Letters: Kudos and Kindness | AspenTimes.com

Letters: Kudos and Kindness

The rest is history

The Aspen Historical Society just concluded a successful winter season of Time Travel Tuesdays. For eight weeks, we assembled panels of locals to discuss the ways that residents of the Roaring Fork Valley create careers out of what other people travel here to do for fun: “Vacations to Vocations.” Thanks to all who attended!

Thanks also to all of our panel participants — the photographers, ski instructors, adventure guides, cyclists, fishermen, fitness pros, equestrians and wine-and-foodies — who shared their stories, enthusiasm and expertise with our hundreds of attendees. We learned a lot of fun facts along the way:

• A prominent sommelier in the valley once paid the bills by hustling pool.

• A well-known fishing guide used to spend hours schlepping his boat down to the bottom of the Black Canyon on his back (until he figured out a horse could do it).

• A high-level ski pro entered his first ski race before even learning how to ski.

• A bike-shop owner in the valley sailed in the America’s Cup before moving back to the mountains.

It seems our journeys to happiness and careers converge along many different paths. If you missed any of these fascinating stories, we have copies of the DVDs, or just come into our archives to watch it here.

A big thanks to Aspen Skiing Co. for offering great venues and to the staffs of Bumps and the Limelight Hotel, without whose help and professionalism we could not have succeeded. The sense of community created from hearing these wonderful stories of discovery and accomplishment throughout our valley’s history is really what we have to be thankful for, and it’s one of the reasons we all live here.

Mike Monroney

History coach, Aspen Historical Society

Congratulations on Basalt High School musical

I wish to extend congratulations to the Basalt High School students who performed the musical “Children of Eden” so excellently. Under the direction of Michael Schope, choreographer and director; Paul Dankers, musical director; and Katie Hone Wiltgen, high school choral director, these students gave their all for three staged performances and one concert version. How wonderful that there are such talented, nurturing directors as these to guide students to such heights. From the above-mentioned as well as the musicians, set designers, wardrobe and anyone involved with the production: Bravo, and thank you for sharing your talents with us, the audience.

Deborah Barnekow

Independent musician

An act of generosity for financial education

Reese Henry’s generosity allowed me and seven other high school juniors and seniors to go on the Aspen High School business trip for one week in New York City. We visited financial markets, start-up companies, news programs-studios and exchanges. We explored private-equity companies and startup co-ops and paid our respects at ground zero. We met CEOs and CFOs and had dinner with former Aspen High School graduates.

It was incredibly inspiring to meet one on one with fascinating individuals who are both successful and passionate about their work. The trip really got me excited about potential careers and life after high school and college.

I also want to thank Aspen High School Principal Kim Martin and International Baccalaureate business teacher Chris Bonadies for chaperoning the trip. They planned out an amazing adventure, which was not only educational but also a lot of fun.

I am extremely grateful that I was fortunate enough to have had this opportunity and again thank Reese Henry.

Matthew K. Ferguson


Aspen Recreation Center shows hospitality to first-graders

I am currently teaching first grade at Aspen Elementary School. Teaching children to read is one of my primary goals. Because we know that children who read at home are much more likely to become skilled and enthusiastic readers, the first-grade teachers conduct an annual reading incentive for our children.

This year, my class went to the Aspen Recreation Center for an afternoon of ice skating as part of its “100 Books in 100 Days Reading Challenge” reward. Dominic Lanese, the rink coordinator, graciously gave my class complimentary ice-skate rentals and ice time on Thursday afternoon. The children had such fun! They felt very honored that the rec-center staff would give them such a special incentive.

We feel so lucky to have such strong community support for our children. Thank you so very much!

Mary Owens

Teacher, Aspen Elementary School

Coach Ketchum: A class act

The class of 2010 wants to acknowledge and thank coach Steve Ketchum for not only his relentless pursuit to make us a state-championship-contending team but also his dedication to making us better friends, brothers, sons and role models among our peers and in the community. Day in and day out, coach Ketchum has been at Aspen High School not only as the men’s basketball coach but also as someone you could look to for a word of advice or simply to have a laugh with. He was a determined man who challenged us emotionally and physically to be better than we ever thought we could be.

He did an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes unnoticed, and because of it, he transformed us into a winning basketball team. His passion for being a role model, father, husband, friend and coach goes unmatched, and I want to thank and congratulate coach Ketchum on his decision. We all hope to see you back soon!

Walker Moriarty

Class of 2010, Aspen High School