Roger Marolt
Snowmass Village, CO, Colorado

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June 26, 2012
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Roger Marolt: Having fun (relatively) close to home

Last summer I wrote a column about all the regular Snowmass stuff I didn't do because I got so busy doing other stuff, and I couldn't even remember what that other stuff was. No rodeos. No free concerts. No nothing.

My point was that I really didn't miss much about missing the same old song and dance around here. Continuing on the same theme this spring I was fired up to do things that I've never done before, excluding things I never want to do like ride a tandem bike across the country or dress up like a woman, even for the Little Red School House charity softball game.

The first opportunity came almost without thinking about it. In passing, a friend mentioned the Junior College World Series that was being played in Grand Junction for Abner Double Day only knows how many years in a row now. It's been going on there since I was a kid and never have I been to see even one inning of it, despite my love of the sport.

It was high time. My wife and daughters were out of town for the weekend and I was home with my son who was studying for his high school final exams. Being the annoying parent who never misses an opportunity to incentivize my kids to study, I thought I'd go online to see if I could snatch a couple of tickets for bait.

Lo and behold, the championship game was the next night. What a stroke of luck. It was clearly meant to be. I charged two reserved tickets on the third base side for fifteen bucks apiece.

Of course my son, as usual, was thrilled with being bribed; so much so, in fact, that it made me wonder just how well he has this game wired. At any rate, he got his studying finished and we headed west at about three for the seven o'clock first pitch. We got there in plenty of time to have dinner at the Ale House and watch a few pro games in progress. We got to the park just in time to have our pick of any of the $25 T-shirts on sale for seven bucks each. The finals are a good time to buy dated souvenirs in a hick town, apparently. All parties were happy with the transaction, though, so it was a rare good deal for everyone, the likes of which we haven't seen in Snowmass Village for quite awhile.

The game was definitely worth 15 bucks and more than half a dozen free concerts on Fanny Hill. Fans cared what was going on. The stadium was sold out. The temperature: a balmy, beer vendor friendly 90 degrees at game time. There were six lead changes and nobody was ever up by more than one run. It came down to the last play of the game. Players argued with umps and got chucked. A little kid even got beaned squarely on the top of his noggin with a pop up and they gave him a free snow cone for his troubles - and so his dad might think twice about a lawsuit. We drove back late after the game and didn't get home until about

1 in the morning after talking baseball the whole drive. I would highly recommend this adventure to dads and sons, regardless of their feelings about baseball.

The other thing that I finally decided to ignore no longer than the four decades or so that I already have is Country Jam down in Mack, Colo., (technically Grand Junction, too, but all 18 residents get mad when you say this, so I won't).

What a hoot! This is a country music festival with twice as many people as the JAS Aspen/Snowmass concerts here attract, who are about half the average age. It's an explosive combination. I think the only thing that prevented spontaneous combustion of all the Jack Daniels being passed around down there at the Luke Bryan show in the 102-degree heat was the dust. It choked off all the oxygen; at least in me it did. It was so weird, wild, dirty, and sweaty that it still feels like it couldn't have been real. Put it on your list.

Next up is minor league baseball. It's brand new to Grand Junction this summer! ... Huh, it strikes me odd that all this fun stuff is going on down there. Maybe RFTA could provide some free bus service for us.

Roger Marolt is grateful that between Aspen and Grand Junction, SMV is a great place to catch up on your sleep. Contact him at

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The Aspen Times Updated Jun 26, 2012 06:45PM Published Jun 26, 2012 06:44PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.