Reporter’s notebook: Flathead, we hardly knew ye

The stories continued throughout the afternoon, but eventually strayed into territory where having a reporter in the room might change the nature of the reminiscences. As we excused ourselves, Mike Jr, walked us out.

“The funny thing was,” he said of his father, “for his rough exterior, he was really a sentimental guy.”

Mike was showing us a green Ford pickup — one that had a hole in the roof from a friend’s accidental gunshot.

“When I was seven or eight, he was working on the truck and swearing he was going to sell it, and I started tearing up. ‘You can’t sell the green truck.'”

“He didn’t.”

It’s clear that anyone who met Blanchard while he was alive might not have seen through his rough exterior at first. But the people at Saturday’s wake, equally clearly, saw a lot more in him.

There were laughs, and some tears, and the realization that a large slice of this Denver suburb misses “Flathead” a great deal.

After the stories, we do too.

On April 12 The Denver Post published the following obituary for Mike Blanchard. His online guest book has nearly 200 entries as of this writing, including some from as far away as Honolulu, Toronto and Glen Burnie, Md.

Blanchard, Michael “Flathead”

1944 – 2012

A Celebration of the life of Michael “Flathead” Blanchard will be held on April 14th, 3 pm 8160 Rosemary St, Commerce City. Weary of reading obituaries noting someone’s courageous battle with death, Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors’ orders and raising hell for more than six decades. He enjoyed booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died.

Mike was born July 1944 in Colorado to Clyde and Ethel Blanchard. A community activist, he is noted for saving the Dr. Justina Ford house from demolition and defending those who could not defend themselves. He was a Republican delegate, life member of the NRA, founder and President of the Dead Cats MC. He loved music.

Mike was preceded in death by Clyde and Ethel Blanchard, survived by his beloved sons Mike and Chopper, former wife Jane Transue, brother Stephen Blanchard (Susan), Uncle Don and Aunt Cynthia Blanchard(his favorite); Uncle Dill and Aunt Dot, cousins and nephews, Baba Yaga can kiss his butt. So many of his childhood friends that weren’t killed in Vietnam went on to become criminals, prostitutes and/or Democrats. He asks that you stop by and re-tell the stories he can no longer tell. As the Celebration will contain Adult material we respectfully ask that no children under 18 attend.