Grand Junction woman cherishes husband's collection

Cheryl Lucas kept her husband’s Broncos collection in his office at Crystal Books in Grand Junction after Jim Lucas passed away. Cheryl has become a big Broncos fan.

Keith Kartz’s is locker filled with Broncos memorabillia in Cheryl Lucas’ office at Crystal Books in Grand Junction. Cheryl’s husband, Jim, bought the locker and collected everything Broncos related he could find until his death in 2002.

Two seats from Mile High Stadium are part of the vast collection of Broncos memorabilia in Chery Lucas’ office at Crystal Books.

A framed collection of Sports Illustrated covers featuring the Broncos.

Cheryl Lucas’ collection includes a signed Ed McCaffrey game jersey.

Broncos liquid soap and a mini helmet with the current team logo are part of Cheryl Lucas’ collection.

Cheryl Lucas has a John Elway bobblehead doll and a John Elway commemorative box of Wheaties in her office at Crystal Books.

Cheryl Lucas wasn’t a big Denver Broncos fan growing up, but she might be one of the biggest around, thanks to her husband.

Jim Lucas collected everything Broncos related he could find and decorated his old office at Crystal Books and Gifts, 439 Main St. Jim died in 2002, but Cheryl kept the office filled with everything from posters and T-shirts to Keith Kartz’s old practice locker and two old Mile High Stadium seats.

“It’s kind of overwhelming,” Cheryl Lucas said. “To be honest, I ran out of room (for more).”

The office is filled with things such as a 45-rpm record by former Broncos running back Jon Keyworth entitled “Make Those Miracles Happen” about the 1977 Broncos Super Bowl team; an original Orange Crush 
T-shirt; a Broncos Pez dispenser; a Broncos Monopoly game; a helmet phone (it works); a poster frame with tickets to John Elway’s high school stadium dedication; and miniature helmets with the Broncos’ logos from 1962-69, 1970-96 and the current one.

Kartz’s locker was the only one available, Lucas said, but that was fine with her husband. He liked it more anyway. It’s filled with two John Elway jerseys, an autographed Ed McCaffrey jersey, a football and other items. Cheryl doesn’t remember how much they paid for the locker or what it would sell for these days.

One of the last things she recalls adding to the collection was a U.S. Postal Service special envelope commemorating the Broncos’ 35th anniversary.

Jim was such a fanatic, he would order Orange Crush soda pop and T-shirts for everyone in the company.

“He worked for a chain based in Atlantic City during the ‘77 Super Bowl,” she said. “He had Orange Crush flown in, and he bought T-shirts for everyone in the company. He would dress up on draft day in Broncos things and told his boss he would be drafted even though he was 40-something years old.”

Cheryl didn’t consider herself a true football fan back then, but she knew when to cheer.

“I’m from Nebraska, so I knew how to be a fan,” Lucas said. “I was kind of new to football, but I remember watching (former QB Craig) Morton, and I’d say, ‘Is he going to get to the sidelines (during a timeout) to find out what to do before he has to go back?’ because he was an old man.”

She met her husband in Philadelphia in 1979 working for the same company. They both managed stores at one time, but he went into the construction department building stores. She managed the stores and would open new stores.

“His mom lived in Denver,” Lucas said. “He would have her buy the newspapers and mail all the Broncos articles (to him) each week.”

Jim and Cheryl married in 1981 and moved to Grand Junction. They opened the current Crystal Books and Gifts in 1987.

“When I was pregnant, if I left the room to go to the restroom, they would have an interception or turnover, so I was never allowed to leave the room except during commercials,” Lucas said. “I don’t know how, but I had this uncanny ability. I would say interception, and it would happen. He would say, ‘Say it.’ I couldn’t just say it.”

Jim and Cheryl had a son, James, who naturally grew up a Broncos fan.

“During the game(s), he would get a new GoBot or Transformer (toy), so we could watch the game,” Lucas recalled with a laugh. “He would be amused the whole game so we could watch the game.

“One year, our son was a (former Broncos kicker) David Treadwell (trading) card for Halloween. We had a sandwich (penny board) thing that looked like a card. So my son wore Broncos colors and wore this over it. It’s a part of our life. When we went to Dove Valley, my husband would say, ‘We’re going to church now.’ “

Jim may be gone, but he passed on his love for the Broncos on to Cheryl.

“Absolutely,” she said. “I’m a fan now, too.

“I’m from Omaha, and I hear this Omaha (call from quarterback Peyton Manning) all the time. I read that the Omaha Chamber of Commerce is loving it and are cheering for the Broncos to win, so during the Super Bowl everyone can hear Omaha. It’s kind of fun for me.”

She is in Seattle this weekend for a trade show, but took her Broncos gear with her for the game.

“We’re trying to find a sports bar now,” Lucas said Thursday. “Hopefully, we’ll play Seattle in the Super Bowl.”


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