Hundreds come out to cherish the memory of Guido Meyer
Aspen Times Staff Writer
“The past week every time I have had a moment to think I have thought about all the things that I could say to you and all the happy moments we shared together,” wrote Guido Meyer’s teenage granddaughter, Stephanie Wettstein.
Stephanie was reading a letter she wrote to her grandfather at his memorial service yesterday. Guido Meyer died Saturday. He was 85.
“I remember when I was younger and you would play hide and seek with Danny, Alie and I. The three of us would prance over to your house and beg you to play with us. No matter what time of night it was, you would play and sometimes our games would last until midnight.”
Stephanie shared her recollections with between 300 and 400 people who came from near and far to remember Guido the restaurateur, hippie-hater, magistrate, rancher, skier, hotelier and big-time Aspen booster.
“It was always easiest to find Danny and Alie because they made noise, and then the three of us would go in search of you,” she continued. “You would always hide in a dark corner where we couldn’t see you, and, as soon as we turned to leave, you would jump out and scare us. Then Danny, Alie and I would take off screaming down the hallway like a monster was after us. That was always a fun game we played.”
Stephanie is one of Guido’s six grandchildren. The others are Alie, Cassie, Danny, Conor and Paul. He is also survived by his wife of 49 years and 10 months, Trudi, and two children, Guido Jr. and Rosie Wettstein. All of them live in the valley.
“I also remember,” Stephanie continued, “every time I got a report from school I would run over to you and show it to you so you would give me twenty dollars. You always knew what I wanted from the second that I walked in the door.”
Stephanie was among several family members and friends who stepped up to the front of St. Mary’s Catholic Church yesterday to share their memories about Guido. Guido Jr., Stephanie’s uncle, shared a great deal about his father on the family ranch near Basalt.
Nancy Oden recalled the high culinary standards she had to meet after marrying Dr. Bob Oden, who had spent many nights as a bachelor dining at Guido’s Swiss Inn, located at the corner of Cooper Avenue and Galena Street from 1952 to 2002.
Stephanie’s younger sister, Alie, shared a poem by Erin Boydstun that reminded her of her grandfather. Like her sister, her uncle, Nancy Oden and Guido’s good friend Kurt, who also shared, Stephanie was crying as she remembered her grandfather.
“Earlier Alie and I were talking about all the funny memories we had. And we were laughing at how every time we would come home and see you, you would say, ‘Where have you been, I never see you?’ and Alie and I would respond with ‘We were at school!’ Then the response we got numerous times was, ‘American schools are BS, all you do is play football and eat hamburgers.’ Alie and I never knew how to respond so we would just nod our heads and say yeah.”
When Guido Jr. spoke immediately after Stephanie and Alie, he recalled being sent away to boarding school in Switzerland around the same time the hippie movement was taking off in Aspen and the rest of the United States. It was only after Richard Nixon won the presidency in 1968 that Guido allowed his children to return to school in the United States. Apparently, Guido Jr. noted, Nixon’s election restored his father’s confidence in the nation’s future.
Stephanie’s letter-writing skills survived, however, in spite of their exposure to football and hamburgers and the American education system.
“I will never forget all the times that we spent together and all the happiness and love you gave to me,” she concluded. “I will cherish it always. I am so honored to be your granddaughter and to have had you as a part of my life. I miss you so much and I will love you forever.
[Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is email@example.com]
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