This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, November 11, 1998

November 11, 1998 - Philip S. Miller Biography

Beware, you teachers! A single comment on a school assignment can mark a young woman. It can twist whole lives.

Consider, for instance, a five page research paper written for Douglas County High School teacher Mr. James McKay. The year was 1967. The title was "The History of Banking in Castle Rock." The author was one Debbie Bubolz.

Now it happens that Debbie was and is the daughter of Willie Bubolz, who was on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Douglas County. And it's also true that the Bank of Douglas County was the ONLY bank in Castle Rock at that time. (This is in marked contrast to today, incidentally, when there's a bank every three or four feet.)

Well, thanks to family connections, Debbie did a lot of interviews, learning about two predecessors to the Bank of Douglas County, which opened in 1939. She also unearthed original scrapbooks from stockholders of those banks dating back to 1917. The proud 16-year old author submitted her thoroughly researched paper, a paper steeped in source documents and the living memory of people now gone. She was sure she'd get an "A."

And she was devastated to receive a humiliating "B-". McKay's verdict: ".... it needs many more footnotes."

Now on the outside, Debbie seemed fine. She became the owner of the Powder Box Beauty Salon in Castle Rock through the mid-70's. Then she sold the salon and taught at Beauty Schools in Denver, Englewood, and Greeley. (I have always thought, incidentally, that "Beauty Operator" is the best job title ever. It pleases me still to know that SOMEBODY is keeping Beauty going.)

Later, she became a journalist, then editor for the Rapp Street Journal in Littleton. Finally, she earned a B.A. in English and Education, moved to Arizona, and taught GED classes.

But always in the back of her mind was that "B-", that careless remark about footnotes.

Thirty fateful years later, Debbie, now Debbie Bubolz-Bodle, has published a book entitled Philip Simon Miller: Butcher, Banker and Benefactor.

(The discerning reader will note that preponderance of "B's" in her name and her work. Coincidence?)

Mr. Miller is of course well known to Douglas County. His name graces two buildings in Castle Rock: the Philip S. Miller Library, and the Philip S. Miller Building of Douglas County.

The astonishing legacy of the Philip S. Miller Perpetual Charitable Trust will continue to benefit not only the library and the county, but also (among others) the Douglas County Fair, the Douglas County School District, and the Castle Rock Fire Department, long into the future. But the great value of Debbie's book is that it reaches into, that it rescues and preserves, the PAST.

In Debbie's own words, "I could never have guessed that the research would take me clear back to the mid 1800's in Germany, then to the late 1800's in Peoria, Illinois, then to the early 1900's in Denver, Colorado and Elizabeth, Colorado and finally to the early 1920's in Castle Rock."

To celebrate the publication of this book, the Douglas Public Library District is pleased to announce a reception for the author. It will be held, fittingly, at the Philip S. Miller Library on Sunday, November 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. Copies of the book will be available for sale in soft cover. Orders may be taken for hardcover versions, which will be carried by area stores and through the Friends of the Philip S. Miller Library.

Please plan to join us to welcome a most welcome contribution to the rich history of our county.

And you teachers, think about those comments you scrawl on your assignments.

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