"There was a time in Beulah I knew everybody from Rock Creek on in. Now I don't feel like I know anyone anymore." Elnora Lorje was born in Pueblo, but her family history has been a part of Beulah since 1872. "My grandfather worked for the Continental Oil Company and it took him two days to haul gas from Pueblo to Beulah using a horse drawn wagon. That's not propane or gasoline. It's white gas, Kerosene, what we used for our lamps hanging over the table to play cards. That's what we did at night. We didn't get electricity for two years after it first came to Beulah." Elnora spent all of her summers with her grandparents in Beulah, then moved from Pueblo to one of the family cabins when she was fifteen years old.
Elnora began square dancing in 1954 at The Gay Way, where the Flag Mountain Grill is located now, until the roof came down from heavy snow in 1957. She sang at the Beulah Jamboree and danced afterwards at the Gay Way where she had her first date with her husband, John, after cooking him a fried chicken dinner at home. "He mostly came out to play Canasta with my mother," explained Elnora. "I didn't get to dance that night because John sat in the booth and told jokes with friends." They first met at the hospital in Pueblo where her dad was getting a gall bladder operation and John was getting his appendix out. Two years later they were married and enjoyed 16 years of marriage and Ballroom Dancing before John was killed in a car accident at Coglazier corner. Elnora remembers only three fulltime residents on the water line on South Pine Drive, but they did the 'Beulah Wave' everyday. "All of the houses had names. We didn't go by streets. Our house was named the 'Wee Blu Inn'." Elnora's spirit of community radiates. She acted in many melodramas in Beulah beginning in 1963, including "Deadwood Dick". Elnora preferred strong character parts like the sheriff, and especially remembers her role as La Paloma. Even now, some still call her "Polly."
Elnora's husband, Gene, boasts about her cooking and doesn't mind questions about John. "It doesn't bother me," he smiled, "half the time she calls me John." Gene remembers what she wore, what she said, and how her hair was fixed the first time he met Elnora. Elnora doesn't remember their first meeting at all, but does remember telling him after twelve years of marriage that he'd better start square dancing with her or else. Gene shook his head slowly, "I had no choice or she planned to show me the door." They now have a large family "scattered everywhere" and Elnora spoke of their "God only knows" how many great grandchildren they have. Clearly Gene did become her lifetime square dance partner and they currently lead many others in the "cheaper, healthier, entertainment" that is the official "Folk Dance of Colorado". "You don't need rhythm and if you can learn to square dance, you can do it everywhere." Elnora doesn't dance now because of her health, but the young at heart over nine years old are welcome to take classes, join the BVDs (Beulah Valley Dancers), or just come and stomp your boots at the Community Center, where Elnora sometimes calls the sets. "I love to dance," declares Elnora, "And I'll teach anybody."
Elnora Lorje played the organ at the Methodist Church for 30 years. She portrays noble principles and a charitable nature. Elnora knows what it means to have fun. She's way up there in the Order of The Eastern Star and the Square Dance Council. She's way up there in Beulah, too. You might not know all of us in Beulah, Elnora, but we know you. Reprinted from The Beulah Banner - July,2002.