Learn from the Suteys
August 18, 2009
I find the land swap between the base of Mount Sopris and the Sutey Ranch to be exceptionally interesting. I am not quite sure of the basic reason for the swap; however I am able to shed light upon the Sutey family, who were the owners of the ranch. In my opinion the Sutey family displayed the highest, most honest morals of any family in this country.
I knew the Suteys well. They were exceptionally good friends of my father and mother, Steve and Ann Krizmanich of Glenwood Springs.
The Suteys arrived in the U.S. in the late 19th century. They came from the Gorski Kotor area of northern Croatia, and came to escape an extremely difficult hard life dominated by a wealthy privileged class. Mr. Sutey, the patriarch, was from the small village of Plemenitas, which is just across the border from Slovenia. Yugoslavia did not exist at the time. I have had the privilege of visiting Plemenitas on several occasions, as it is also my grandmother’s village. Mrs. Sutey – Kathy – was from Delnice, a nearby resort village. The area is wooded, hilly and very beautiful.
At some point Mr. Sutey left the U.S. to return to his native Croatia – then Austria-Hungary; however conditions were so difficult there he returned to the U.S. He definitely displayed sympathy for the little guy. His life’s purpose was dedicated to helping out the common man. Before homesteading on Cattle Creek, the Suteys lived in Crested Butte, where he worked in the mines doing exceptionally hard labor. He ran into some difficulty due to efforts related to the creation of a miner’s union. The family left Crested Butte for the Cattle Creek ranch probably sometime before World War II as they reportedly traveled down Scofield Canyon in a wagon!
I have no knowledge of Leslie Wexner. Perhaps he is a good honest man. However, if he is of the same cut as Kenneth Lay and Rupert Murdoch, he has a tremendous deal of moral development and understanding before he rises to the level of Mr. Sutey! I have spent a great amount of time in Australia and have yet to hear one good word from any Aussie for Mr. Murdoch – Australia being his native land.
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If this swap is just another land grab – which is highly suspect – the Sutey family would absolutely not support such a sham, especially if it makes the fat cats fatter. There is something very strange about this deal! It appears extremely phony. It is extremely ironic, but history keeps repeating itself. Mr. Sutey left Croatia to escape the excesses of the privileged class, only to have the privileged class being created here 100 years later.
I receive my moral compass from Mr. Sutey, my father and the good old-timers of Crested Butte and Glenwood. Their values were very different from many of the greedy newcomers of today. If this is a shady deal based upon greed, then it becomes Mr. Wexner’s Karma, and he will have to face his bad dreams alone at night.
The Suteys were good, kind, honest people. I feel blessed to know them. Our country would be in much better shape today if there were more people like them living today. They are true models for a moral society.
Glenwood Springs and Albuquerque, N.M.