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Some dreams take a lifetime to come true... especially if you do it all by yourself.
Jim Bishop's dream started when he was 15. For some inexplicable reaason, he found himself drawn to the mountains just above his home in Pueblo, Colorado. One day he found himself staring at a for sale sign on a plot about 2 acres in size.
He had to have it.
He scrimped and saved all summer doing odd jobs and working in his father's ornamental iron shop. He was too young to buy the property himself, so he asked his parents to take his money and buy the land. He spent many summers with his dad on that property. As an adult, he eventually decided to build a stone cottage, using the resources all around him. He cut and milled his own lumber, placed and cemented stones from the property, and as he continued to build, people started asking if he was building a castle.
That gave him the idea to actually build a castle.
No architect's plans... just a vision for one room that grew into two, then more. Then a second level... and turrets... and spires. What started as a stone cottage in his 20's has turned into this glorious castle, which has taken his entire lifetime to build.
What this video fails to tell you is that the ONE man who built this castle, did so by hand over the course of decades. Some people offered to help, but like so many well-meaning people, the help never materialized.
Undaunted, Jim kept plugging away as he was able - on his own - one stone at a time. Jim has touched each stone an average of 6 times as he sized, placed and cemented them during construction. You wouldn't know looking at it that Jim is afraid of heights, would you? The fact that he placed each stone one at a time meant a gradual ascension, which gave him time to get used to the height as he built each layer of stone upon stone.
All these years later, and through the generous donations of recycled and reclaimed materials, there's now a bevy of castle features - including a ballroom, a portcullis and bridge at the entrance, and an ornamental dragon Jim fashioned out of recycled stainless steel and a canister from a hot air balloon.
Bishop Castle is open to the public year round, free of charge (Jim and his wife still live there).
Don't let anyone tell you that you can't build your dreams. You can do it. Even if you have to do it all by yourself, one stone at a time. It may take longer, but if Jim Bishop's work is any indication, you might surprise yourself at just how high you can go - and it will be all the more fantastic when it's complete.
Oh, and yes, the dragon breathes fire, too.
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