Meet Your Neighbor: Marcel Guajardo
When I first met Marcel Guajardo a few months ago, to talk about joining us on the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association Board, he had come through a rain shower on his bike to get to our meeting. Then again this week when I showed up at his house to have this interview, it was just after a heavy rain shower, and he had just dried off after a good bike-soak. If we keep this up it could get to be a habit. He’s not going to stop riding his bike, and I’m not going to stop asking questions and getting to know our neighbors… Interview by Bruce McDonald
Bruce: How long have you lived in Southern Gables, and what brought you here?
Marcel: Ándie and I have lived here about four years. I’m originally from Houston, but I’ve lived in Colorado most of my life. Colorado is the place where I’m really at home. My parents live just west of us here, in Country Village, I have lots of good memories from there – from this area. I always wanted to live here. Always? Well, from when I was a teenager. I would drive through Southern Gables, like on my way to school, and I always thought, “This is really beautiful. I want to live here someday.” It was the trees, I think. Houston has lots of trees in most of the neighborhoods, and something about that brought back really good childhood memories. It’s more than trees though… it’s quiet, the neighbors are so nice, and the location is convenient. Like biking to work? Sure, and more than that, the mountains! Close to good schools, Belmar, the lakes.
I guess we agree it’s a pretty good place to live. How about the neighbors, do you have any neighborly interactions you could tell us about? Sure. I have a green thumb and I’m really proud of the trees I’ve planted and gotten to grow. We have some apple trees that had huge yields last year, so many that we packed up bags and carried them up and down the street in a wagon giving them out to neighbors. A number of times, when we hadn’t met the people before they would ask, “Those aren’t from our neighbor’s trees down the street, are they?” We could say yes they were, but we were the ones who lived there and we were giving them away. Even before they knew us they were watching out for us, concerned that somebody might be taking our apples. And another one, we have a neighbor who is a roofer and fell, had terrible injuries. While he was gone the neighbor kids mowed his lawn and we all watched out for his place. When he came back home after rehab, all of us gathered around and he had a big welcome home. People brought meals to him and offered to run errands. Good neighbors.
How about your work and hobbies? Ándie works for the EPA, in sustainability programs for communities and reservations. Specifically, engineering and program management for water: flood control and safety of drinking water. I work with TV and electronics, as a product manager for wireless services. Hobbies, huh. Everything. I love grilling. Whether you’re hungry or not, if you’re around here you’re going to smell the delicious meats I’m cooking, twice a week, rain or shine, hot or snow. It’s really a thing with me. It’s an art. I guess you could say all of us in the family are artists at heart. I paint – all the pictures you see on the walls are ones I’ve painted. We both like hiking and paddleboarding. I like to write. I write movie scripts. I like hands-on work: painting, drywall, plumbing, car repair. Ándie is a musician and a dancer. She’s got a lot of musical talent, and so do our two sons. The older one, Javi, plays clarinet, sax, and piano. His brother Miguel plays violin, and sings in the Colorado Children’s Chorale. Sports too. They are both good athletes, and it seems they can do anything.
Do you have any advice for us, a saying or some wisdom to pass on to the neighborhood? (after a pause) That’s a hard one. But I say, “If you can cook it, why not smoke it?”
Sounds delicious. On that note, I guess we can wrap up but I’ll stop by sometime for a smell!
Marcel is on the Southern Gables Neighborhood Board, as Area Representative for Area 7.
Contact email@example.com to nominate a candidate for the “Meet Your Neighbor” series.