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How a life was touched

Dear Editor:I have just heard about my friend Katharine Thalberg’s passing and I felt the need to reach out to the Aspen community and Katharine’s friends and family.Aspen was my home for 15 years during 1984-2000. I met Katharine the second week I was there and she gave me my first job as a bookseller at the Explore. Being a bookseller was not my cup of tea and I went to work at the now infamous Gordon’s restaurant under Gordon Naccaratto as garde manager chef. It was a very exciting time in Aspen in the restaurant industry and Gordon’s was leading edge.Katharine and Bill would come to Gordon’s and order vegetarian meals. At that time vegetables were on the menu but not as meals. Gordon would have me fix her something wonderful and she must have gone away happy because, four years later she came to Gordon’s and asked me to help her open the Explore coffeehouse, the first gourmet vegetarian restaurant in Aspen.It was a lot of fun and hard work. K.T. and I fought a lot and it was one of the most creative times in my life. I left six years later and we remained friends in that deep internal way that only people who have fought and created together and stayed friends can be. People often called Katharine difficult, reserved, unavailable, demanding, controlling, relentless, and at times she was all those things as strong women are. She had firm beliefs and opinions, a strong personhood and a will to survive. She was intelligent, creative, sensitive, intense, poetic and very sweet. She was fearless in confrontation and deeply fragile and vulnerable. I loved her beauty and elegant presence and she was one of the funniest people I know. Katharine brought me up in those exciting times like a fierce loyal mother lion. I became a very good chef because of her and Gordon, and I developed a willingness to stand on my two feet in the face of strong confrontation. From Katharine I learned to never take “no” for an answer if it’s not the right one and to hear “no” when I needed it.Katharine Thalberg diligently fought for a quality of life in Aspen and for herself. I’ve never seen a more determined woman. And I know wherever we all believe she is now she is laughing and loving and fighting and enjoying that life too.I will really miss visiting Katharine in the little office in the back of the bookstore, the dogs lying around and the sweet smells of the Bistro wafting in. I’ll miss hugging her and sharing a cup of tea. I loved Katharine and my life is a better place because she is in it.Susan Sinnicks BardinLouisville


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