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One proud parade

Dear Editor:Last Friday afternoon, 3 March, Midland Avenue in Basalt was the parade route honoring our 2006 Olympic Games boardercross hometown hero, Jason Smith, who just returned from Torino, Italy.The scene was from a Norman Rockwell painting, with the avenue lined with citizens young and old proudly waving American flags as Jason rode in an open-air convertible, waving to the crowd on a sunny afternoon. Thanks to all who turned out.We want to thank the Basalt Town Council and Mayor Leroy Duroux for his proclamation in honor of Jason. Town Manager Bill Efting ensured that patriotic American flags were posted on light poles along the parade route. Karen Hubert of the Basalt town staff went beyond the call of duty in publicity and press coordination matters. Special thanks to Steve Nelson and Glenwood Springs Ford for providing the sharp blue convertible. Lee Hendricks was our convertible driver, and his wife, Jeanne, was our cheerleader, passing out handheld American flags to the crowd. Thanks to Police Chief Keith Ikeda for providing the red light escort and Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson and Jerry Peetz for the yellow fire engine. Also, to Rick Ballentine, Jason’s uncle, who drove the red Aspen fire truck. Special thanks to Sue and Susan at Susan’s Floral in Basalt, Bo Bohan, Sarah Cuccia, Tom Munn and Eric Smith for help in parade coordination. Fred Durham, manager of Town Center Booksellers, was most generous in allowing Jason to sign autographs in the bookstore lobby. Jason has now left Basalt for further World Cup competition in Lake Placid and Japan. We wish you well, Jason. Thanks for representing Basalt and the United States of America!Dick Merritt, parade chairmanBasalt


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