On Saturday, June 30, Heather Li Merritt was married to Clayton Jay Gentry. Heather grew up in Aspen and graduated from Aspen High School in 1996. She attended college at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Clayton grew up between Jefferson City, Mo., and Aspen, where his father, Sheldon Gentry, built the Aztec Condominiums.
The wedding ceremony was held at the Maroon Bells amphitheater and was officiated by Pastor Dan Bosko of the Crossroads Church. Bridesmaids were Joanie Schultz and Jamie Duhe, both graduates of Aspen High School. Groomsmen were Seth Race and David Braka of New York. Ceremony music was played by members of the Heart of the Rockies under a clear, blue afternoon sky at the Maroon Bells.
Family and guests were a mix of longtime locals and friends from all over the United States, Uruguay, England and Hungary. The bride and groom exchanged personal vows under a handcrafted aspen tree arch and signed their Pitkin County Marriage License in front of the 75 friends and family in the audience. The certificate was signed by witnesses Joanie Schultz and Seth Race. A reception was held at the Maroon Bells Lodge outside by the river immediately following the wedding ceremony. A bonfire was lit, and the Heart of the Rockies with Twirp Anderson played late into the night under a rare, full honeymoon.
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After 14 years, a lengthy lawsuit by area residents and nearly $4 million in construction costs, a half-mile trail to two school campuses in the Castle Creek Valley was finally completed this week.