for a chat prior to their performance at the Triple Nickel Tavern.

Click HERE for more.

Number 8:

Fabulous Anachronisms at The Ren Faire

If the Renaissance Festival in Larkspur, Colorado is, essentially, one big outdoor, participatory Renaissance-themed theater even, then it is definitely a comedy, and anachronisms are among the funniest jokes. The King with a tray of French Fries, a young squire on his iPhone, a swashbuckling pirate with a Marlboro light and an Iron Man watch: here in this slide show we bring you some of our favorites.

Click HERE for more.

Number 7:

Donkeys to Donuts: Pikes Peak Then & Now

What would Colorado Springs be without its domineering mountain companion? It has doubtless made us all do things we didn’t really want to at some point or another while also providing an uneasy and ready-to-pounce countenance to our westward horizon. In this post we endeavored to learn a little bit more about our friendly neighborhood Mount Olympus without disturbing its resident gods of doom. From New York Times columnist Grace Greenwood’s 1873 account of her voyage up the mountain (narrated by Kathleen Collins), to our contemporary exploration of the donuts on America’s Mountain.

Click HERE for more.

Number 6:

A Locals’ Unofficial Tour of Manitou’s Springs

We wanted to know more about the Springs of Manitou, so what better way to do that than gather up some Manitou locals who knew next to nothing about the springs and what little they did know they wrapped up in absurd hyperbole and madness. Regardless of the veracity of this segment, it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Click HERE for Part I. Click HERE for Part II.

Number 5:

A Seriously Curious House

Local arts maven Kathleen Fox Collins takes us on a tour of what is certainly one of the most interesting and unusual homes in Colorado Springs. It was designed in the 1950s by the husband-and-wife architectural team of Gordon Ingraham and Elizabeth Wright Ingraham(Granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright) for the Mitguard family near the bluffs in Palmer Park. While the structure itself is an interesting example of local mid-20th Century modernism, it’s the truly bizarre finish work inside and outside that gives the home its amazing character.

Click HERE for more.

Number 4:

A Local Surgeon’s Journey in Haiti

After waiting a week after the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti to hear back from a variety volunteer organizations that take doctors to disaster areas, Colorado Springs-based Orthopedic Surgeon Rick Meinig felt compelled to take matters into his own hands. Using connections he found mostly through Facebook, he rounded up a team of doctors, 1,000 lbs of donated medical supplies and a private plane to go to Haiti and help the wounded. In the week they were there, Meinig and his team helped over 100 people with excruciating wounds and fractures. Though they performed many amputations during their time there, they were also able to help many save their limbs.

Click HERE for Part I and HERE for Part II.

Number 3:

The Big Something Radio Program(me)

Last March we decided to create a new radio show based entirely upon stories collected from the Big Something audience, the response we received was wonderful; starting with Lorne Greene, progressing to Darth Vader and then, quite miraculously, back to Lorne Greene. In the not-too-distant future, we’ll be gearing up for another round of the Big Something Radio Programme, so stay tuned and be ready to lend your voice to this groundbreaking era of radio modernity!

Part I, How a Rice Diet Led to Janis Joplin With Lorne Greene

Click HERE to listen to Part I.

Part II, A Date With Darth Vader

Click HERE to listen to Part II.

Part III, The Name Is Matthews

Click HERE to listen Part III.

Number 2:

Westward Hotel! A Brief History of the Antlers

What began as a simple slide show examining the iconic Colorado Springs photo-op of Pikes Peak Avenue looking west toward the Antlers Hotel over the years quickly turned into an exploration of the history of the hotel itself. With Marshall Sprague’s Newport in the Rockies as our historical compass, and images from the Pikes Peak Library District and the Denver Public Library as our material guides, we present this brief history of the Antlers Hotel including its various births and deaths from 1883 to present as seen from Pikes Peak Avenue.

Click HERE for more.

Number 1 (tie):

Our Lost Libertarian History: The Freedom School and Rampart College

With a large Libertarian contingency here, some might wonder how the ideals took root in Colorado Springs. Part of the answer may come from a recent New Yorker article titled “Covert Operations” by Jane Mayer about Tea Party funders Charles and David Koch. It referred to a now-defunct Colorado Springs-based libertarian institution called The Freedom School. With the help of the Colorado College and Pikes Peak Library District Special Collections, Noel Black and Craig Richardson created this portrait of the Freedom School, which later became Rampart College.

Click HERE for more.

Number 1 (tie):

Canoeing From Pueblo to Avondale

Having heard only rumors of its passability by boat, we decided to take a trip down the lower Arkansas River from Pueblo to Avondale. So we purchased a used Mohawk canoe from a gentleman on Craiglist for $220, borrowed some paddles and life jackets and, drove to Pueblo and …

Click HERE for Part I and HERE for Part II.


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