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Farewell to D.R.C.

Mary Eshbaugh HayesAspen Times Weekly
One of D.R.C. Browns daughters, Marty Brown Garvey, left, welcomes Marilyn Hodges Wilmerding to the Sundeck service for her father. (MEH)
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A crowd of Aspen Skiing Co. employees, longtime friends and family members bid farewell to former Aspen Skiing Corporation President D.R.C. Brown at a March 21 service at the Sundeck.Welcoming everyone were Ruthie Brown and Davy Brown, a daughter and son of D.R.C. Larry Beidleman, who was the Skico ski area planner, recounted fond memories of flying with D.R.C. over the West, looking for possible ski areas. Every trip was an adventure, he said.

Sue Smedstad, who was D.R.C.s right-hand person for many years at the Skico, wept as she told how he was her mentor, role model, surrogate father, and best friend. Annie Richardson read a letter from her father, Tom Richardson, who became president of the Skiing Corporation after D.R.C. retired. D.R.C. knew what integrity was. The new owners had none, he wrote. (He was not referring to the present-day owners.) Roz Turnbull and Ruthie Richardson had fond memories that they shared as well. A video of D.R.C.s life gave glimpses of the ranch life and family life that he loved and cherished. It was noted that he always dressed elegantly for dinner, creating a division between working on the ranch and the dinner table, which was often filled with guests.

Family members read some of D.R.C.s favorite poems. They told how he loved to recite poetry that he knew by heart. A grandson, Sim Hamilton, read a Poem to Bappa, which moved many in the audience to tears. The poem recounted a dream in which Sim (also known as Simi) and his grandfather were riding their horses and, upon coming to a crossroads, D.R.C. tells Sim that he must go on alone and Sim go back.Doug McLain accompanied himself on guitar and sang I Ride an Old Paint, with everyone joining in on the chorus. Michael Lancaster played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, walking through the Sundeck and then out on the mountain until the music faded away. It was truly the end of an era.Spending this week at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen are members of the International Skiing History Association (ISHA). Every day the group will be skiing one day at Snowmass, another at Buttermilk, then at Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain. Each evening there are special events, and Thursday evening, April 3, Pat ODonnell will be guest of honor at a dinner party at the Jerome. Anyone interested in joining the group for skiing or the evening events should call the Aspen Historical Society at 925-3721. The Historical Society, the ISHA, and the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame are hosting the week of events.Now for summertime Save the Dates. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is planning its annual gala, which this year has the theme Dancing with the Aspen Stars. It is planned for Monday evening, July 21, at the Hotel Jerome.The Aspen Antiques & Fine Arts Fair will be held July 9-14 at Aspen Highlands, next to the Ritz-Carlton Club. More than 40 dealers from around the world will be showcasing antiques, works of art and jewelry.Undercurrent … Under the snow the crocuses, daffodils and tulips are anxious to start growing, as a few in thawed-out spots are already doing.

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