Justin Pilcher: A short life, well lived

Congressman Ed Perlmutter and his wife Nancy, and political consultant Audrey Kline and her husband Justin Pilcher at the wedding of Rep. Brittany Pettersen and Ian Silverii at the Governor’s Mansion in 2017. Pilcher’s memorial service was Saturday. (SOS photo)

A while back I got into a Twitter spat with Audrey Kline, a great young Democrat I’ve encountered over the years, and when we talked in person about our 140-character standoff she explained her reasoning to me:

Rep. Jessie Danielson holds her daughter Isabelle at a reception following a memorial service for Justin Pilcher Saturday. (SOS photo)

Her husband had a rare form of cancer and where would people be without Obamacare.

Justin Spencer Pilcher died Feb. 25 at the age of 33.

It was standing-room only at his memorial service Saturday at Olinger Crown Hill, and as I looked at the sports paraphernalia and Scouts uniform and the videos, all I could think of was the ending of the indelible movie “Brian’s Song:”

Brian Piccolo died of cancer at the age of 26. He left a wife and three daughters. He also left a great many loving friends who miss and think of him often. But when they think of him, it’s not how he died that they remember — but how he lived. How he did live!”

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Brittany & Ian: “In sickness and in health, in wins and in losses”

Ian Silverii and Brittany Petterson’s wedding announcement picture in front of the Governor’s Mansion.

I love the story of how Ian Silverii and Brittany Pettersen met.

On a cold December day at the corner of 13th Avenue and Sherman Street, right in front of Denver’s version of Portlandia, City O’ City, and just a block from the state Capitol, Ian was headed to a meeting and Brittany was standing in the freezing cold with a clipboard.

Brittany Pettersen and Ian Silverii laugh as friends and family tell stories about them at their wedding.

“Do you have a minute to save the children?” she asked.

“No,” Ian replied, “but I have about 30 minutes to flirt with you.”

I burst out laughing when I read about that encounter on the couple’s wedding website. I met Ian when he had the good sense to introduce himself to me at Hamburger Mary’s and say he was a huge fan of my reporting. His line to Brittany in 2009 was so him: fast and funny.

Their wedding Saturday at the Governor’s Mansion was such a Demapalooza that Sen. Lois Court joked enough lawmakers were present to go into an emergency special session and vote to fund the energy office.

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Lakewood High School students see “our government in action”

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, with the Broncos orange and blue tie, meets with Lakewood High School students at his office in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, wearing a Broncos orange and blue tie, meets with Lakewood High School students at his office in Washington, D.C. To the left, bottom row, is teacher Katie Seelbach.

Lakewood High School students who traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of the Close Up  program gave the experience high marks.

The students had appointments to see U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner, a Republican, and Michael Bennet, a Democrat, along with their congressman,  U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Jefferson County. They weren’t planning on meeting Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams but a long security line gave them the chance.

“Meeting with the people who run our government was truly humbling, and our serendipitous meeting with our secretary of state right behind us in line was a great added bonus,” said Kieran Lewis, 15.

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Lakewood High students meet Secretary Wayne Williams, U.S. senators

DCWWWLakewood
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and students from Lakewood High School. They met in line outside the Russell Building this morning in Washington D.C. and learned they were all headed to meet Colorado’s two U.S. senators.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams turned the annoyance of being trapped in a slow-moving security line outside the Russell Building into something fun this morning when he realized the students standing in front of him were from Lakewood High School.

Yes, that Lakewood High School, where the Tigers lip-synced to Katy Perry’s famous “Roar.”

Angie Clexton, a staffer for U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams listen to Lakewood High School students talk to Bennet. Claxton is a 2009 graduate of LHS.
Angie Clexton, a staffer for U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams listen to Lakewood High School students talk to Bennet. Clexton is a 2009 graduate of LHS.

Williams was headed to see Colorado’s U.S. senators, Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and Cory Gardner, a Republican. It turns out that Lakewood High School teacher Katie Seelbach and her AP U.S. history and government classes were also there to see the pair.

And because the school is in Jefferson County, the students also had an appointment to visit Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada. (Williams stopped by all seven congressional offices Tuesday night but most of the lawmakers were on the House floor getting ready for a vote; the ones he did see were sprinting off to join them.)

The students talked with  Bennet about a variety of topics, from immigration to education to college tuition. They were excited to be in D.C. and to be talking with members of their delegation.

When Bennet asked if the students knew what a secretary of state does, there were some interesting answers, from foreign policy to overseeing interstate compacts. The secretary of state actually oversees elections, business registrations, charitable giving and more.

Colorado of State Wayne Williams, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet meet with students from Lakewood High School Wednesday.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet meet with students from Lakewood High School Wednesday. To the right in the front row is their teacher, Katie Seelbach.

 

Secretary Wayne Williams’ Denver Broncos shirt elicits cheers in D.C.

Congressman Ken Buck, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Buck chief of staff Mac Zimmerman at Buck's DC office on Tuesday. His staff let out a cheer when they saw Williams' T-shirt.
Congressman Ken Buck, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Buck chief of staff Mac Zimmerman at Buck’s D.C. office on Tuesday. Buck’s staff let out a cheer when they saw Williams’ T-shirt.
Congressman Doug Lamborn, right, and his wife Jeanne, had some fun when they saw fellow Colorado Springs Republican Wayne Williams sporting a Denver Broncos championship shirt.
Congressman Doug Lamborn, right, and his wife Jeanie had some fun when they saw fellow Colorado Springs Republican Wayne Williams sporting a Denver Broncos championship shirt.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams missed today’s Super Bowl parade in Denver, but he got a warm welcome in Washington, D.C., with his Denver Broncos championship T-shirt.

The parade route went right by Williams’ office at 1700 Broadway — he captured a good picture of the orange- and blue-stripe painted on the street for his Facebook page — but he was headed to Washington for the National Association of Secretaries of State winter conference.

After he landed, Williams stopped by all seven congressional offices. In most cases, the representatives had had already headed to the floor for a nighttime vote, but the secretary did manage to catch up with two lawmakers, Republican Ken Buck of Windsor and Republican Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs.

Williams also had a chance to meet Buck’s new chief of staff, Mac Zimmerman, on his first day on the job. Zimmerman grew up in Denver but has lived in Grand Junction and previously worked for Congressmen Scott McInnis and Tom Tancredo, and for state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry.

Zimmerman once worked with Buck’s previous chief of staff, former state Sen. Greg Brophy.

Miles, mascot of the Denver Broncos, enjoys today's Super Bowl parade in Denver.
Miles, mascot of the Denver Broncos, enjoys today’s Super Bowl parade in Denver.