Mid-summer | AspenTimes.com

Mid-summer

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

Jim Markalunas explains the workings of the sundial that he and his wife, Ramona, gave to the Aspen Center for Physics. (MEH)

It is midsummer in Aspen complete with benefits and happenings and parties every day and night.The Aspen Center for Physics has a most beautiful sylvan campus, and early in July the staff put on a Summer Solstice luncheon and a dedication ceremony for the sundial that Ramona and Jim Markalunas had commissioned from an artist in Taos, N.M. The sundial is located in a meadow between the Physics Center and the Aspen Music Festival Tent.Evelyn Lauder was honored at a reception at the Baldwin Gallery given by Richard Edwards for her photographic exhibit titled “Beauties and other New Work.” All proceeds from the sale of Evelyn’s photographs go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which she founded in 1993. In October 2005, $22 million was awarded to 110 researchers across the U.S. and in Canada, Europe, Latin America and Israel. The foundation supports scientists at leading medical centers worldwide whose research is focused on achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer.

Aspen Peak magazine and Cindi and Franklin Rose held a reception at Galerie Maximillian to introduce the Rose Ribbon Foundation to Aspen. The foundation is a nonprofit organization formed for the purpose of providing free post-reconstructive surgery for cancer patients. When having dinner in the Sopris Room at Buffalo Valley restaurant on Sunday evening, the electric power had been off for several hours so chef Kurt Wigger prepared our dinner – French onion soup and beef stroganoff – on a tableside stove that he said he brought from the Red Onion when he was a chef there during the 1970s. For the past 35 years Kurt operated his Sopris restaurant between Glenwood and Carbondale until it was sold this January to Sopris Properties LLC. Longtime fans of Sopris restaurant begged Kurt to bring the restaurant back in some form, so he set up a Sopris Room in Buffalo Valley, complete with all the furniture, tablecloths, chandeliers and rugs from the old restaurant. The menu is also the old Sopris menu.For people who would like to be involved in historic preservation, the National Trust and the U.S. Forest Service will hold Historic Preservation Workdays at the Interlaken Resort on the shores of Twin Lakes. The resort was established in 1879 by Leadville miner James V. Dexter, and it became one of Colorado’s premier mountain resorts of the early 20th century. During the workdays, volunteers will tend to the restoration of the Dexter Cabin, the personal dwelling of Dexter and his family. The workdays will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4-6, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Volunteers may participate for one or more days. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, call (303) 623-1504.Les Dames d’Aspen have had a busy summer with many special events, including a start of summer party at the home of Barbara Gold, a hike and luncheon at the Pine Creek Cookhouse, hosted by Hetta Heath; a hike and picnic lunch with llamas and alpacas, hosted by Linda Hayes; a solo recital piano performance and singing by Laura Taylor Mulkey, hosted by Janet Guthrie; a hike on Aspen Mountain and luncheon at the Aspen Mountain Club, hosted by Christine Aubale Gerschel; and a cocktail reception and program about pilates, featuring Kathy LeMieux Rodman. Members of Les Dames also traveled to Santa Fe to attend the Santa Fe Opera performance of “Cinderella.” Still to come are a hike and picnic at Mt. Sopris Ranch, hosted by Jill Roeschel; and a lecture and book-signing with Carolyne Roehm, author of decoration books, with dinner hosted by Betty Ann Shenk. To top the summer off, the annual Gala Celebration (dinner and dancing and auctions) for Les Dames will be held Aug. 21 at the Hotel Jerome. Because the gala is being held at the Jerome this year instead of a private home, nonmembers may attend at $150 per person. Auction items include week stays in homes such as a San Diego beachfront house, a house in Key West, and a Virginia lake-front house.

Les Dames d’Aspen is an organization of women whose main purpose is to support the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and other arts organizations. Les Dames was reorganized a few years ago, and the group no longer puts on a New Year’s Eve party to raise funds; instead each member donates $1,000 (Junior members donate $500). The group also is now more recreational with fun and interesting events held throughout the year. Anyone interested in joining should call Christine Aubale Gerschel at (970) 925-9028. Christine is the founder and is current president of Les Dames.Undercurrent … the cotton from the cottonwood trees seems extra heavy this summer. Several people have remarked to me that someone should figure out how to gather it and turn it into something productive, like cotton cloth or cotton batting to stuff pillows with.

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