Around Aspen: Taos and Santa Fe |

Around Aspen: Taos and Santa Fe

MEHThe lilacs are blooming in this courtyard at the Taos Inn.

It’s May, the right time to go to Taos and Santa Fe because the lilacs are blooming and the tourists aren’t there yet.

Jim Hayes and I went there on our honeymoon in the springtime of 1953 and were so enchanted that we have been back many years since, staying in the same hotels ” the Taos Inn (and a few times at La Fonda) in Taos, and La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe. We also eat in the same restaurants ” the Taos Inn in Taos, and La Tertulia, the Pink Adobe, La Plazuela and the French Pastry Shop in Santa Fe.

I always walk up Canyon Road and visit the art galleries and have lunch there at Celebrations or El Farol. We love the architecture of Taos and Santa Fe; it’s like going to another country because they cherish the old buildings, many of which date back to the 1700s, and they keep renovating them and keeping them going. They are not into scraping old buildings and putting up something new and ugly.

A wonderful true story of adventure and romance is in the April 20 issue of The New Yorker magazine. Written by Dorothy Wickenden, it relates the story of Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, two society girls from Auburn, N.Y., who had attended Smith College and, not content in their sheltered Eastern lives, took jobs as schoolteachers in 1916 at the Elkhead, Colo., school near Hayden. They had many adventures and bravely faced the cold and isolation of the mountains. They were courted by Ferry Carpenter, a rancher who had recruited them as teachers and Bob Perry, a mining engineer at the Oak Creek Coal Mine near Hayden. Dorothy eventually married a beau from Michigan and Ros, as Rosamond was called, married Bob Perry. The Perrys settled in a Tudor house in Denver and had a son, whom they named Bob Perry. The son bought a ranch in Carbondale and married Ditty Brown, the sister of DRC Brown. The author of the story learned of the adventures when she spent the summer of 1973 at the Carbondale ranch, helping Ros’s granddaughter, Roz Turnbull, who had three children. The Perry family is well known in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Another magazine article of Aspen interest is one in the May issue of Outside magazine written by Mike Kessler telling the sad story of Jim Blanning and his New Year’s Eve terrorizing of Aspen.

Undercurrent … Back in 1953 Jim and I discussed settling in Santa Fe but we decided the art community was well-established there and as early ski bums we looked forward to the excitement of being in on the ground floor in Aspen with Jim as an silversmith-artist and me as a reporter-photographer at The Aspen Times.

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