Meet Your Neighbors: the Singh-Ewing Family

I first met Ruby Singh (Ravinder) at his regular hangout, the cash register at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on Wadsworth. He runs the place with a friendly outlook, cheerful with everyone. We held our monthly Neighborhood Association luncheon there last month, and his wife Darlene came to join us. She was every bit as friendly and outgoing, brightening the room with smiles and lively conversation, and holding the sweetest grandchild you ever saw. It was pretty clear, this was a family to get to know!  We visited in his front yard on a cool sunny afternoon, in a private little grove under a shade tree fronted by native plants and flowers.  Interview by Bruce McDonald

Bruce:  Well, we always like to start off by asking how long you’ve lived here in Southern Gables, and how you came to choose our neighborhood.

Ruby: I’ve been here since 2018, and choosing the neighborhood was very easy – it was because Darlene lived here!   I suppose that would make it an easy choice for sure! But it makes us want to know, how did you two meet, to make this all happen and put us here sitting in your garden?  Darlene: I was on a vacation trip to the Cayman Islands in 2014 with my sister, and there was this guy at the resort, a cute bartender. So personable and friendly! He was from India, and was there in the Caymans working the bar and as a waiter. We hit it off right away. We stayed in touch, and made several trips to see each other in 2015 through 2017 both there and in the States. I went to Jamaica to be with him when he applied for a visa to come and visit here in the US. Then we got married in 2018.  So then, we still have the question of what brought you to Southern Gables…  That goes back to when I moved down here from the mountains. That was September 1996, and it was to be closer to places I had to go to regularly for work, appointments, shopping and all. Up there I spent SO much time commuting. I looked at houses all around the area, and when I saw this one I loved it right away.

What are a few things you like about living here in Southern Gables?   It’s convenient – we’re so close to the schools for example. Devon was in the fourth grade and right away he could just walk there by himself or with other kids. And same for James who was in eighth. Our neighbors too, so friendly and easy to get along with. I had a dog who would go to our back fence and start barking to rile up the dog on the other side. I was so worried about bothering people that I took a can and put some coins in it, would toss it out near her to startle her and she would quit for a while. My neighbor came over and told me not to worry – she understood and it didn’t bother her. We became the best of friends, and there was a gate in between our houses and we used it to visit back and forth so it was like not having a fence at all.

Can you tell us about any other neighborly experiences?  One of the neighbors is by herself and when it snows she doesn’t have to worry about getting her sidewalk shoveled; someone always gets it done. And watching out for each other, like someone might text a neighbor to pick up a package from the porch if they’re gone, things like that.

How about your work, and how you spend your leisure time?  Ruby: You know about my work of course, being the manager at Dickey’s. I started there as an assistant manager in 2018 and became the general manager in 2020. I supervise ten people, with two to five of us on a shift. It keeps me busy. Darlene: Right now I’m a stay-at-home grandma. I take care of Devon and Sylvia’s little girl, Athea. I worked at Coors in Creative Services – doing their advertising campaigns. So, you were behind the “Silver Bullet” ads that we remember so well? Yes I contributed to them, and the “Elvira” campaign. That was so exciting, getting to meet the celebrities and all. On another campaign I met Haven Moses. for those who don’t remember he was a Broncos player! I was the liaison between “the creatives” and the print shop.  And hobbies, leisure? I can see from your front yard that gardening must be one. Ruby: Ha! All that plant care isn’t from us; it’s all done by our daughter-in-law Sylvia. She is going to school to become an ecologist. As for me, I love sports. All sports: Ice hockey, soccer, basketball, football… I’m a big Manchester United fan, and they have such a story of overcoming hardship. I admire that. Darlene:  I like taking scenic drives, and showing off beautiful places in Colorado to Ruby. We take walks – not really hiking but we do love to be outside enjoying nature. Ruby: And reading. I read a lot. For me it’s a big part of improving my English. I speak and write in Hindi and Punjabi as well, but improving my English is a constant process. Darlene reads a lot as well, so that’s something we both enjoy.

Do you have a favorite saying, or any words of advice for youngsters or friends? Ruby: Respect your elders. Darlene: As a parent, start hard and finish hard. You can’t be too soft. Being a parent takes focus. Bruce: Those two bits of advice go together pretty well, don’t they?  Ruby: Yes, just like us.

In closing, what else should we know about you?  Darlene: Ruby is SO honest and sincere, sometimes it’s hard for him with situations in the shop where people aren’t doing right, and they or others get upset. Ruby: Yes, like one time a lady thought I made a mistake with her change, and she got mad when I tried to explain and calm her. Later she realized it was her own mistake and came back with a gift for me, and that was such a relief. Darlene: We love to be there for people when they need help.  We love to decorate for holidays. Halloween and Christmas are so much fun. We had 115 kids stop by this year for Halloween. This is a fun-filled hobby for Ruby.

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