Around Aspen: Jill Sheeley’s books |

Around Aspen: Jill Sheeley’s books

MEHTony Uhl and Jill Sheeley at Jill's 30th anniversary party for publishing her books in Aspen. She is holding "Christmas in Aspen," the first book she wrote and published 30 years ago. Tony will feature Jill on his TV program "Cooking With Anton."

On March 26 Jill Sheeley held a community party at the Limelight Lodge to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her book-writing and -publishing efforts in Aspen. Featured at the party were copies of her first book, “Christmas in Aspen” that she published 30 years ago. The celebration turned into a big community party as just about everyone in town attended. Jill had written two cookbooks, “Tastes of Aspen” and “Lighter Tastes of Aspen” and many of the restaurants that contributed recipes to the book also contributed food for the party. Jill had planned for 900 people to attend. Instead there were many more and the food was gone in the first hour. Tony Uhl videotaped the party to include in a program he will show of Jill cooking the recipes his mother, Gretl Uhl, had given Jill to include in her cookbook. Tony has a program on Channel 17 called “Cooking With Anton.”

In addition to her Christmas book and cookbooks, Jill has published a series of children’s books featuring the adventures of Fraser, her golden Labrador, and her daughter, Courtney Sheeley. And this year Jill wrote and published a novel for teenagers titled “The Blue Bottle,” which takes place in the Caribbean where the Sheeley family spends offseasons sailing and snorkeling.

Another former Aspenite with a new novel published is Susan Spence, who wrote “A Story of the West.” Susan now lives in Big Timber, Mont., and the book is an historical novel about the early settlers along the Yellowstone River. The mountains in the photograph (taken by Susan) are the Crazy Mountains, just north of Susan’s ranch. The rider is her longtime companion, Tom. Susan is the daughter of longtime Aspenites Gale (Spider) and Ellie Spence. Gale was for years the coach for the Aspen Junior Ski Team. Ellie now lives in Carbondale.

Just about nobody can write about Colorado mining towns like Sandra Dallas, who lived in Aspen a short time in the 1950s, had a home in Breckenridge for years, and now has a home in Georgetown. Sandra has a new book titled “Whiter Than Snow” that relates the story of an avalanche in a mining town that buries a group of children walking home from school. Her story brings out the secrets and joys and sorrows of the families of the children. Sandra also recently had another book published by St. Martin’s Press titled “Prayers for Sale.” In her haunting stories, Sandra writes of the mining towns’ hard, bleak winters, of their glorious, short summers, of the tough people who lived in them, of the richness of community, and of old-fashioned cemeteries. Most of her books are set in the 1920s or 1940s.

Another writer and photographer with ties to Aspen is Nancy Wood, who lives in Santa Fe. She is having a show of her photos titled “Visual Poetry” from April 30 through June 26 at the Gerald Peters Gallery on the Paseo de Peralta in Santa Fe. Many of the photographs are from her book published by The University of New Mexico Press titled “The Eye of the West.” Nancy spends many weeks in Aspen in the summer.

On April 23, Aspenite Nora Feller opened a show of her celebrity photographs at the Camera Obscura Gallery in Denver. The show will hang until June 5 at the gallery, which is located at 1309 Bannock Street. Nora selected 30 of her portraits for the show including Julia Child, the Dalai Lama, Madonna, Prince Rainier, Malcolm Forbes, David Hockney, Sean Penn, Angelina Jolie, Betty Ford and Kelsey Grammer. Nora shoots for many clients including HBO, the Aspen Institute, American Express, and Harmon International. She always covers the Cannes Film Fest as she and her husband, Francois Couturier, have a home in Cannes as well as a home in Snowmass.

Saturday is May Day, May 1, the day to hang May Baskets on the doors of friends. When I ran this photo of Pauli hanging a May Basket on a door and wrote about the tradition of children making May Baskets, Wendy Blakeslee of Mountain Flowers was so charmed by the old custom that she made a May Basket and hung it on my door.

Undercurrent … Jim Markalunas told me that deer had eaten all his emerging tulips at his home in the West End, and that people could hang fluttering flags in trees to try to keep the deer away. They are afraid of anything moving.

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