Museum of Northwest Coloraco: Still a familiar face 60 years later
When cartoonist Chet Klock ran his “Familiar Faces” series on Craig businessmen in 1956, he included locals involved in a variety of enterprises. One of his subjects was Bob Nicodemus who at the time owned the Nicodemus Implement Company, which was located at 1695 W. Victory Way. The brief newspaper article written by Klock hardly scratches the surface of all that Bob has been involved in during his years in Craig.
Bob was born shortly after World War I to a homesteading family near Juniper Springs west of Craig. He attended various one-room schools in the area and after completing his education he started working for various ranches including the John Sherman ranch north of Craig. When World War II broke out he left his ranch job with Ralph Reeve to join the Navy. Bob served on a destroyer escort in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters before returning home to Craig after the war. Upon his return he worked for the railroad and also worked on the re-lining of the Duffy Tunnel. In 1947, he married Berdena Reeve, daughter of his former ranch employer.
In 1955, Bob and Berdena opened up their implement business, which at the time featured John Deere equipment. Berdena kept books for their business and stood in as a parts clerk when needed. Always open to new ideas, Bob soon started carrying the popular British Hillman car and motor scooters in addition to his farm equipment. By the mid 1960s, the Bob and Berdena, along with their two children Alman and Dena, were more involved in farming than ever and they eventually sold off their implement business.
After almost a decade of farming Bob turned to masonry work, which proved to be a natural fit for him. His handiwork can be seen in homes and other buildings not only in Craig, but also in Grand Junction and Loveland. Over the years there isn’t much that Bob hasn’t tried his hand at, including playing musical instrument such as the harp, the violin, the mandolin and the piano. One of his favorite pastimes however was flying, and at one point he owned two planes including an Aerocoupe and a Taylorcraft. After semi-retiring Bob took up cycling which quickly became his second passion. Though he sometimes logged as many as 8,000 miles annually on his bikes, he eschewed the usual bicyclist’s spandex earning him the affectionate nickname of the “Levi cyclist”.
Today Bob remains as familiar a face around Craig as he was when Chet Klock wrote about him sixty years ago. Bob lives in his own home and can be seen walking the hills and streets around town (often picking up trash left by a careless passerby) or riding his motorized scooter on errands. Bob and his family are part of a living legacy that makes Craig so special — people dedicated to making their hometown a good place to live.
The Museum of Northwest Colorado in downtown Craig hosts various displays, which highlight our local businesses and families. Be sure to stop by for a cool visit on a hot summer day. The museum is open Monday through Saturday and as always, admission is free.
Correction: In last week’s Museum of Northwest Colorado column on Jack McDonald, the wrong picture ran. The following picture is the correct photo that should have run with the column titled “Wash your duds in our suds.”
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