St. Pat’s Dinner |

St. Pat’s Dinner

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

One of Aspen’s happiest traditions is the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Hundreds of townspeople and visitors turn out for the old-fashioned meal of beef and pork with gravy, yummy mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw … and a variety of desserts. So many volunteers cook, wash dishes and serve, and everybody is so glad to see each other. The dinner has been held since 1887 and is the oldest event in Aspen.For 14 years another group of Aspenites has held a St. Patrick’s Day party at the Mountain Chalet conference room. Hosts included Sylvia Balcom, George Benkendorf, Tom Bennie, Jerry Elder, Gloria Henze, Judy Hines, John Keith, Sandra Murray, Lily Niles, Bill Pope, Linda Rocha, Phyllis Satz, Steve Tabias and Bill Wilkerson. Some Aspen bon vivants held their annual Wine Party weekend in mid-March. The Wine Party ski day was held at Blondie’s Cabin on the Silver Bell ski trail on Aspen Mountain. The hosts included Peter Belsky, Bill Bindley, Don Crawford, Jack Crawford, Zander Kaspar, Walter Glass, Reuben L. Hedlund, Jack Cronin, Sid Hendricks, Ron Krajian, Stephen Nardi, W.T. Ray, Jim Riley, Ed Peterson, Gene Reardon and Michael Wilkie. The next evening Jack Crawford and Gene Reardon hosted “A Taste of the Alps,” a mountaintop gourmet dinner and dance at the Top of the Knob at Snowmass Ski area, with everyone skiing down under a full moon. On the invitation cover this year for the Wine Party was a photo of Gene skiing under the signs for Roch Run and Gene Reardon’s Run. Bon vivant Gene originated some of Aspen’s and the world’s classic social gatherings.Polly Ross spent the entire month of February driving around south central British Columbia and skiing. While there, she visited 35-year-local Dieter Grieser, his wife, Uli, and their 13-year-old daughter, Stefanie, who grew up in Aspen until Dieter retired and moved the family to Kelowna, British Columbia, in June 1999. Polly reports they have a wonderful house overlooking Okaragan Lake. And Polly got to watch Stefi race in the Provincials in Fernie, B.C. In Aspen, Dieter worked at the Red Onion, Abetone’s and Aspen Wine and Spirit Co. He also taught skiing.The off-season won’t be completely dull because there will be “May Madness,” a dinner and dancing party at the St. Regis that is held by the Aspen Education Foundation as a benefit for the Aspen Public Schools. The event is planned for Saturday, May 3, and reservations are being taken at (970) 925-3760 ext. 3228. Co-chairmen for the party are Noelle Hernandez and Donnie Ryan.Katie Foran, a senior at Aspen High School, has been accepted into the Norlin Scholars program at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Katie is one of 30 freshmen accepted from 400 talented, high-achieving applicants. Each Norlin Scholar receives a merit-based award of $2,000 per year. Earlier this year Katie was recognized as a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, writes for the Aspen High School newspaper and has been an active participant in theater and dance with the Aspen Community Theatre, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and the recent Aspen High School musical, “Kiss Me Kate.”The winter term honor roll at Suffield Academy in Suffield, Conn., has been announced and includes sophomore Alexander Gradow, the son of Barbi Benton and George Gradow of Aspen, and senior Katherine Hoffmaster, the daughter of Casey and Tom Hoffmaster of Aspen.Stella Nordhagen, daughter of Martin and Judith Henn Nordhagen of Snowmass Village, has been named a College Scholar for academic excellence during the fall term at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt.Mark this date: On Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. until noon, the Aspen Community Church, located at 200 E. Bleeker St., is holding a rummage sale. Clothing, toys, sporting goods, kitchen items, furniture and other household items will be sold. The sale will raise money to support the church, which hosts over 500 community meetings every year, in addition to church programs. Donations will be accepted at the church from late March to April 1. For large items such as furniture, call Liz Collier at 544-2318.A recent article in The New York Times had the headline “Skiing’s Just the Start,” and told how for wealthy resort-goers, a ski instructor can be much more: companion, confidant and social networker. The article focused on ski instructors Paul Wade, Michael Pettit, and John Phillips, who have clients return year after year. The rewards reaped by elite instructors go way beyond receiving generous tips or being taken out to dinner. Their grateful pupils, who sometimes become good friends, invite them on trips, offer them access to their private jets, vacation homes and yachts, give them cars and stock in their corporations.The article describes one of the wealthy people who comes to Aspen to ski. “He lives in Paris and skis in the French and Swiss Alps, but he has been coming to Aspen, the jewel of American ski resorts, for 15 years. A financial prodigy who made his first million long ago, he checks into a suite of rooms at the Little Nell Hotel during Christmas week and again later in the season, accompanied by three secretaries, six computers, two fax machines, and one wife.” He is one of Paul Wade’s ski students.The April 2003 issue of Town and Country magazine includes a photo of part-time Aspen residents Evelyn and Leonard Lauder attending the Black White & Whitney gala for New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art. Leonard is museum chairman.The April 2003 issue of Cowboys and Indians magazine features Juniper Lodge, a new log home built in Wildcat Ranch (the former livestock ranch that was developed into an exclusive residential enclave by actor Michael Douglas). Douglas and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, have a seasonal getaway in Wildcat.Amy and Sean Nevin announce the birth of a daughter, Isabella Louise Nevin, on March 3 in Aspen Valley Hospital.Undercurrent … the catkins are out on the aspen trees.

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