Experienced Aspen: Just hang in there
Alyce and Larry Meredith find sanctuary away from the pandemic chaos in Redstone
Editor’s note: This feature is one in a series we call “Experienced Aspen,” a special section recognizing the life and experiences of Aspen’s most well-rounded citizens. For more, go to the B-Section of our Dec. 22 electronic edition.
Staying busy through a pandemic has not been a difficult task for Larry and Alyce Meredith. From their home near Redstone, the couple has been able to make the best use of their talents, from Larry’s skills as a writer to Alyce’s music, which has resulted in mini concerts out on the patio.
“Occasionally through the last few months, we have had some informal gatherings outside where we can practice social distancing and everyone wears masks and we just visit to stay in touch and see what is going on,” Larry said. “We manage to find things to occupy our time. The young people, I don’t think they read as much as we used to. That’s a good outlet. It’s a good way to learn things, it’s a good entertainment possibility and it takes you away from TV and the computer or the phone, which they seem to spend so much time on.”
The Merediths grew up in Kansas, went to college in the state, and spent much of their professional career there until eventually making it to Colorado.
Larry studied journalism and had a long career in public relations and college administration, and has his own publishing company, Raspberry Creek Books, based out of Redstone. Alyce grew up with two musically inclined parents on a farm in central Kansas and turned that passion into a career, teaching the craft at nearly every level.
They have been married, well, a long time, as Alyce puts it, with their friendship reaching all the way back to elementary school.
“Larry and my relationship began in the grade school of that little town in the fourth and fifth grade,” Alyce said. “This tall, dark person was shooting baskets one day at school, and I knew he was the one. So we’ve been married a long time.”
While Larry grew up in the Midwest, his family has had Colorado ties for generations, notably in the Ruedi and Redstone areas. He’s been coming to the Crystal River Valley since the 1940s, back when he was just a baby, and both of his adult children and their families currently live in that same valley.
So, when Larry and Alyce finally retired after about 20 years in Gunnison, working for Western Colorado University, moving to Redstone was an easy decision.
“It just became a favorite place of ours. We came out here every summer and vacationed. I always had a desire to live out here,” Larry said. “So when I retired and we decided to be near (our children), we moved over here. We decided after that move we are never moving again.”
Their home, which isn’t far from the famed Redstone Castle, has provided them with a bit of sanctuary away from the chaos of the world this past year.
“We are fortunate to be living near Redstone, and feel the beauty of this place has helped us to endure the challenges of the present COVID and political situations in which we live,” Alyce said. “You just deal with it and hang in there and don’t go crazy about anything. Just be levelheaded. And the issue of faith is uppermost in our approach. We are very thankful for that.”
Like most things, the Merediths know the pandemic will move down river eventually. While current times are tough, staying busy is important: Alyce is currently organizing family pictures that date back to the 1800s and Larry suggests honing one’s skills while time allows, especially if he or she can use that to his or her advantage when normalcy returns to the world.
“There is an old saying that says, ‘This too shall pass.’ Just hang in there,” Larry said. “Utilize those talents the best you can, I guess, and look ahead to the future. Because this is going to be over one of these days and hopefully things will get back to something like normal.”
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Colorado State Patrol will send extra troopers to Independence Pass but tools such as one-way, directional travel through the Narrows are not being considered.