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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Listening is key

Conifer author explores friendship in novel called ‘Breakfast with Butch’ SERVING the 285 Corridor SINCE 1977 Vol. 37, No. 47

By Barbara Ford Staff Writer

Conifer resident Scott Deem has just published a book, “Breakfast with Butch,” a novel about two longtime friends and how important their friendship is when things get rough. Deem said one thing he’s sure of is when friends are going through a hard time, posts on Facebook or random e-mails are of little help. Taking time to sit with someone going through something like a divorce and listen, actually listen, is what makes a good friend. “Sometimes it’s just not enough to type, “OMG” and add a sad face to a post,” he said. “People need people. They don’t need e-mails.” The story is based on Deem’s relationship with a close friend whose journey through a divorce struck the long-timemarried-never-been-divorced Deem hard. About six months into the friend’s divorce process, Deem asked if he could make notes about what was happening, and over the course of almost two years, he created a basic framework for a story, embellished with creative license for his friend’s privacy but with enough real information for accuracy. Deem admits he’s behind the technology curve and instead of using a computer to write his book, he wrote it out longhand.

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library From Page 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Evergreen Library will open an hour earlier than it does now on Tuesday and Thursday, and that extra hour will be used to offer more story times for young children. Nissler said the new hours are based on an analysis of the library use, and each library’s hours were tailored to suit patrons’ needs. “In proposing new hours, we analyzed traffic patterns and tried to open libraries at the times they’re most used, and we staggered hours in neighboring communities to provide maximum coverage in our service areas,” Nissler explained. “For example, since our Conifer Library is open only in the afternoons, we tried to extend morning hours at our Evergreen Library to give our mountain patrons options for library service throughout the week. We know this schedule will take some getting used to, and we hope our patrons and communities will be patient with us as we make the adjustment.”


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Time to write

As owner of Rancho Deluxe Fine Homes, Deem said the recession hit his building business in the pocketbook, but it gave him time to write a book that he’d been crafting in his head for some time. The book wasn’t just a lark. He thought about it as he listened to “Butch’s” story, but it was more than words on a page, it was a by-product of the commitment to a friend. Deem had recently lost two friends and couldn’t beAr the thought of losing another. “I didn’t want to lose another friend because I wasn’t paying attention,” he said. The book addresses a common misconception that guys can’t get below the surface of feelings and deal with problems

Tim Zeman

Photo by Barbara Ford | The Times

Conifer author Scott Deem has written a book called “Breakfast with Butch,” based on his relationship with a close friend. openly and honestly. He explores the patterns most people go through when they have a tragedy in their lives -- denial, anger, acceptance and recovery. He hopes both women and men will read his book and understand how important having someone to talk to can be during tough times. Before starting the book, he spoke with other local writers, and they gave him important advice about writing a book: schedule time, sit down and write. Deem has been married to his wife,

Jill, for 30 years and said the process of writing the story and supporting his friend changed how he looked at his own marriage. “To have a healthy relationship, it’s important to be present day to day,” he said. “It’s important for everyone to learn to not think so much about tomorrow because you’ll miss what’s in front of you today.”

Library spokeswoman Rebecca Winning said that at the Conifer Library, the change in hours reflects the best hours to serve Conifer patrons. “There were hardly people at the library at 9 p.m.,” she said of the library’s current closing time. The Conifer Library is at Conifer High School and is open only after classes are done for the day at 3 p.m. Earlier this year, budget considerations led to a decision that all Jeffco libraries would close on Mondays, much to the chagrin of local patrons. JCPL also announced that some three libraries, including Conifer, could be closed if budget issues weren’t resolved by 2012. However, the library board decided to keep Conifer library open.

“We looked at everything to wring out another $2 million without disruption of services,” Winning said. Winning said that $2 million would come at a cost of shorter days at the library and possibly staff layoffs. Winning said the library needs to eliminate $800,000 in employee costs and is offering voluntary layoffs to those who are nearing retirement. Other cuts include reducing administrative costs and funds available to add to the library’s collection and resources. One money saver is the new automated book-sorting system now installed at some libraries. Winning said the system will save $440,000 a year. Other library services such as outreach initiatives, including our Traveling Children’s Library, Bookmobile, eTrain mobile computer training lab and Homebound Services, will operate on Mondays as well. The Online Library at will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Good service, lowering costs Winning said the changes are designed to offer the best possible service to patrons while keeping costs down, but a 4.2 percent decrease in property-tax revenues mean the library board and county commissioners had to cut approximately $2 million from the budget. Winning said 89 percent of the libraries’ revenue comes from property taxes.

Contact Barbara Ford at barbara@ or 303-350-1043. Check for updates.

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We want to know what is going on in our community. Send your news tips to Barbara Ford at barbara@ Barbara can also be reached at 303-350-1043.

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