The Aspen Art Museum holds Art Crush, one of the biggest parties of the summer during August. It draws a huge crowd, everyone dresses up for the occasion so it becomes an elegant affair.This weekend, Sept. 29-30, is Walt Smith’s 33rd annual Roaring Fork Jazz Party held at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. Saturday evening is a social gathering with music, cocktails, elegant dining and dancing. A jam session is scheduled Sunday. Musicians include Walt Smith on piano, Chris Goplerud on drums, Mark Gray on bass, Steve Cole on tenor sax and vocals, Tim Fox playing the trumpet, Ed Stephens on guitar, Sean Flanigan playing the trombone and Joni Janak on vocals.Meredith and Chuck Ogilby and their staff at Avalanche Ranch on the Crystal River will hold Apple Festival 2007 on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 3 p.m. on. There will be a pig roast, drinks and live music. Those attending are asked to bring a side dish. For more information call (970) 963-2846.Earlier in the summer I ran a photo of Hal and Dorothy Thau and Jazz Aspen Snowmass founder James Horowitz. I didn’t have all the information so will rerun the photo and include the info. Hal is one of the producers of “Spring Awakening,” this year’s Tony Award winner for the best Broadway musical of the year. The show also garnered another seven Tony Awards for its creative people. The critics have hailed the show as a “breakthrough musical” for its creativity, much like “Oklahoma” was in its day.
Here are some dates to put on your calendar. Sunday, March 30, to April 5, 2008, the International Skiing History Association (ISHA) will hold its annual gathering in Aspen. People will stay at the Hotel Jerome and there will be days of guided skiing at Aspen Mountain, Snowmass and Aspen Highlands. Other events will include the “Skiing Heritage” gala, the Mason Beekley memorial dinner (Mason founded ISHA), a Mover and Shakers evening, and the Annual ISHA Awards dinner. The gathering was held twice before in Aspen, and some years it is in Vail, Sun Valley, Stowe or Mammoth Mountain. It always draws longtime skiers as well as contemporary skiers and snowboarders, and everyone has a wonderful time renewing old friendships. For reservations and more information call (800) 575-1298.The September 2007 issue of ISHA’s magazine, Skiing Heritage, includes news of interest to Aspenites, such as an article about the 10th Mountain Division by Charlie Meyers and a report on the group’s final reunion this summer in Denver. There is also an article about Aspen’s Roch Cup written by Aspenite and Olympic skier Christin Cooper (who is married to Mark Tache).
Undercurrent … It was 55 years ago in 1952 when I came to Aspen to work as a reporter-photographer on The Aspen Times. That first week was magic just like this week. The aspen leaves were turning golden, the air was crisp, the skies were brilliant blue. It was my birthday weekend, and I rode the chairlift up to the Sundeck. Roy Reid was loading the chairs at Midway, and then I hiked down Aspen Mountain in all of Aspen’s autumn glory. That Saturday night I worked at the School Carnival (at the Red Brick, which then housed all the grades including the high school). I had been enlisted to work as I was going to move in and share lodging with three teachers, Pat Lumsden, Dorothy Helmkamp and Loretta Coffman. The favorite game of the evening was “The Cakewalk,” where everyone walked around in a circle like musical chairs and someone won a cake with the playing of each game. The cakes, of course, were all baked by mothers of the school kids (and sometimes by high school girls). I felt like I met everyone in town that night (there were only 900 people living here then, and everyone came to the School Carnival). I have written the Around Aspen column for 50 years since (I took five years off when our children were little) and returned to work full time on the paper in the 1970s and 1980s. The School Carnival is no longer held, and the town has some 6,000 permanent residents. It didn’t snow that year until Thanksgiving evening and then that weekend we all were on Aspen Mountain for skiing (I had met Jim Hayes by then, and he and I skied with Loretta and her beau, Wes Thorpe). The ski slopes were filled with everyone in town because whatever happened back then, everyone showed up.
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Onsite parking won out over a Turkish bath at a new lodge planned to be built across from City Market. Aspen’s elected officials didn’t want to burden the neighborhood with offsite parking for the new hotel.