When Bruce Randolph came to Denver, he had almost no money, but he loved to cook. This was in 1963. He went to a bank and was able to receive a small loan to build a barbecue cooker and then rent a building.
He worked out of a building at 34th and Gilpin – and, amazingly, it is still there in the Cole neighborhood. An email from Historic Denver yesterday noted that the building was still there. (What a surprise.)
Randolph – eventually people called him “Daddy” Bruce — knew that people needed to eat. He brought his grandmother’s recipe for barbecue sauce to Denver, and it was a hit. He grew up in Arkansas, and lived many lives, but he made Denver his final home. He would be 120 years old this year if he were still alive; he was born in 1900, and passed away in 1994. He had a street and a school named after him – he was that important to the community.
Fast forward to 2020 – a really impossible year – it’s just the same: People need to have food, caring and hope. His legacy lives on, since the annual turkey and sides were delivered last weekend to numerous people who needed food.
A 30-minute documentary about “Daddy” Bruce Randolph titled Keep a Light in Your Window, debuted last Thursday on Rocky Mountain PBS, lovingly produced by the Rev. Ron Wooding. There was a list of the nights that show would be on television, but a couple of nights the video was bumped off for other programs.
But tonight, if you want to A.) learn more about “Daddy” Bruce, and B.) look at footage of Five Points and Cole way back in the day, the documentary airs at 8:30 p.m. If you want to see it any time, here’s a link to the video: https://video.rmpbs.org/video/keep-a-light-in-your-window-9n4kb7/ .
The links below include information from Rocky Mountain PBS, with the stories about Randolph’s background and the thousands of boxes of food delivered last weekend; the strength of his legacy; and stories about the food drop-offs on Denverite, 9News, and Colorado Politics.
On this Thanksgiving Day in 2020, we know that parts of this holiday are sort of a fairy tale (like the first one). To me, it is a day to count my blessings, and give thanks for my friends and family. Be well.