Catherine Brown-Swain isn’t afraid to try anything once. She has worked in a variety of fields, including construction, horse ranching, waitressing, sales/catering, paralegal work and real estate
Brown-Swain was born and raised in Los Angeles. With the exception of the first part of middle school in Reno, Nev., she grew up in California. “We moved back (from Reno) and got to live at the beach,” she said. At the end of her senior year of high school, she moved from Los Angeles to live with her dad in Huntington Beach, Calif. She later returned to Los Angeles and graduated from high school in 1975.
In 1977, Brown-Swain had a baby, Steven. “All my friends were going to Hawaii,” she said. “And I was home with a baby.” The following year, she got a job in construction at the Huntington Beach High School. “I used to drive by this construction site and wish I was outside,” she said. “I love the outdoors.” She started as an apprentice carpenter and continued working construction for the next three years.
Brown-Swain met her first husband, Corky, in the early 1980s. She attended Orange Coast College for a while before moving to Elfrida, Ariz., where Corky’s family owned businesses in Elfrida, Ariz. “I moved there first,” she said. “He (Corky) was still in the Marine Corp in Japan.” After her husband returned, they moved to a horse ranch in Black Canyon City, Ariz. Brown-Swain and her husband, who both grew up around horses, served as the caretakers for the ranch’s 75-plus horses.
In 1983, the couple had a son, Dustin. They worked on the ranch for a year and eventually moved to Colorado Springs, where Corky had been offered a job as an electrician for the hospital being built at Ft. Carson.
Brown-Swain worked as a waitress for the Holiday Inn. “It is now the Hyatt Place at Garden of the Gods right of I-25,” she said. She worked as a waitress for a year before returning to the construction business. “I ended up going to work at the hospital at Ft. Carson,” she said. “It paid well.” Grouting and hanging doors were just a few of the things Brown-Swain learned while on the job. “I always worked with someone,” she said. “But there were some things I knew how to do on my own.”
In 1986, Brown-Swain divorced her husband and took a job at the Clarion Hotel (formerly the Sheraton) in the sales and catering department. She worked there a few years before securing a position at the Colorado Springs’ district attorney’s office in the Child Support Enforcement Department. Brown-Swain said her most interesting case involved a man who had a crush on one of her friends. “I never did like him. I just had this gut feeling,” she said. “I found out this particular guy had some scam going in (Las) Vegas that I uncovered. That was really exciting.” Brown-Swain said she enjoyed working in law enforcement. “I loved that job and I was darn good at it,” she said. “I just hated the bureaucracy.”
In 1988, Brown-Swain moved from Colorado Springs to Falcon. “There wasn’t even a Safeway when I moved out here,” she said. Brown-Swain said most people had never heard of Falcon. “I was at a restaurant in town and wrote a check,” she said. “And she (the waitress) goes, ‘I’m sorry. We don’t take out-of-town checks.’” Brown-Swain said she explained to the waitress that Falcon was only 8 miles outside of Colorado Springs. The waitress said she had never heard of it.
That same year, Brown-Swain met her second husband, Tim, when she was out with a friend at a local bar – Cowboys. “He stopped me to tell me his friend wanted to dance with me,” she said. “And I danced with his friend that night.” Brown-Swain said she and her girlfriend returned the following night, and she struck up a conversation with Tim. “I think his (Tim’s) friend was more interested in my friend,” she said. “And that was no skin off my nose.” The couple married in 1991, and Brown-Swain left her job at the district attorney’s office. She continued working in the legal field as a paralegal for various private attorneys. In 1995, Brown-Swain earned her paralegal degree from the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo (now Colorado State University).
Throughout the 90s, the Swains bought and sold parcels of land in the Falcon area. In 1998, they built a house on 40 acres. The following year, Brown-Swain quit working as a paralegal and helped her husband start his own business – Longhorn Electric. “I did all the research for incorporating, and I set up the books,” she said.
Around 2006, the couple built a spec home and started investing in land. They encountered some difficulties with their Realtor, so Brown-Swain decided to get a real estate license the following year. “I didn’t get my license for the public,” she said. “I did it for us, if we were buying and investing (in land).”
The Swains also purchased land near Prescott, Ariz. “We are going to build and eventually move there,” she said. “I have always loved the desert.”
In 2008, Brown-Swain became a real estate broker for Properties of Colorado. “I love working with people,” she said. “And I love looking at properties and finding the right match.” Brown-Swain has also found the right match for her with a job she loves, a husband she calls “a keeper” and living in Falcon for more than 20 years.