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Only one emotion: gratitude

Lynne Pfrimmer Mace

“But, Lynne, what about you, Isabel and Stuart’s legacy of art that is the Toklat Gallery?” In the last 24 hours, since the publication of the article in The Aspen Times concerning ACES’ acquisition of Toklat, I have been rocked by the love and concern expressed to my mother and myself. And so herewith the answers to that question.

In addition to ACES’ extremely generous payment of $150,000 to my mother for the purchase of the remainder of her life estate, ACES has not only agreed to allow us one year from the date of closing to relocate ourselves and the gallery, but they also have agreed to begin the mandatory replacement of the septic system this spring (before they take possession) so that we may remain in business.

This summer and into the fall, for our 55th season, Toklat will be open for business as usual: Mace family hospitality, beautiful art, Dexter’s unconditional love, and the cookouts which are an unbroken tradition about which the Cattos speak so fondly.

In addition, there will be a summer-long celebration of the life of Isabel Mace who will be 86 this September. We will be having “Sunday Brunch with Isabel” each week and I shall be flipping sourdough pancakes (using a starter Isabel has kept alive for almost 60 years) on the terrace griddle.

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There will be tape recorders and sharpened pencils to record tall tales and fond memories. Our goal is to welcome as many old friends as possible to a place that has touched them deeply, to give them the time and space to linger, reminisce and say goodbye. Then we shall steal away in the dark of the night!

Well, not really. We have been searching diligently for the last six months for a suitable place to relocate in the area. We have found an awesome place – on the banks of a river – just like Toklat. But with that titillating tidbit I must stop as no contracts have been signed. Our goal is to have relocated long before our May 24, 2005, deadline.

The Aspen Times article speaks of the “emotional issue.” There is only one emotion: gratitude. Shortly after my father died in 1993, ACES made an attempt but was not able to acquire Toklat. For 10 long years my mother and I have hung on against some almost impossible odds and challenges until ACES could once again turn its attention to Toklat. In the meantime we were not idle.

Since 1993, Toklat has housed ACES’ naturalists, supported and sponsored ACES’ programs, nature hikes and snowshoe lunches, and we have kept constant watch over “our” beloved ghost town. Most important of all, however, is the unbroken fierce advocacy of the continued conservation, restoration and preservation of the upper Castle Creek Valley.

With grit, grace and gratitude, Isabel and I shall leave knowing Toklat is in good hands. To ACES, the Catto family and all other donors, we wish you many blessings.


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