Around Aspen: Firemans Ball
The Aspen Volunteer Fire Department held its annual Firemans Ball and Awards ceremony in December at the T-Lazy 7 Ranch. Because Jess Bates (Hayes) made all the sterling silver pins awarded to the firefighters (engraved with their names and numbers of years they had served), she attended and took the photos for this weeks column. The firemen and women, along with their significant others and friends, all had a glorious time.There is a wonderful show of handmade quilts by the Roaring Fork Quilters hanging at the Aspen Chapel Gallery through Feb. 15. Showing their quilts are Sandy Boyd, Linda Chaney, Cynthia DeFrancia, Susan Dodington, B. Anne Greene, Kathleen Molitor, Adele Plantec and Jonne Winter. Snowbirds Ramona and Jim Markalunas are spending the winter in South Carolina. Another snowbird is Sandye Whitaker who is spending the winter in Atlanta, Ga.Longtime ski instructor Jack McTarnaghan lost his wife, Ina Claire, this past year. Hes been living in a house he built in Grand Junction but this winter hes in Texas, where his two daughters live: Jetta Mcwhirter in Spring, Texas, and Linda Martin in Mandel.Writer Gael Greene has retired from New York Magazine after penning the Insatiable Critic food column for more than 30 years. She is now working on her freelance writing. In summer 2006 she published her memoir, Insatiable, and came to Aspen to autograph many of the books during the Food & Wine Magazine Classic. Gael and her partner, Steve Richter, met in Aspen some 25 years ago and spent a lot of time here.Food & Wine Magazine is really advertising the coming Food & Wine Classic, which will be held June 19-21 in Aspen. There are many pages of advertisements with luscious photos of Aspen in the January issue of the magazine. Cooking demonstrations this summer will be given by Jose Andres, Mario Batali & Nancy Silverton, Tom Colicchio & Gail Simmons, Giada de Laurentis, Bobby Flay, Michel Nischan, Jacques Pepin and his daughter Claudia Pepin, Steven Raichlen, Michel Richard, Michael Wymon, Ming Tsai and Laura Werlin. There will also be many wine tasting seminars and reserve wine tastings.Thought I should tell about that photo on page 18 in last weeks Aspen Times Weekly of Jim Blanning on the Aspen Junior Ski Team. It was February 1953 and I was a reporter-photographer for The Aspen Times (it was just me and owner Verlin Ringle doing the reporting). I needed photos of the girls and boys junior ski teams for the front page, so I called them up and arranged to meet them at the Red Brick School. When I got there, the girls ski team was waiting, including Sally Moore, Ferne Brown and her sister, and Bev Paulich. But the boys had left and gone up Aspen Mountain. I was pretty angry and started up the mountain. They were at the top of the jumping hill and kept waving at me and laughing. I was in office clothes, silk stockings and little shoes and skirt and blouse. I had to wade through knee deep snow to get to the boys and they thought it was a big joke. You can see them laughing in the photo. Luckily, a friend of mine, Tom Weld, who was on the ski patrol, had seen it all. He skied up to me and said, Get on the back of my skis and hold me around the waist. And he skied me over to the Little Nell run and down the mountain. Sadly, Tom was killed a few years later in a mining accident. He had majored in mining engineering in college and decided to pursue his career. He was in an elevator that plunged down a mining shaft.
Erik Wolter, a former teacher at Aspen High School, is making inroads in the film business as a screenwriter. He was hired by Nasser Entertainment to write a feature film, currently titled Dancing in the Dark. Erik wrote his first non-fiction book, Loyalty on Trial: One Americans Battle with the FBI, in 2004 and then wrote six original screenplays before taking on the assignment with Nasser. The book documents efforts by the FBI to revoke the citizenship of Arthur Wolter, Eriks father, in 1943. The book tells how Arthur Wolter was accused of being the power behind the throne of an allegedly subversive organization targeted by J. Edgar Hoover. They used my Dads writings to claim he was disloyal and he came very close to being deported, says Erik. The case raised issues of civil liberties that were finally decided by the Supreme Court. Fortunately for the Wolter family, the First Amendment prevailed, says Erik, who now lives in Winter Park, Fla.Undercurrent Its the time of squeaky snow underfoot.
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Emergency crews remain on the scene of a helicopter crash that happened Saturday morning on the south end of Rifle, sending the two occupants to the hospital and touching off a small brush fire.