Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

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Paul E. Anna: High Points

Contributed photoEd's Red Sled, a memorial to the late Ed Bradley, sits on the deck at Bonnie's restaurant on Aspen Mountain.

There’s a new shrine on Ajax.

Sitting in the midday sun on the deck in front of Bonnies, with a view up Pumphouse, is a bench with the moniker “Ed’s Red Sled.” There may be no finer place to while away some time while waiting for your lunch crew.

Dedicated last Saturday as a tribute to the late great Ed Bradley, the blond wood bench sits on red sled runners. A story was told during the dedication that Ed was in Little Bear Antiques one afternoon surrounded by any number of elegant and expensive treasures when he looked up and saw a bright red sled (think Rosebud). “That’s what I want” he said. Now for all time, or at least as long as there is a Bonnie’s, Ed will have his red sled.

The location of the bench is also something that would appeal to Ed. It seems that on virtually every ski day, Ed would have his lunch, usually the exact same thing, at exactly 11:30, beating the crowd and getting back out on the hill. He was so well known for this routine that one corner of the bench has “11:30” carved into the wood.

For those of you who ask “why does Aspen care so much about a guy who used to be on ’60 Minutes’?” you should know that Ed was considered to be a true local during the many years that he had a home here in his beloved Woody Creek. Despite his Philadelphia heritage, his New York address and his constant world travels, Ed was a Woody Creature until the very end.

Being a local is about far more than property ownership. It is a state of mind. And Ed’s mind was always in the right state. In a distinguished news career that spanned parts of four decades, he always recognized that greatness is not just a result of privilege. He interviewed presidents, heads of state and Supreme Court judges, but he was quoted in his Washington Post obituary as having said, “If I arrive at the pearly gates and St. Peter said, “What have I done to deserve entry, I’d ask, ‘Did you see my Lena Horne story?'” His passions ranged from jazz to skiing to sports to camping. While he was acquainted with the most accomplished, powerful and prestigious people on the planet he was always completely engaged with his friends here in the valley. It was always a good sighting to catch Ed behind the wheel of his well-muscled Carrera 4 cruising down McLain Flats.

While we lost Ed far to early ” he was just 65 when leukemia took his life in 2006 ” his legacy lives on in a bench at Bonnies. From the carved notation that reads “We’ll miss you Teddy” to the wondrous view of the mountains full of the skiers, to the smell of Bonnie’s Apple Strudel wafting about, Ed’s Red Sled is a great place to enjoy your good fortune and remember the man.