When my Brothers-in-Arms, Yossi and Chief went to Colorado Springs last Channukah, they discovered a Jew living in the boondocks . . . A dealer of class III weapons, collector of war memorabilia and machinery, and be-tattooed armed: The Dragon Man.
Click on the post read about our meeting.
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Map of Dragon Man Drive
At the behest of my friends and the Rabbi, we decided to visit a local Jew in the Springs. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Crown Heights (S. Johns and Rochester) and named Mel Bernstein, he'd long since moved away from it all . . . After his wife was apparently repaid a loan in the 80's with a cache of weapons, he got a gun-dealer's license and, along with a slew of tattoos running down his arms, some how took on the persona of the Dragon Man . . . one Jew you do not want to mess with.
As we drove along the long driveway of the property that houses his shop, dirt bike tracks, a shooting range (for automatic weapons), a mock-up of urban Baghdad used by the military for training purposes, a war memorabilia museum and his private ranch, we were greeted by a series of warning signs.
Note his tanks
Pulling up n front of the building, we entered the two Dragon Man doors . . .
In a room with more firepower then mostly likely allowed in the whole of Western Europe, fathers and sons, soldiers and gun enthusiasts mulled through the selection of weaponry like bargain hunters at a garage sale.
Behind the desk stood a thin haired man with large golden frames perched on a proud Jewish nose, looking everything like a nice Jewish boy . . . and little like a Dragon Man. Save the tattoos, he looked like a high school math teacher. But indeed, it was Mel.
Claiming that he was too busy for the group of Rabbis (perhaps a little overwhelmed) he answered a few terse questions and then scurried of to the back of the shop, leaving the rest to his wife (whose Long Island accent was as noticible as Dragon Man's Brooklynese). Seeing as there was nothing left for us to do, the group turned to go. Not wanting to make the trip an entire waste, I figured it would be worth grabbing one blog worthy picture with Dragon Man. So venturing cautiously to the back of the shop, I asked him to taking a picture with me. He obliged . . .
notice the terrorist target at the bottom left.
As we left, the wind out in flats there kicked up furiously. With dust in our eyes, we began to pull out as another car approached.
A buzz cut gentleman with army fatigues and a handgun at his side stepped out of the car. Noticing us pull out, he waved.
Odd . . . for an army guy to just wave like that. we pulled over to speak to him, and low and behold . . . he was a Jew.
Despite the raging wind, we got him to put on tefillin for the first time in his life!
The wind was so strong, it blew the rabbi's beard into his face
Leaving Dragon Man Drive, we drove through the springs and continued on to Cheyenne Canyon . . .
By a waterfall at the entrance of the park.
Stepping back to get a clear shot of the mountain (above), I noted the Rabbi speaking to a rather well dressed man . . .
a Jersey dwelling lawyer with an office in Manhattan. Approaching him, I took my tefillin out of there bag and asked him if he'd be interested in doing a mitvah. Without hesitating he consented and we began to wrap up!
Deer on the roadside
On our way back down the mountain we stopped by the lavish Broadmoor Hotel.
Technorati Tags: Dragon Man, Guns, Colorado Springs, Mivtzoyim, Nature, Waterfalls, Mountains, Broadmoor Hotel, Photography, Travel
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Posted by Mottel at 2:38 PM