Is that John Elway endorsing Jake? Well, not exactly |

Is that John Elway endorsing Jake? Well, not exactly

Look at the cap, not the quarterback, says Aspen City Council candidate Jake Vickery.

Vickery, an incumbent seeking election next week, is referring to a photo of him standing on a golf course next to John Elway. It has been the linchpin of his newspaper advertising campaign and the source of more than a few chuckles for the last three weeks. And it begs the question: Does the star Broncos quarterback support Vickery for a second term on the council?

“It’s not meant to intend that John Elway supports me or endorses my campaign. I just like the fact that I’m wearing a Ducky Derby cap in that picture,” Vickery said, referring to the summertime fund-raiser that involves thousands of rubber ducks racing down the Roaring Fork from Herron Park to the Mill Street bridge.

Vickery chose the Elway picture, which was taken about five years ago in Lake Tahoe, because he’s running a low-budget campaign – $655 in total – and needed an eye-catcher. “It was a low-budget, creative move to catch people’s eye,” he explained.

Vickery thinks the story behind the picture is even more interesting than the picture itself:

He and his wife, Della Pegolotti, were in Denver several years ago having their car worked on. Della filled out a contest card that promised the winner a free trip to Lake Tahoe for the Isuzu Golf Classic.

They won.

As the meaning of their victory came clear, Vickery realized he was going to get to play a round of golf with at least one of the celebrities at the tournament. With nary a link of experience, Vickery spent two or three dollars on book titled “How to Play Golf,” or something like that, and read it on the plane to Lake Tahoe.

When the family – Jake, Della and their son, Cody, arrived in Lake Tahoe, they learned Vickery was matched with Elway for a warm-up round.

“We had no idea I was going to be playing golf with top sports stars,” Vickery said. “We thought they were going to be musical has-beens – like Buddy Hackett or Frankie Vallee.”

The golf was fun, Vickery told the Times, although he was “awful. I’d never played before.” The vacation was great too – a room (without a view) and an open tab at the restaurant – courtesy of the Japanese car maker.

Speaking of eye-catchers, in an advertisement that ran in Tuesday’s Aspen Times, Vickery is seen with a very young, very svelte Christie Brinkley. The super model is looking over her shoulder adorably at him.

“I taught her skiing for only a week,” Vickery says, recalling that the picture was taken nine or 10 years ago. Then, with a chuckle, he adds: “Of course, she had a crush on me – it’s inevitable.”

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