Finally catching up with all the special holiday events held in Aspen.One of the nicest parties every year is given by Mary Ann Hyde and her children, Ann and Art, and granddaughter, Olivia. Whole families come; it is mostly for local Aspenites, and Santa pays a visit and gives everyone a gingerbread man to take home.The World Snow Polo Championship was held in Wagner Park in late December. There were six teams from England, Argentina, Australia, the United States, Aspen and Glenwood Springs.Pamela Levy Crandall is spending the winter in Vancouver, Wash., where she is taking a graduate Ph.D. program in psychology. She entered her dogs in a dog show in Portland, and the three puppies did fabulously. Her champion dog, Tucker, took a best in breed. Pamela is planning a trip to New Zealand for three weeks in February and March and will be back in Aspen for Food & Wine in June.The Travel section of the Jan. 9 New York Times featured an article about Aspen by Lois Smith Brady that covered the hotels, the restaurants and the skiing. I liked the quote from Greg Poschman, a photographer who grew up in Aspen: No need to pack fancy clothes. In Aspen everyone is always very casual. In the old days, if you saw someone wearing a suit, they were either DEA-drug enforcement, IRS or Jehovahs Witness. Since then Aspen has become chic and trendy but the casualness remains.Sorry to report the death on July 13, 2003, of Bob Dennis, one of Aspens original ski bums of the late 1940s and early 1950s, in Camino, Calif. He was 80 years old. Bob was originally from New York and had attended Syracuse University for one semester before he joined the 101st Mountain Division. He fought in Germany in World War II and after a two-and-a-half-year tour of duty, moved to Aspen. He opened the first ski shop and also worked on the Aspen ski patrol. In 1951 he and Gale (Spider) Spence went to Alaska where they built spec homes. Winters he returned to the western mountains. While a ski instructor in Reno, Nev., he met his wife, Henrietta (Detta) Kelly. They returned to Alaska, living in a cabin in Homer that Bob built himself. During the summer they made a living as commercial fishermen on their boat Detta D and finally settled down in Northern California, spending their summers in Alaska and their winters ski bumming at Echo Summit Ski Area, where Bob opened another ski shop named Huski Sportshop. With a family to support, Bob took a job with the Forest Service and he and his family lived in Camino, Calif. He and Detta raised two children, saw the birth of four grandchildren and one great-grandson. Bob was known for his cutting wit and sarcastic humor. Bobs mother, Gertrude Dennis, continued living in Aspen for the rest of her life. She sometimes wrote Around Aspen for The Aspen Times.Barbara Ulrych has returned from living in Kona in Hawaii, and she and her mother, Brigitta Ulrych, are back at work designing and making ladies fashions. They have added a boutique to the front of Brigittas house in Carbondale and are making their clothing in silks and velvets.Pianist Andrew Palmer Todd will be performing works by Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Chopin on Friday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Snowmass Chapel. No admission charge.Black & White is a new fund-raiser for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. Planned for Presidents Day weekend, the event begins with a Snow Pants Dance at the AVSC Clubhouse on Friday, Feb. 13, from 7 to 11 p.m. The next evening, Valentines Day, from 7 to 11 p.m. there will be a dinner and dance atop Aspen Mountain. Sunday, Feb. 15, will feature a Bob Beattie Endurance Challenge on Aspen Mountain beginning at 10 a.m., a Community Ski/Board Day on Buttermilk Mountain from noon to 4 p.m., and an aprs-ski White Out party at Bumps on Buttermilk from 4 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 925-2720, ext. 101.Miles Hill recently received a letter from the dean of the college of engineering, mathematics and science at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville. The letter stated, I want to extend my congratulations on your outstanding academic achievement for the Fall 2004 semester. By successfully completing 12 or more credits with a GPA of 4.0, you have been named to both the Deans Scholastic Honors List for our College, as well as the Chancellors List. Miles, who is the son of Judy Hill of Carbondale and John Hill of LaFarge, Wis., is earning a degree in electrical engineering with a minor in math and physics.Whitney Wood Bruce, daughter of Hap and Cindy Bruce of Basalt, has been named to the Presidents List for the 2003 fall semester at Elon University in Elon, N.C., her fifth semester in a row.Julia M. Ritchie, a 10th-grader at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., has earned High Honors for fall term. She is the daughter of Robert Ritchie of Aspen.Winter Words 2004, the Aspen Writers Foundation annual series of readings and talks with notable writers, continues Friday, Feb. 6, with award-winning poet Stephen Dunn. The presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), and tickets are $15 at the Wheeler Box Office or the door.Undercurrent … You can feel a little heat in the sunshine.