Questions for Friends who Doubt their Impact

By Ashley Cornelius, Pikes Peak region poet laureate and Poetry719 co-director


Has anyone told you today, that you are a good friend?

Not just good, but great

Better than great, you’re exceptional, remarkable, incredible, sensational

Let’s revel and celebrate the relationships you create

I will tell you in perpetuity the gift of your compassion

Your friendship is an incomparable warmth

The feeling of deep connection growing from pitted stomachs into belly laugh blossoms

You deserve to hear all the ways magic has transferred from inside jokes and warm embraces

Bridged time zones and geography to foster connections far and wide


Do you know that you have saved lives with your presence?

Your friendship is a life-giving

Laughter jump-starting heartbeats back to a rhythm all their own

Smiles bright enough to pull loved ones out of the darkness once thought impenetrable

Listening makes a home for the wandering as a reminder that they are never lost in your company

This is how you show up in friendship

As we dance to the beat of our own drums

You are the hype person

Cheering on the swaying

Chanting and exclaiming

Welcoming our true selves to be honored and appreciated


Where do you keep the love you share so freely?

In pockets, purses, or wallets?

Abundance like yours cannot fit in conventional places

Look instead inside yourself, at all the spaces your friends have adorned your spirit

Extract the memories

Harness the joy

Channel the acceptance

Know your soul exudes the love you collect

A two-way mirror to see yourself reflected in the friendships you cultivate


Can you imagine a world without your friendship?

I’ll answer for you

It’s not a world I want to imagine

Not a world I’d trade without you as a friend

You matter intrinsically to this community

Saving lives and creating joy with every extended hand in friendship to neighbors and strangers

Recognizing the identities and histories that make us an endless cornucopia of good things and even better friends


It is friendship that drives connection

It is relationships that promote healing

It is the safety of authenticity that allows us to grow


If ever there is a question of the impact of friendship, look to this day and look at those around you

Hold close that we have all been touched by the friendship of Manitou Springs.


Happy Friendship Day!



Pie Baking Contest, results

Photo by Rhonda Van Pelt Lincoln Southwick-Simms, 9, holds his pie contest trophy. He would like to be a chef when he grows up.
Photo by Rhonda Van Pelt
Lincoln Southwick-Simms, 9, holds his pie contest trophy. He would like to be a chef when he grows up.

The weather was perfect for the participants and crowd attending the 27th Annual “Good Ol’ Summertime Ice Cream Social” and the 20th anniversary of the Pie Baking Contest. The judges sampled 20 pie entries, seven in the kids division and 13 in the adult division.

Julie Webster won first place in the adult division with Carpe Noctem, Kara Stutzman took second with an Apricot Bourbon Pie, and third place was awarded to Michelle Bruce for TheBomb.Com Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie.

In the kids division, Bella Dunn took first with her Bella Rosa Caramel Apple Pie, Unni Dunn was awarded second for her Peachy Palazzo Pie and third place went to Lincoln Southwick-Simms with Colorado Campfire.

Joe Johnson, A Carpenter’s Daughter and Frog and Fiddles provided the evening’s entertainment and hundreds enjoyed the concerts while indulging in hot dogs and hamburgers, courtesy of the Kiwanis Club of Manitou Springs, community potluck goodies, pie and ice cream.

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