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Christmas Cheer

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

It’s the time of year for two weeks solid of holiday parties.Just everyone holds a celebration – longtime locals, second-home owners, organizations like the Aspen Institute, the Deaf Camp, the Thrift Shop, the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, the magazines and newspapers, the art galleries, visitors, the jewelry shops, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the Aspen Art Museum, just everyone … I’ll be featuring them in the weeks to come.

This week it’s the Aspen Institute, which held its annual Christmas party in Paepcke Auditorium with a talk and book signing by Barbara Goldsmith, author of “Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie,” followed by a reception and dinner and view of an art show in the Adelson Gallery that was curated by Franny Ditmer, from local art collections.And a gathering of locals at The Gant conference room honored longtime favorite June Kirkwood on her 80th birthday. June has been a nurse and a volunteer for years at the Thrift Shop. She and her daughter, Karen, and then June and partner Nina Johnston had The Little Kitchen health-food restaurant for many years.Those Christmas party girls, Judi Francis, Carol Mark, Patti Pope and Donna Rowlands, held their annual party and buffet on Dec. 18 on Cemetery Lane.

Longtime residents Ann and Jim Watson have sold their home in Snowmass Village and are moving permanently to Amesbury, Minn.Dec. 20 was D.R.C. Brown’s 92nd birthday.Artist Susan Mauntel held an open house in her lavender Victorian cottage alongside the Roaring Fork River in Woody Creek. She has sold her cottage, “Plum Crazy,” in Naples, Fla., and located in her Aspen Victorian full time, adding a hexagonal, gazebo-style art studio.



As part of the 25th anniversary of the Aspen Art Museum, George Shaw has published his second book, “Art of the Ancestors,” which features 100 color plates. George’s first book, “Art of Grace and Passion,” won the Smythe Award.Ralph Lauren was recently featured on the covers of Town & Country magazine and Cowboys and Indians magazine, and now he is holding a big opening party for his Aspen store in the space formerly occupied by Banana Republic.Undercurrent … I always think of the poet Percy Shelley this time of year and what he wrote: “Oh wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind.”