Mountain Mayhem: Make a Wish
“Birthdays during quarantine don’t count,” writes Justin Officer as his current birthday greeting on friends’ Facebook walls these days. The Aspen native-turned L.A. transplant turned 44 on March 29 with a low-key celebration. The professional photographer went for a hike with his dogs and his co-workers from Nike’s photo studio surprised him with a Zoom call. “Los Angeles has actually been great during the quarantine,” he added. “Zero freeway traffic, little street traffic, and if you go to the grocery store early there is nobody. I have a neighbor who hangs out in his front yard with his amp and electric guitar playing classic rock well. He was an audio engineer at Gold Star studios in the ’70s so he’s no stranger to ripping classics.”
Adeline Woodson of Snowmass Village made the most of her fourth birthday April 21. According to her mother, Emily Woodson, “she was disappointed she couldn’t have her friends over for a ‘Trolls’ party, but her friend Kiki organized a surprise birthday parade. The Snowmass Village Fire trucks and the Pitkin County sheriff also joined the parade and played ‘Happy Birthday’! She loved her special birthday crown from her friend, Kas Ryder, and the homemade birthday signs.” She saw a stream of friends, got a new bike, and an ombré pink cake she baked with her dad. At the end of the day, she went to bed, thanking her parents for “the best day ever!”
Chris Hutcheson of Minneapolis marked her 50th on May 8 with a flamingo lawn bombing created by friends. “I had cake and cava at noon with about a dozen neighbors scattered throughout the flamingos,” she explained, “followed by a Zoom Gyrokinesis class with friends and family from across the country, then a socially distanced dinner with my brother, sister-in-law and boyfriend and finally a backyard fire pit and more cake with additional friends. Although it wasn’t the 50th that I had initially planned for, it was a truly wonderful stay-at-home birthday, feeling all the love.” You may recognize Chris from when she lived in Aspen from 1992 to 1999. She worked at La Cocina for the duration with other jobs along the way at SportStalker, as the assistant to Aspen Mountain manager Rob Baxter and at Sun Microsystems for Bill Joy.
Aspen native Matt Shifrin celebrated his 33rd on May 16. “It was an awesome day with breakfast at Jour de Fete, biking up Independence Pass with friends and getting third place to the top, then a socially acceptable birthday barbecue at the house followed by wine FaceTime calls and watching ‘Days of Thunder.’”
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While the rest of the festival’s performance program was announced in the spring, the opening concert by the Festival Orchestra had remained blank.