Tom Noel, also known as Dr. Colorado, to appear for Colorado Day

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and University of Colorado Denver history professor Tom Noel, after stepping of a 16th Street Mall shuttle bus on Monday. (SOS photo)

One of the best things about riding the 16th Street Mall shuttle is you run into folks you know, including Tom Noel, a lover of history, particularly Denver and Colorado history.

It turns out Professor Noel, or Dr. Colorado as he is known, on Monday was hitching a ride to his barber so he would look spiffy for Colorado Day today when Noel and other members of the new State Historians Council will be introduced to the public at History Colorado. Noel will lead the group.

I was happy to introduce Noel to my boss, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who asked, “What’s a state historian?”

“Since 1924, History Colorado has appointed a historian to work with the organization to preserve, interpret, and share Colorado’s past,” according to a July 16 release from the organization, announcing the formation of the State Historians Council. “The State Historians Council will reach across the state to aid in interpretation of the history of Colorado and the West. Through collaboration among historians led by the Council, History Colorado will seek to support citizens of Colorado and visitors to our state by bringing the narratives of the state to the forefront.”

In the release, History Colorado’s chair of the board of trustees, thanked the current historian, University of Colorado-Boulder professor Patty Limerick, a professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, for her expertise and helping “lead the evolution of our exhibition direction.”

Former Rocky and Post reporter Lynn Bartels with historian Tom Noel. (SOS photo)

In addition to Noel, a history professor at University of Colorado Denver, other members of the council will be Nicki Gonzales of Regis University; Jared Orsi from Colorado State University,  Duane Vandenbusche from Western State Colorado University; and Dr. William Wei of the University of Colorado Boulder. Noel and some other council members will gather at History Colorado from 2 to 3 p.m. for an ice cream social and chance to play Colorado trivia.

As I explained to the secretary of state, Noel has written about the state and Denver’s history for eons, in books and in both The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, which closed in 2009 to the lament of many Coloradans, including Noel.

“For many of us you can’t imagine your first cup of coffee without the Rocky Mountain News,” Noel said at the time.

Amen to that.