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Fun and Frolic

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

Not only are there dances all winter season, there are also picnics in the snow and trips to European ski areas.

Aspen gave a warm welcome to 30 New York City firefighters and fire officers who were directly linked to the September 11 disaster, which occurred near their firehouse in Manhattan. The men lost friends and relatives that day.

Aspen residents Steve Goldenberg and George Gracis, on behalf of the informal Friday men’s luncheon, served as guides for the group, and Jeff Kobacker and Bert Przybsylski led the men through Aspen and its ski areas. Arranging the stay for the firefighters was the Aspen Lodging Company. Some of the men stayed at the Alpenblick, some at The Durant, and some at the Fasching Haus. All of the firefighters skied and some even toured the backcountry.

During the week the firefighters skied all four mountains and spent quiet moments at some of the “shrines” on Aspen Mountain, including those for John Denver, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, and most poignantly, to the new shrine created by Tom Egan and dedicated to the memory of those lost on September 11.

A group of men give the Fishhouse Punch party every year, inviting hundreds of people to partake of the punch, the dinner and the dance too. This year it was held at the Hotel Jerome.

On Aspen Mountain Don Crawford, Helga Matuska and Jack Crawford held their 26th annual “Beach Party at 10,000 Feet” for some 200 friends. The guests entered past a 20-foot snow replica of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea to drinks and dancing outside and then inside to Ruthie’s restaurant for a Mediterranean lunch. Everyone wore swimwear outside their ski clothes.

A little later, Jack Crawford and Helga Matuska led their annual European ski trip, this year skiing and partying in four countries. They were accompanied by Aspenites Judy and Doug Bleiler, John Provine, Stan Starn, Don Crawford and Margaret Bauer, Rolf Knoke and January Crockett, Don Miller and Kathleen Hanson, Richard Auhll, Shirley Freis, Jack Leeney and Janine Sevigny, Mort Wallen, Junee Kirk, Wido Schaefer, Cal and Lilia Hemphill.

They skied 2 feet of fresh powder in both Verbier, Switzerland’s largest ski area, and in Courchevel, France, the world’s biggest with 185 lifts and 400 miles of runs. Evening capers included going up the mountain in rubber river rafts to a centuries-old stone cheese cellar for local music, dinner and drinks, then sliding down in individual sleds in the moonlight. Another event was Soiree Russe in a 150-year-old rock and timber shepherd’s house with a Russian band.

On to the Pyrenees and the tiny principality of Andorra for duty-free shopping and five ski resorts. Next to Spain where they skied the King’s Baqueira-Beret, including drive-yourself dog sleds to lunch in a mountain refugio. The trip concluded with two nights in vibrant Barcelona.

Another group held their annual Snowmass picnic at the Spider Sabich Center. Hosts included George Bartlett, Jerry Elder, Henry Fella, Jerry Goldman, Cal Gray, John Guiltinan, Fran Hoffman, Donald Keltner, Rodney Knutson, Jerry McCallion, Dick Osur, Philip Salet, Colby Sandlian, Ron Soderling and Stan Starn.

The spring skiing picnics will soon be over, and Aspenites are already making plans for the summer. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will be making its New York City debut at the prestigious Joyce Theater and has set up a trip for Aspenites to attend from Monday, June 16, to Thursday, June 19. To make reservations for the trip, call Annie Sale, Act I Performing Art Tours in Santa Fe at (505) 988-5474.

Save the Date of Wednesday, July 9, for the summer event to benefit the children of the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf. The evening will include a seafood and martini bar and dinner and be held in a fabulous Aspen home. For information and reservations call (970) 923-2511.

Coming sooner is “El Carnaval” on Friday, April 4, an evening of family fun to benefit the Aspen Youth Center. For tickets and information, call 925-7091. The event will be held at the new Aspen Youth Center at the ARC (Aspen Recreation Center).

And Saturday, April 5, the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork will hold its annual “Hands and Heart Auction” at the Roaring Fork Club. The event includes a dinner buffet and dancing. Chairpersons are Robyn and David Myler and honorary chairpersons are Barbi and Doug Sheffer. For more information, call (970) 963-1960.

Undercurrent … With all the spring skiing, many people around town look like raccoons.


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