Poetry and prose, tinged with Irish accents, characterized the 29th annual Aspen Summer Words of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation June 26 through 30. The major presenter was the Bedell World Citizenship Fund, with Jameson Irish Whiskey and Alpine Bank of Aspen sponsoring special events. The Robert Gould Foundation was a grantor and partners included The Aspen Times, Aspen Public Radio, Aspen Sojourner and Tourism Ireland. All the lectures and picnics and dinner were held at the Hotel Jerome, which provided the campus for Summer Words.Special parties included a champagne brunch given by Lois and Tom Van Allen in their West Francis Street home, and a cowboy barbecue given by Tom Bedell and Milly Beattie at the Peace Ranch, up the Fryingpan River from Basalt. I took the memoir workshop with Joyce Maynard, author of her memoir “At Home in the World,” which describes, along with other life-shaping events, the year she spent living with author J.D. Salinger, author of “The Catcher In The Rye.” Several other Aspenites also took the workshop. Joyce, who also wrote “To Die For,” which was Nicole Kidman’s first movie starring role, was a great teacher. She pushed all our buttons and made us look back at all those memories.Longtime Aspen environmentalist Bob Lewis will celebrate his 84th birthday on July 14, with a reception for his biology program.Betty and Ken Moore are living in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Ken sends gems of news. He had heard from former Aspenite Karin Reid Offield and she wrote, “Santa Barbara is wonderful. I remember time spent there when Peter Vought was playing polo. I (Karin) used to compete at the Earl Warren Show Grounds every Thanksgiving. I remember Thanksgiving at Denny’s one November.” Karin is spending this summer training with her horses with six-time Olympic rider Robert Dover on Long Island, and her father, Roy Reid, will join her there to get out of Florida for the summer. Check out her website at Offieldfarms.com to read what she is doing.Pam, Keegan and Stella Doble are on holiday in Bali.History buff Jim Brasile, who works at the Aspen Post Office, put his parents up at the historic Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs during the 4th of July holidays. Jim’s parents live in California.The Third Annual International Aspen Antiques & Decorative Arts Fair will be held July 13-17 in big tents at the Buttermilk Mountain parking lot. This year the event will benefit the Aspen Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and antique dealers from around the world will have booths. A Gold Pass includes admission to the preview party on Wednesday, July 13, and admission to the fair throughout the week.
Lowell Lebermann is spending July and August in Aspen from his home in Austin, Texas.Alexander Gradow, son of George Gradow and Barbi Benton of Aspen, has been named to the spring term honor roll at Suffield Academy in Suffield, Conn. where he is a senior.An “Aspen Healthy Gourmet Fest” is something new this summer offered by the Aspen Center for Integrative Health. Participants can take a cooking class with a famous gourmet chef in either a luxurious Aspen home or the Cooking School of Aspen, and then they can attend an organic wine tasting seminar at The Little Nell Hotel. For more information or to sign up, call Molly Heyn, event coordinator at the Aspen Center for Integrative Health at 970-920-2957 ext 2.Judy Neisser has arrived from Chicago for the summer at her home on Francis Street. And Audrey and Ted Speigel are here from the Chicago area and are in their home on Pitkin Green called “The Moose is Loose.” Actually, there are many summer people arriving every day.Undercurrent … the most spectacular wildflower garden is at the intercept lot for the buses at the intersection of Highway 82 and Brush Creek Road.
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City of Aspen officials are trying to figure out what the downtown core looks like this winter as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the state and in some parts of the country.