Crystal Palace |

Crystal Palace

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes
Nina Gabianelli, general manager of the Crystal Palace, and Mead Metcalf, founder and owner. (MEH)

One of the highlights of Summer 2006 was the 50th Anniversary of The Crystal Palace, founded in 1956 by Mead Metcalf in the building that housed The Mother Lode in later years (after Mead bought and refurbished the former Aspen Laundry and Cleaners building next door). Mead filled the new Crystal Palace with glass chandeliers and stained-glass windows, creating a fabulous background for his musical shows. His first wife, Joan Metcalf, was the dishwasher at first and came out of the kitchen to sing (notably “Hello Dolly”), and she sang for years at the Palace.Mead held a reunion in July for all the people who had ever worked at the Palace. The Aspen Historical Society hosted one of the afternoon parties and Mead held two dinners in order to seat all the people who came back. Singers, kitchen helpers, office helpers, waiters and piano players came from all over the country and Hawaii for the celebration.It is the year, it seems, for looking back.

At the Denver Public Library the 10th Mountain Division Collections will be on display in the main exhibit area (Level One) and in the Western History Genealogy Department (Level Five) at the Denver Public Library until Oct. 1. An Archives Open House will be held at the library on Saturday, Sept. 30, with tours conducted every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations are not required for the open house, but if someone wants to book a group tour before Oct. 1, please contact the archivists at (720) 865-1906 or e-mail Ann Brown at Also on display are items from the Western History and Conservation Collections at the library.The Avalanche Ranch on the Crystal River is reviving its “Apple Festival” on Sunday, Oct. 8, from 2 to 6 p.m. There will be a pig roast, drinks and live music by The Hell Roaring String Band. People attending are asked to take a side dish. For more information call (970) 963-2846.

Had a note from former Aspenite and Basaltine Ruby Gold Dayton, who celebrated her 90th birthday in November 2004 in Mesa, Ariz. When living in Aspen, Ruby worked at the Hotel Jerome and The White Kitchen. She and her first husband, “Cactus Gold,” bought their Aspen home from Sheriff Johnson, and they rented rooms for the first “Tent Players” and to skiers. They later moved to Basalt. Ruby and her second husband, Lester Dayton, wrote a book about baseball in Mesa, Ariz. The October 2006 issue of Town and Country magazine continues its great coverage of Aspenites in other places, with photos in the parties section of Maria Bell, who attended a fashion show and luncheon in Los Angeles given by the Itallian design house MaxMara. The event was a fundraiser for the Children’s Institute, which aims to protect youngsters from abuse and neglect. The parties section also includes a photo of Evelyn and Leonard Lauder attending a black-tie gala to raise funds for the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. An article in the same issue of the magazine says that Evelyn Lauder has now written a cookbook, titled “In Great Taste: Fresh, Simple Recipes for Eating and Living Well.” The recipes include some family traditions, and others are from friends and celebrity acquaintances. All proceeds from the book will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which Evelyn founded in 1993. Undercurrent … The nasturtiums were zapped by that first frost on Sunday night, Sept. 17.

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