| AspenTimes.com

Britta Gustafson: Small acts of kindness are more valuable than ever

Have you ever had someone make or break your day?

Small acts of kindness or inconsiderate behavior are proven to have a ripple effect. And in an era where social distancing can be misinterpreted as an opportunity for antisocial behavior, those small acts of kindness are more valuable than ever.

Only months ago, it would have seemed ridiculous that we might become divisive over our free will to try to stay healthy, particularly in a town that truly values the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. But now, watching our nation come undone has become the essence of our daily news feed and it seems that protecting ourselves and those around us has a stigma attached.

Divide and conquer, an age-old military strategy to fracture a foe from within as a means to diminish its strength, seems to be at play even on a micro level.

And in our tiny town it feels as if we might be slipping into allowing our changes in social behavior to become polarizing. Yet, isn’t this the time to strengthen our herd? Because although the herd seems to be heading in different directions, perhaps all acts of neighborly kindness, community care and efforts to feel compassion for those in our closest sphere might be our greatest ally in helping us all to navigate this new era.

The noun, verb, adverb, adjective “socially distant” will likely mark a firm distinction between the before and after of this virus. It entered our daily conversation at the same time as a full-time shift from what many of us believed to be a gregarious future; a time when all people, whether we love them or consider them as strangers, became threats.

I’ve noticed an uptick in general irritability toward those around us, even here in Snowmass Village, and it seems to be increasing as we continue to roll out the red carpet for visitors. From heightened concern about an approaching dog on a trail, to the in-your-face attitudes of anti-maskers toward those who feel the need to respect others. What is happening to that small town warmth I’ve always loved here?

It seems that guidelines are proving divisive, even as we crave leadership. Many actually appear to delight in breaking the rules. Some make a show of having gatherings, shaking hands, complaining loudly about this propagated “hoax of a virus” while they are out and about. While others step away from one another with a completely new involuntary aversion, avoiding eye contact with the implicit question, maybe you are a carrier?

Our daily human interactions as a result of this virus have become emotionally charged and feelings of self preservation and economic outrage seem to be braided together and are at the hilt of our brandished frustrations.

I wonder, will these antisocial attitudes linger beyond this medical emergency, outlasting the life of this virus and affecting our sense of community?

The feelings we are experiencing now might very well become part of the emotional vocabulary through which we understand and experience future social situations. And if we are not exceptionally careful now, the negative emotions may linger or re-emerge at a future time.

We could provide an alternative narrative for our community, alternative memories of how we came together. We could make an effort to let go of the little things that just annoy us and try harder to relax unnecessary complaints while encouraging as much care and kindness as possible.

We could approach each encounter with an extra layer of neighborly care and respect the health-safety choices others are making, whether we are worried or not. The space between us might be 6 feet, but that distance doesn’t need to tear us apart.

Let’s exchange a piece of my mind for a little peace of mind; after all, if we always agree what will we talk about? Britta Gustafson appreciates an open mind; share yours and email her at brittag@ymail.com.

Local chefs partner to host community dinner in Snowmass Base Village

With the guiding values of connection, food and community, Snowmass Base Village is partnering with local chefs Mawa McQueen and Martin Oswald to host a community dinner next week.

The dinner, which will be outside of The Collective and will feature four courses with an optional wine pairing, aims to bring people together for a fun, unique culinary experience while abiding by public health and safety guidelines.

“We’ll use Colorado ingredients prepared with an international flair,” McQueen said. “It’ll be a fun, safe way to bring the community together.”

McQueen and Oswald — renowned Aspen chefs who have been friends for years — are “neighbors” in Base Village, with McQueen running The Crepe Shack and Oswald the mix6 restaurant inside of The Collective.

For Oswald, he said the combination of their close proximity, close relationship and McQueen’s experience hosting monthly community dinners at Mawa’s Kitchen made them the “perfect match” for hosting a community dinner in Snowmass.

“It’s important now more than ever to have this,” Oswald said. “It’s a great opportunity and a stunning, safe environment with plenty of room to host these types of events.”

From seared, seasoned scallops on a bed of roasted corn by Oswald to McQueen’s famous lamb chops, both Aspen-Snowmass chefs hope to give roughly 60 locals and visitors a flavorful taste of summer utilizing all Colorado-based, locally grown ingredients.

“We’re pouring our hearts and souls into this so people can experience something different in Snowmass,” McQueen said.

Dawn Blasberg, plaza and events manager for Snowmass Base Village, said the village developers have been wanting to host a community dinner for some time and are excited to be working with McQueen and Oswald.

Blasberg said depending on how the first dinner goes July 15, the plan is for it to be the start of a summer community dinner series with two to three more dinners tentatively planned for August and September.

“We hope the first one is so successful we can continue doing them,” Blasberg said.

Last week, much of the Snowmass Base Village area reopened its doors for the first time after being forced to shut down in March due to COVID-19, and this week will bring the revival of many of its weekly activities and events.

Blasberg said the gradual reopenings have gone well so far. She hopes people continue to be receptive and understanding of the health and safety rules in place so activities and events like the community dinner next week can continue to provide opportunities for people to safely gather.

“All in all it seems a lot of people want to do stuff and to do it in a way that’s safe for them and their families,” Blasberg said. “And it’s important to us to help make that happen.”


Snowmass Town Council discusses trail use and connectivity in Snowmass, preps for EOTC meeting

During Town Council’s first regular meeting of the month July 6, Snowmass elected officials discussed village trail use and maintenance, gave town staff direction on two connectivity improvement projects and approved the Elected Officials Transportation Committee strategic plan in preparation for the next EOTC meeting. Here’s the recap:


Town Council talked through a handful of soft surface trail topics and issues related to usage and maintenance with town Parks, Recreation and Trails Department staff.

The discussion topics included:

• Changing the current Nature Trail bike restriction, which has been in place for more than 20 years and allows the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies to lead its nature walks undisturbed. The current restriction is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but since ACES is shifting to only doing one hike on the Nature Trail from 10 a.m. to noon, that’s the new compromised restriction time frame the town and ACES has agreed to pursue, town staff said July 6.

• Creating a more comprehensive trail etiquette and politeness plan by working with Snowmass Tourism, Snowmass police and parks and trails staff

• Trail maintenance on the South Rim and Tom Blake Equestrian/Hiking trails

• Looking into a trail connection between the South Rim trail and the new soft surface trail Snowmass Center developers are required to create if they receive final approval of their center redevelopment project.

Although this was just a discussion and no formal decisions were made, Town Council did express consensus with changing the Nature Trail bike restriction hours, giving staff direction to move forward with the change and to create new, better signage ensuring hikers and bikers are well aware of the restriction.

However, council members expressed some concern with negative mountain biker versus hiker interactions, especially with more novice bikers who may not know proper etiquette and increased trail use overall.

That’s partially why the town is looking to create a more comprehensive trail etiquette and politeness plan, a three-department approach which could utilize more signage, bike bells and handing out trail information cards with “do’s and don’ts,” according to Town Manager Clint Kinney.

“We do everything we can to educate, educate, educate and we’re going to continue that because we know that education is absolutely important,” Kinney said.

“Good etiquette remains our top priority. We know that it’s our biggest issue and we receive lots and lots of feedback on it, so we think it’s something that’s important for us to maintain and pay attention to.”

Council members expressed general support with more trail education initiatives being rolled out this summer. They also discussed the several comments and complaints made to town staff and Town Council about the recent South Rim Trail maintenance, which included sentiments like the town was creating a “superhighway” and ruining the trail, and rumors that it was becoming a “mountain biking flow” trail only. People also expressed concerns with the more bare, widened look to the trail, and the appearance of bike jumps.

Instead, Andy Worline, director of the town’s parks, recreation and trails department, and Starr Jamison, parks and trails manager, explained that the professional trail maintenance conducted with machinery that many people saw was much needed to address drainage issues and to re-establish trail edges. This maintenance will ensure that the South Rim’s integrity is sustained for years to come, despite increased use, Jamison and Worline explained. The town has no intention of making the trail one-way or mountain bike only, staff said, and only utilized the professional trail company and its machinery to get the maintenance completed quicker.

Right now, roughly 200 people are using the South Rim Trail each day and the parks and trails department found that 7,000 people used the trail each month in May and June, Jamison said, which is double the use it saw last year.

“It’s a year-round trail and most of our trails are not year-round. Snow gets in there and sits in it and people get out there and ride too early, so there’s damage that happens,” Jamison explained. “This is a very old trail so we have to keep it maintained. It will look like it has in the past by next year.”

Staff said similar improvements with the same trail machinery are being made on the Tom Blake Equestrian/Hiking Trail, which will help make it a more accessible and easier to maintain alternative to the Tom Blake Trail for hikers, trail runners and equestrians.

Council and town staff agreed that this trail maintenance was much needed, but that in the future it may be best to be more transparent at town trailheads about any maintenance taking place there by utilizing physical signage versus just social media and web notices.

Council also gave staff direction to move forward with looking into a potential connection between the South Rim trail and the proposed Snowmass Center trail.


Outside of discussing town trails, Town Council also gave staff direction to move forward with two projects that align with the town’s connectivity plan: putting a crosswalk and flashing beacons on the eastside where Fairway Drive meets Owl Creek Road, and putting flashing beacons at the trail crossing near the Little Red School House across Owl Creek Road (there is already a crosswalk there).

As explained by Anne Martens, public works director, the projects would improve pedestrian safety and connectivity at both crossings, which were discussed as problem areas by council members at its April 19 work session.

Martens said the rapid flash beacons would be solar powered and that both projects would cost around $25,000 total, which can be covered by what’s already appropriated in this year’s Road Fund Improvements Budget.

However, Town Council members expressed concern with the placement of the rapid flash beacon near the trail crossing by the Little Red School House versus near the bus stop. They said they want to be sure the beacon placement really addresses the comments and complaints from locals utilizing that area.

“My recommendation tonight is to get authorization to put in the rapid flash beacons, … and we can work through those fine details of where the best location of the intersection is by Gamble and Little Red School House,” Martens said, noting the town will work with area homeowners and locals to determine the best location.

After some discussion, Town Council expressed consensus with ensuring the town works with locals on where the flash beacons are placed and gave Martens direction to move forward with the projects.


Snowmass Town Council approved the proposed Elected Officials Transportation Committee strategic plan as is during its “EOTC prep meeting” on July 6, the first of the three bodies of elected officials part of the committee to do so.

According to David Pesnichak, EOTC transportation administrator, because Snowmass Village, Aspen and Pitkin County elected officials seemed to express a “high level of agreement” on the proposed strategic plan at each of their prep meetings in March, he felt it would be more efficient and effective to ask each governing body to approve the plan at their respective July prep meetings (which take place during regular council or board meetings) instead of at the July 16 EOTC meeting.

The EOTC had to cancel its planned March 19 meeting due to the COVID-19 outbreak and is set to begin reviewing the Comprehensive Valley Transportation Plan on July 16. Pesnichak said if all governing bodies can approve the EOTC strategic plan during their prep meetings, it would leave more time to begin reviewing the comprehensive plan.

“We’re trying to move things along so we can get as much done in this meeting and then in the meeting coming up on July 16,” Pesnichak said.

After little discussion on whether to include “parking” into both the EOTC mission and vision statements, Town Council unanimously voted to approve the strategic plan as is.

Approving this plan is the first step to updating the EOTC’s guiding documents, which have not been updated since 1993, according to town documents. The plan is intended to be a high-level guiding document that helps inform and direct EOTC decision-making.

If both Aspen City Council and the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners approve the strategic plan as is, too, the EOTC will focus most of its July 16 meeting on the review of the valley transportation plan, which will use the strategic plan to help identify future policy level expenditure priorities, town documents say.

The EOTC will meet in the Snowmass Town Hall council chambers for its July 16 meeting at 4 p.m.


Snowmass events: Artisan market; Social Saturdays; Movies Under the Stars; Bonus Bike Park nights

The Snowmass Sun will run a list of village events taking place 10 days out from our Wednesday print days through the rest of the summer season. The most up-to-date event listings can be found at gosnowmass.com and thecollectivesnowmass.com.


Brews, Bands and Bingo!

From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Thursday this summer, village restaurants will feature food and drink specials during extended business hours for “Brews, Bands and Bingo!”

The weekly event also will feature live music on both the Snowmass Mall and Snowmass Base Village, and $10 bingo at The Collective from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Create & Cultivate” kids’ art workshop

Straight Line Studio in Snowmass Base Village is hosting weekly art workshops for children ages 8 to 12 this summer.

The workshop will feature painting, drawing and collage work and will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Each class also will include exclusive access to the game lounge in The Collective.

Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. For questions and more information, email kelly@straightlinestudiollc.com, or visit straightlinestudiollc.com.


Artisan market in Base Village

From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., local business owners will bring their specialty food items, clothing and handcrafted goods to Snowmass Base Village for the summer Artisan Market.

The event will take place every Friday and will feature a live DJ. Traffic through the market will be restricted to ensure proper social distancing and capacity requirements are met.


King Yoga flow

Each Saturday and Sunday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., join Snowmass yogi Aaron King of King Yoga for a flow class on the Snowmass Base Village rink.

Classes are open to all levels and participants must bring their own mats, props and water. Social distancing will be in place and classes will be weather dependent.

Reservations are required by calling or texting 602-300-0839. Walk-ins are accepted if space allows. Classes cost $20 each.

Social Saturdays

Each Saturday through September, the Snowmass Mall will feature a host of socially distanced activities for the new Social Saturdays series.

From stilt walkers, acrobats and magic shows, to chalk art competitions and a strider bike race series, each Saturday will offer something new to locals and visitors. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and mall businesses and restaurants also will be open for extended hours and will feature various food and drink specials. For more information, visit gosnowmass.com.

Movies Under the Stars

Aspen Film is bringing “Movies Under the Stars” back to Base Village on Saturdays this summer. Locals and guests are encouraged to bring blankets, low-profile chairs and a picnic for the dusk movie tradition, which will kick off around 8:15 this Saturday with “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”

Reservations are required and will be on a “first come, first served” basis beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursdays prior to each movie. The weekly events have a 50-person capacity limit and RSVPs for the free movie night can be sent to rsvp@thecollective snowmass.com.

Marked squares on the rink will be placed 6 feet a part and can fit as many as six viewers, who must be of the same household or the same family. Takeout dinners will be available for purchase. For more information, visit thecollectivesnowmass.com.


Chess Club at The Collective

Locals and visitors 10 years and older are invited to join The Collective Chess Club, which will meet each Monday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Chessboards, notebooks and pencils will be provided and the weekly club meetings are limited to 20 people. RSVP’s to rsvp@thecollectivesnowmass.com are encouraged to secure your space, but walk-ins are allowed if space permits.

Each club meeting will include a lesson on basic chess concepts and paired matches based on skill-level. For more information, visit thecollectivesnowmass.com.


Bonus Bike Night

Every Tuesday through Aug. 11, locals and guests will get evening access to the Snowmass Bike Park, Lost Forest and Elk Camp area for “Bonus Bike Night.”

After 5 p.m. each Tuesday, there will be free foot passenger access on the Elk Camp Gondola. The Breathtaker alpine coaster and the climbing wall will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a combined access ticket price of $47. All Snowmass Bike Park trails are open until dusk, and bike park tickets will be available for $37 after 3:00 p.m. Food and beverages will be available at the Elk Camp restaurant until 7:30 p.m.

The Snowmass Bike Park race series also will take place Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Each week will feature a different course, which will be announced the morning of race day via the Aspen Skiing Co. social media platforms and website. Registration for each race is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the events tent at the bottom of the Elk Camp Gondola each Tuesday.

The last gondola ride up the mountain will be at 7:30 p.m. and the last ride down will be at 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit aspensnowmass.com.


Base Village summer dinner series

Base Village is kicking off its first community dinner of a summer series July 15.

From 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., enjoy a four-course meal prepared by Mawa McQueen, owner of The Crepe Shack in Snowmass and Mawa’s Kitchen in Aspen, and Martin Oswald, owner of mix6 in Snowmass and Pyramid Bistro in Aspen. The dinner will be hosted in the space outside of The Collective and in the rink area. Social distancing will be in place.

The dinner is $65 per person and an optional wine pairing add-on is available. Seating is limited and an RSVP is required by Monday to eatmixsix@gmail.com.

Snowmass History: Theatre in Snowmass, 1986

“Four bright and talented local actors will appear in Snowmass Repertory Theatre’s production of ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs,’ which opens tonight at the Snowmass Theatre,” The Aspen Times announced July 10, 1986. “University of Colorado graduate (David) Ledingham, 25, will attend The Professional Workshop at New York’s circle in the Square this fall. Ledingham has appeared in several SRT productions, including ‘The Lion in Winter’ and ‘The Importance of Being Ernest.’ He has also played the role of Murphy in ‘Cuckoo’s Nest.’”

Ledingham was an Aspen-Snowmass local and went on to earn a MFA in acting and for 20 years carved out a highly successful career in theatre, film and TV including Steppenwolf’s Tony Award-Winning, “The Grapes of Wrath” at The Royal National Theatre.

Meet Your Merchant: Maria Sanchez and Marni Bond of Alux Spalon

For this month’s Meet Your Merchant, the Snowmass Sun is featuring Alux Spalon, a longtime local business that just opened the doors to its new location in Snowmass Base Village.

“We love it and are so happy to be here,” said Maria Sanchez, manager of Alux Spalon.

On a recent afternoon, Sanchez and two of her employees worked in the new “spalon” location, which is right behind The Collective and Limelight Snowmass in the east One Snowmass building and offers most every beauty and spa service from hair and nails to facials and massages. Sanchez said she’s worked in Snowmass as a cosmetologist for more than 15 years, first when the business was the Snowmass Village Salon on the Snowmass Mall, then when local Marni Bond bought it and it transitioned to Alux.

Bond has lived in Snowmass for more than 23 years and was a Snowmass Village Salon regular, becoming friends with the former owner and Sanchez. She said she purchased the Snowmass Mall salon two-and-a-half years ago and has worked to continue its small-town vibe and community tradition.

“I’m not a technician, I’m not a cosmetologist, I just bought the salon as a hobby and a way to support the community,” Bond said.

So when Bond was approached by Snowmass Base Village developers about opening a location in the new east One Snowmass building, Bond said she was excited for the opportunity to continue serving its current clients while also reaching a new group of clientele.

The salon has now transitioned to solely operating out of its Base Village location since July 2, where it has twice the space and is working to continue providing top-beauty services in a safe way amid the pandemic.

“We’re really trying to provide an environment that makes people feel comfortable and safe,” Bond said. “We want to create a safe place and to support other businesses and organizations in the community so we can all sustain our businesses together.”

For Bond, giving back is the guiding goal of Alux Spalon. Outside of offering a multitude of beauty and self-care services, the salon works consistently with Pathfinders — a Roaring Fork nonprofit that provides psychosocial support for cancer survivors and anyone needing assistance through a chronic illness, grief or loss — to offer beauty services to its members, and hopes to participate in other donation-like opportunities moving forward.

“It’s really important to us to give back to the community,” Bond said. “Through working with Pathfinders, we’re able to create a place where people can remain anonymous and go to feel special while they’re experiencing troubled times.”

Sanchez expressed similar thoughts, saying she has worked with the Shining Stars Foundation — a Colorado nonprofit that provides recreational opportunities and programs for children with pediatric cancer or other life-threatening illnesses — for eight years, and feels honored as a hairdresser when clients return to her and she’s able to continue working with them.

As she continues to serve people at Alux Spalon, Sanchez said her goal is for the salon to remain a welcoming place for everyone and to do more to support locals especially, showing them that the salon is an affordable, comfortable space to feel beautiful.

“I think some people don’t come to us because they think we’re too expensive and that’s just not true,” Sanchez said, saying there are always deals and discounts available for locals. “I’m just so happy to be here and love all of my clients and hope more locals know we’re here for them, too.”


Summer art workshop for kids starts at Straight Line Studio in Snowmass

Starting Thursday and Friday, children ages 8 to 12 will be able to paint, draw, collage and get exclusive access to The Collective game lounge through Straight Line Studio’s new “Create and Cultivate” summer art workshop series.

“Each class will be a little different because we want to see what the kids respond to,” said Kelly Peters, artist and owner of Straight Line Studio. “It will be fun and pretty chill.”

For Peters, the new series and the private, small group lessons she’s starting back up this month with Teal Roberts Wilson, an artist and Straight Line Studio gallery manager, aim to take an individualized approach, going off the interests of each class and giving people an opportunity to decompress from their daily lives.

“Now more than ever people have been reaching out saying they want to learn how to paint and draw,” Peters said. “It’s definitely a mental release and good for mental health and so we want to give people the basic skills they can use on their own time.”

She went on to explain that these workshops aren’t about teaching people how to make a Picasso replicate — they’re more about teaching people new skills and helping them tap into their creative sides in new ways.

“A lot of people are surprised when they come in and I tell them creating a certain image isn’t the most important part of the class, it’s the least important part,” Peters said. “What’s important is relaxing and discovering something new.”

Over the past several months of both the stay-at-home and early phases of the “safer at home” public health orders, Peters said she’s created a lot of new work she’s happy about.

But although she said she’s worked to stay positive and was fortunate to be able to keep her Base Village studio space, Peters said there have been moments where she’s wondered if she’d make it and is anxious about the coming months.

“Yeah, three months is doable but nine months is not,” Peters said of closing her studio. “I don’t know what the rest of the year is going to look like but I’m taking all the positives I can.”

And as of late, those positives include being able to start in-person workshops again with proper social distancing and health protocols in place.

On June 29, Peters said she had seven kids signed up for the first “Create and Cultivate” class, and is starting to do more private, small group lessons again.

In late July, she and Wilson also plan to host an outdoor Base Village art show featuring artists from all over the country and their work inspired by the theme “What’s In Your Queue?”— what were they doing to pass the time during the stay-at-home, quarantine phase of the coronavirus pandemic?

Peters said while the rest of the summer is uncertain, she hopes to continue finding new ways to connect people through art, which she feels can’t be quashed by the current crisis.

“I’m kind of flying by the seat of my pants right now and just taking things week by week,” Peters said. “But us artists won’t stop. We’ll keep making art no matter what.”


Snowmass History: Softball rivalry, 1982

“In full swing” a headline in The Aspen Times read on July 1, 1982. “Leah Principe takes a cut during Monday’s game between arch rivals Snowmass Company and Ski Co. Principe and her Snowmass teammates suffered their first defeat of the season. … Snowmass Company was the last ladies softball team to fall from the unbeaten ranks, losing 21-20 to defending champion Ski Co in the bottom of the sixth. The contest between this year’s front runner and last year’s champs was marked by good hitting and poor fielding as both teams scored early and often.”

Roger Marolt: Casting doubt in bronze and marble

It has been said that a statue should never be cast, a structure never erected, or a painting ever hung to honor anyone still alive. The reasoning is that anyone with even a single breath left still has plenty of time to accomplish something reprehensible to embarrass themselves and all hoping to honor them.

This perpetual potential for a slip into infamy is a marker of the human condition. That rule of thumb in delaying praise has been enough throughout the ages to keep many would-be erectors of monuments safe, at least until these sycophants themselves were dead, long before historians could eventually read between the lines and archeologists dig through the dirt to discover what scoundrels many marbleized heroes actually were.

The formula for suspended fame has worked until now, when suddenly every human action seems almost instantly discoverable. The state of things in the Information Age is such that it almost seems possible for a person to be able to haunt their family, friends and admirers before they are dead. We can theoretically become ghosts during our lifetimes that come back from the future to haunt ourselves in our own graves. Prove me wrong.

It’s an uncomfortable feeling to visit the Heisman Trophy display at the University of Southern California and see the trophy won by “The Juice” there. Yes, he was a terrific football player, certainly one of the best ever, but he also murdered two people and that makes the football part seem inconsequential. More to the point, it makes the other six trophies sharing the circle of that exhibit seem trivial, too. Times change. We learn things. We need to change, too. But monuments are built to last.

Since we have come to the point of considering the elimination of police departments, I think we should at least have the decency to get rid of honorary monuments first. They are more harmful. If we don’t think it is effective to have armed law enforcement officers protecting us, what sense does it make to have sword-swinging marble warriors inspiring us?

This may sound disingenuous for a guy whose father’s bronze image in a dashing ski racer’s pose adorns the plaza of the local transit center, but I am not a hypocrite. When he is finally resigned to the futility of rolling in his grave, I am sure he will hold a clipboard and start a petition standing in front of the pearly gates to get his statue removed once and for all. It was us who felt the need to honor him in this way to comfort ourselves. The problem is it worked and we are proud it happened. We will be sad if somebody lassos him/it and pulls him/it from his/its marble mogul, skis and all; there’s no safe ejection from his bronze bindings.

One of the problems I see when a statue is erected in your honor is that people look at it and start asking questions. The longer you have been dead and the more thoroughly you have been forgotten, the more questions arise. When there is nobody left living to defend you, when reality steps in for lore, every critique becomes fair game. Inevitably, people looking at your likeness in stone will ask more questions than those who carved it and, more importantly, than those who paid for it. Everyone knows when people start talking behind your back or in front of your immortalized face, as the case may be, that is where problems begin.

Of course there are great statues, paintings and even monuments. The ones worth safeguarding honor no one specifically while touching many. David, Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa; if these and their kind were created to honor, it is through the enduring message they send to mankind, not by trying to immortalize temporary insanity.

We have to get over the idea that it is a shame to tear down statues, remove names and stop singing beloved fight songs with bad back stories that have been a part of our lives and nation’s history since before we were born. This is precisely the reason we have to get rid of it — so that our grandkids don’t have to grow up believing all this shameful stuff should be venerated just because it originated a long time ago and nobody knew any better. That’s not history, it’s baloney! And, yes, removing these offensive artifacts is indeed a process of sanitizing our country. Like the forgotten moldy broccoli in the back of the fridge, when the smell gets bad enough, you have to throw it out.

Roger Marolt has a fear of wax museums. Email him at roger@maroltllp.com.

Snowmass Town Briefs: Brush Creek road closure; July 4th ice cream anti-social; Collective opening; “Love a Local” vouchers

Brush Creek road closure begins week of July 13

Brush Creek Road will be closed for roughly eight weeks starting the week of July 13, according to a town news release.

The closure, which was delayed from its expected mid-June start date, will take place so the town of Snowmass Village and the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District can team up to complete two major infrastructure projects: replacing the water line beneath Brush Creek Road around the 20 mph curve and repave the section of road between the Horse Ranch Drive and Sinclair Road intersections, the news release says.

A detour similar to the one for the JAS Labor Day Experience, utilizing Highline and Owl Creek roads, will be in place for the duration of construction, which is expected to conclude in September. For more information, visit tosv.com or call 970-922-2275.

Fourth of July Ice Cream Anti-Social delivery Saturday

This Fourth of July the Town of Snowmass Village is celebrating by delivering free ice cream to residents and visitors.

With a decorated truck and patriotic playlist, the “Ice Cream Anti-Social” will bring Choco-tacos, classic ice cream sandwiches, bomb pops and orange push-up pops to village neighborhoods and hotels starting at 11 a.m.

People are encouraged to come out to the ice cream truck as it travels through their neighborhood, and are asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing. A full delivery route map and rough schedule can be found at gosnowmass.com.

Village restaurants also will be offering specialty eats and drinks to celebrate.

The Collective opens Thursday with Bars, Bands and Bingo night

The Collective building, including mix6 and the game lounge, will open for the summer season Thursday.

The community building summer opening will kick off with the new “Bars, Bands and Bingo” series, which will feature community bingo in The Collective hall from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., along with food and drink specials and live background music at various Base Village restaurants. Bingo will be available on a first come, first served basis and costs $10 for two cards.

The Collective also will open its game lounge Thursday minus the ball pool from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and lawn games will be available for use on the rink. All games will be disinfected after each use and social distancing requirements will be in place.

For more information, visit thecollectivesnowmass.com.

Love a Local vouchers coming to Village locals this week

Snowmass and Aspen area residents should receive their $25 “Love a Local” vouchers this week.

Part of the town’s “Love a Local” campaign, which aims to encourage more residents and visitors to shop locally in Snowmass Village, the free $25 vouchers can be used at any Snowmass business with a physical location through July 31. No change will be given for the vouchers, which businesses can bring to Town Hall where they will receive a check worth their total voucher amount.

Vouchers were sent to all Snowmass, Woody Creek and Old Snowmass P.O. boxes, Aspen residential addresses and to Snowmass front line workers.

For a full list of businesses in Snowmass to use your voucher, visit gosnowmass.com.