When I was in high school, we didn’t care what type of beer we were drinking. Now my fellow co-eds and I go to a former elementary school down the way, just south of Colorado College, and can be seen drinking expensive, dark brown, locally brewed beer. This scenario might sound twisted, but that’s only because you haven’t heard the whole story. Want more? At this former elementary school known as Ivywild, we could have also been found listening to rock music in the gymnasium!
Sitting at the door to this former site of many discordant recorder assemblies, three strapping Colorado College students recruited by sophomore Quinn Meghan, distributed concert tickets to many CC students, Colorado Springs residents, and alumnus who happened to be in town. It was a full house, packed with a great mix of community members and students to see the popular band, Pickwick.
In the old gym, we bought beers from a guy standing in what was once a storage closet packed with dodgeballs and those parachutes you held while sitting in a circle as a kid. The opening act featured local rockers Sugarsounds, an aptly named, gold-toned group, who are members of the local label Blank Tape Records. They are comprised of Pueblo resident/land surveyor/former Llamapalooza booking agent and member of the local favorite, The Haunted Windchimes, Mike Clark on guitar and vocals, Inaiah Lujan on guitar, Marc Benning on bass, Alex Koatshak on drums, Ian Bourgal on sax, and Grant Sabin who plays trumpet and dons a cool hat.
They were followed by an upbeat, five piece, v-necked, small-woolen-beanie band that was made famous by the YouTube channel Doe Bay: Pickwick, who are, in the words of Rolling Stone editor Lee Farese, a mix between Hot Chip, a more chilled out Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, and Smashmouth. Farese also defined them as having “complete uniqueness,” words he uses to describe most things.
As the show was winding down, my friend and I attended the bathroom. During our trip, a smiling man who had been to this bathroom before—when he attended the elementary school—informed us that it looked the same as it did when he was enrolled. The boy’s room has high ceilings and to-the-floor-urinals that collectively allow you to simultaneously consider bringing a large Christmas tree inside for the holidays and pee on your friend’s sneakers.
It is unfortunate that they stopped making these urinals due to an effort to curtail “penis envy” during the resurgence of Freudian psychoanalysis in elementary schools during the Clinton administration. It was around the same time that Americans saw the loss of group showers and decent music on the radio.
Fortunately, relics of this golden age of economics, video games, and television are still among us. The tall walls of this old bathroom are covered in a collage painted decades ago, as our friend confirmed. The walls are covered in illustrated ABC’s, facts about dinosaurs and ants, pictures of veggies, maps, and all sorts of images that the rascals of the old Ivywild probably used to cheat on tests. Thankfully, the urinals are here to stay, as they made for good times at the very enjoyable concert.
If you have a time machine and are wondering how you could go to this show and buy a drink for the beautiful girl standing by herself like I am, or simply what and where this place is, it was at Ivywild. It’s the newish home of the Bristol Brewing Company, a good place for people to drink beer. The building is just a stone’s throw from the former Bristol Brewing Company, right over the hill from Walmart and the car dealerships, and on that note, about a seven-minute Subaru ride from that rather large collection of Subaru drivers over by Wooglins. It’s near the Ivywild costume store.
In addition to the famous brewpub, the school is also the new home to Bicycle Experience, a great bike shop with used and new parts, bikes, helpful and pedantic mechanics, a bakery, deli, a locally sourced grocery store (which, if you aren’t mildly loaded and can’t afford to shop for their sundries and fresh produce on a regular basis, offers a buyers club to help you connect to farmers and buy local food in bulk at affordable rates), an arts center, conference center, a liquor bar, summertime farmers markets, and more. A garden plot and a giant passive solar greenhouse designed by a local architecture firm are coming soon! The idea is to create a closed-loop, mini economy that supports the community and fosters good times and learning – since it IS a school, after all! So, if you have been living under a rock, or (more likely) climbing rocks off of a year long venture grant to some downtrodden part of Cuba and haven’t been to IVYWILD, come check it out!