Letter: Something about Mary
On Thursday, my dear pal Mary Hayes passed on. Mary was writing the society column for The Aspen Times the day I rolled into town and was still writing it the day I rolled out 40-something years later.
In the early years, there was no “society” in Aspen. The rich were there, and the famous were there, but it was Times editor and publisher Bil Dunaway’s policy to leave them alone and let them have their privacy. The entire community reflected that policy, and people didn’t make a fuss over them.
In return, they treated everyone as equals; waiters and lift loaders were treated with courtesy and respect and rubbed shoulders with the celebrities in the saloons and at private parties without giving it a second thought. This made for an odd “society” column — it was more of a parody of a society column.
Mary left the celebrities alone and took pictures of the regular folk. If you threw a few burgers on the grill for your friends and invited Mary, she had that week’s column. Of course, it couldn’t last, and Aspen society became stratified like the real world. Mary became what she beheld. She ended up going to the most exclusive highfalutin affairs and taking pictures of rich egos who craved the attention.
I asked her how she kept her food down at those things, and she told me, “I don’t eat much.” Once, while wheedling for a raise, an editor at the Times told me that I was already the second-highest-paid columnist at the paper behind Mary. I gave him a hard look and asked him what was up with that. He explained that advertisers actually wanted to be on the same page as Mary’s column.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
We live comfortable lives. The standard of living today for even the poorest in America is better than the richest Americans just over 100 years ago. Even people like Carnegie and Rockefeller, despite their vast…