Enlightening and energizing talks by leading Western writers highlighted the 2006 Aspen Summer Words Literary Festival, which was titled “Voices of the West: Crossing the Great Divide.” Held at The Gant, the festival lasted six days and included workshops by noted writers as well as the talks. Aspiring writers from all over the country (two from Alaska) and from the Roaring Fork Valley attended, some to participate in workshops and some to hear the inspiring talks.Just some of the things I heard:”The West is undergoing dramatic growth and changes.””Many people are nostalgic for the Old West … but the cure for this nostalgia would be the smell of an 1800s mining camp.””Change is slower in places of small population.””Water is the key in the West.””The growth machine is in charge. Growth is with the developers. The Forest Service and Parks are underfunded … and run by politicians.””The world is in a crisis now with global warming. Humankind is at a turning point.””The essence of the West is open space.””One-third of Aspen’s Mexicans have left because of the recent raids.”News of Aspen college students: William Hyman, son of Barbara Reid and David Hyman, earned a major in religion from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. He is a graduate of Aspen High School.Victoria Work, a sophomore at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, has been named to the dean’s list for academic achievement during spring semester. She is majoring in biology with a concentration in cell and molecular biology/biochemistry. She attended Aspen High School and is the daughter of Horace and Stephanie Work of Snowmass Village.Louisa Berky of Woody Creek has been chosen to be a junior advisor for the incoming class of 2010 at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. Junior advisors live with first-year students and serve as informal mentors to them during the year. They are known for their dedication to helping others succeed.
Anna Rebecca Anderson of Carbondale graduated in May with a bachelor of science degree in English from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She was a member of the women’s varsity track team and was a junior advisor. A 2002 graduate of Colorado Rocky Mountain School, she is the daughter of Robert E. and Sue Bartow Anderson.Julia Ritchie, daughter of Robert Ritchie of Aspen, graduated in June with honors from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H.An article in the Du Quoin, Ill., newspaper reports that the late William R. “Bill” Hayes was inducted July 2 into the Immortals of Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in historic Goshen, N.Y. Goshen was home to the Hambletonian harness race before it was wrested from the East Coast by the Du Quoin State Fair, which was established by Bill’s grandfather, Will Hayes. Will Hayes also founded Hayes Fair Acres, where Bill Hayes continued the tradition of breeding and racing successful race horses. The Hayes family owned the southern Illinois Coca-Cola franchise and upon the untimely death of his father and uncle, Bill Hayes stepped up to become company president. He also assumed the role of president of the Du Quoin State Fair. Bill Hayes retired to Aspen in 1979 after the sale of the Fair. He died from cancer in 1998.
Longtime Aspenite (now living in Denver) Jessie Morss celebrated her birthday on July 11 with a family reunion in Nova Scotia. Nancy Pfister also celebrated her birthday this month, and she is moving to Santa Fe, N.M. Her father, Art Pfister, turns 96 in August.Kathy (Weiss) and Dick Stephenson held their equestrian exhibition and barn dance party last weekend at their Crystal Springs Ranch in Carbondale.Undercurrent … Every morning at 7:30 during the Summer Words Festival I walked from my home on East Bleeker Street over to The Gant, where the festival was held. At that time of day Aspen is fresh and lovely, with all the flowers blooming in shop window boxes and plots around trees in the mall. There is nobody on the streets except workers hosing off the sidewalks, and the sun slants in from the east, over Independence Pass.
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A temporary program to help wildfire mitigation efforts across the West could become permanent under new legislation introduced by Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Joe Neguse.