Despite spending so much time yesterday on the educational complex along 29th, I’m still not done. I returned to Zuni and walked past the Residence Inn Marriott to Speer. (It’s actually a three-street intersection, with 29th, 27th, and Speer meeting on a hill from which you can view downtown Denver. Speer heads toward downtown, and Zuni cuts across from left to right.) There are very similar convenience stores (1 a Conoco, 1 a Philips 66) on either side of Speer, as well as a Hampton Inn and Suites and a Budget Host Inn on the north side. Although I regularly drive through this intersection, I never really paid attention to the hotels before. Moving right across downtown (more or less south) and closing in, we see the exit for I-25.And moving even farther right, we find the tower at Elitch Gardens and the Pepsi Center (“the can”).I followed Zuni south to 26th Avenue and turned west, passing more hotels (Ramada Inn, Knights Inn), the Diamond Hill Office Complex, Denver Elks Lodge 17, and La Loma Mexican Restaurant. Then, at 26th Avenue and Eliot, I came to this.(I really must stop photographing from this angle. Notice the satellite dish in the top left-hand corner? Wouldn’t be there if I’d shot it straight on or paid attention to my corners.) As far as I can tell, this display is part of the Fred N. Thomas Career Education Center, also known as CEC Middle College of Denver. The application for the 2010-2011 Middle College High School Program for Full-Time Students spells it out.

How do the CEC/North Middle Colleges work? Enrollment in CEC/North Middle College of Denver creates a smooth transition from high school to college. Freshmen and sophomores spend half a day in academics and half a day in career class. As juniors and seniors, students take their academic classes on the CCD campus. If they qualify, they can take up to four college classes per year, allowing them the opportunity to earn up to a year’s worth of college credit toward their college degree by the end of senior year.

Sounds like a much, much better version of the Vo-Tech stuff we had in high school in the 1970s. In fact, the CEC was founded in 1976 and has been educating students ever since.

Hanging a right at Federal, I noticed Denver Fire Station 12 on the corner. I turned right again at 29th Avenue and was rewarded with a honk. Some man was waving at me, though I’m certain I’ve never seen him before. Going east, I passed José Valdez one more time and Three Tomatoes on my right. Three Tomatoes used to cater restaurants at the Botanic Gardens. I interviewed Three Tomatoes as a possible caterer for my wedding and was impressed, though I finally chose Spice of Life in Boulder.

As I stopped at the corner of 29th Avenue and Zuni to take a picture of a Coke sign, a dark-haired man in a truck shouted, “Take a picture of this ugly mug!”

And that, my friends, was the walkabout. I hope you enjoyed it.

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