Becoming "Papa's Girl" after her older sister defied Frederick G. Bonfils and married a man against his wishes, the second daughter of the infamous Denver Post owner lived a colorful and free-spirited life despite a strict and socially-deprived upbringing in the class oriented, inhospitable environment of early 1900s Denver. In her book, author Eva Hodges Watt paints a detailed, multi-layered picture of Helen Bonfils. Through interviews with those who knew the enigmatic Helen best, and by providing insight obtained through her own association with Helen, Watt puts supposed scandals, personal vendettas, colorful observations, and countless contradictions to paper for the reader to absorb and contemplate. Who was this complex woman who "gifted" Denver with a downtown church (the Holy Ghost), a little gem of a theater (the Bonfils), an elephant for the zoo, a Rembrandt for the Denver Art Museum, and much, much more? Who was this woman who inexplicably at sixty-eight and widowed, married her chauffeur, a high school dropout half her age? Why, she was none other than Helen Bonfils . . . Papa's girl.
Eva Hodges Watt is a native of Silver City, New Mexico. She began her newspaper career as a police reporter for the El Paso Times, but soon moved to Denver and The Denver Post where she was a reporter and editor for forty years. She knew and sometimes interviewed Helen Bonfils, who was in her office daily when she was not in New York engaged in theatrical ventures. Watt began interviewing "Miss Helen's" friends, associates and employees after her retirement from The Denver Post in 1985.