Meet Your Neighbor: Marlys Duran

Continuing our series of interviews with our Southern Gables neighbors, to help us get to know and appreciate each other. I first met Marlys when she was serving as treasurer of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association, and I knew she had been in charge of the neighborhood newsletter.  Interviewed by Bruce McDonald.

Bruce: Thank you for agreeing to participate in our “Meet Your Neighbor” profiles. First off, we’d like to know about how you came to Southern Gables. Are you a Colorado girl?

Marlys: No, I was transplanted but it’s home to me now. I love it here. I was born in Iowa, graduated from high school in Illinois and from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque where I majored in journalism and minored in psychology. I got married there, and my husband and I moved to Colorado for his work in 1966. Our first home here was on South Cody Way, and there was no development beyond us to the south. Then we moved to our present home on Warren Drive in 1969. That move was during an October snowstorm. I’ll always remember that!

Maat Your Neighbor: Marlys DuranWe raised three children here, and all are Bear Creek High School alums. I was reminded in reading a recent neighbor profile about the time when the local schools changed to a year-round schedule. That was another snowy memory, since I was one of the parents who waited in the cold and snow to get my kids enrolled in our schedule of choice. That morning was so cold! We got the choice we wanted, which was with the summer off. We stayed on that schedule until the experiment ended, and the school year returned to normal for everyone.

Back to your college days, is that where your journalism career started?  Yes, while in college I worked part time in the summers for the Albuquerque Tribune. Then after graduation I was a reporter for them. When we moved to Lakewood I was a reporter for the Lakewood Sentinel and later became the editor of the Englewood Sentinel. I also worked as a reporter covering Jefferson and Arapahoe counties for the Rocky Mountain News. I won some writing awards over my 40-year long career. Retired in 2001.

And we know the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association has benefited from your editing skills, with the Newsletter… Yes, I edited the SGHA newsletter for 20 years. I miss it, and although these articles are nice they don’t reach nearly as many people as the printed newsletter we used to put together twice a year. Delivering the newsletter door-to-door just became too problematical with the pandemic, I guess. I hope it will make a comeback someday.

Is your family all close by? I am a grandmother of four, and great-grandmother of three little girls in Minnesota. Since the pandemic has put the damper on travel I haven’t been able to see my kids and theirs as much as I like. I took a flight to see family in November, and one grandson has visited me from Northern Colorado. I get out for groceries and errands, masked of course. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for those who are isolated and can’t even leave home. How about exercise these days?  Well, I get out and walk a few times a week. The neighborhood is great for that. I used to love going to the “Curves” exercise salons but they’ve gone out of business one after another, taking me farther and farther afield until the last one I knew of closed. I think there might be another one I could try, and I’m going to check it out.

I keep telling myself that I should move to a smaller home with no grass to be mowed or sidewalks to be shoveled. Or leaves to rake! We have the Southern Gables Leaf Day. Have you participated in that?  Oh yes, I’ve really enjoyed that. This past November the volunteers came and raked up 8 bags of leaves for me, and took them away to go into the composting project. All year long, though, I have friendly neighbors who help even when I don’t ask. Southern Gables is a nice, relatively safe and stable neighborhood that I’m proud to call home.

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