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Richards: Lots of Aspen memories

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Thank you for posting my letter. It was an honor to see my thoughts about Ed Pfab in The Aspen Times.

There is one important fact that I forgot to add that would help to identify who I am. I am the author of the book Ski Pioneers: Ernie Blake, His Friends and the Making of Taos Ski Valley. This is pertinent because, although Ski Pioneers centers around Ernie Blake and Taos Ski Valley, there are many references to and interviews in Ski Pioneers with some of the main characters that made up Aspen’s beginnings and skiing in the West, in general.

In the early days of skiing in America, it seemed everyone sort of knew everyone. Ernie knew Friedl Pfeifer from Sun Valley, and he was good friends with Darcy Brown, who was one of the original investors in the Aspen Ski Co. 



When I think of Aspen’s skiing history, I think of Mary Eshbaugh Hayes’s award-winning book The Story of Aspen. When I think of The Aspen Times, I think of Hayes, who started her career in 1952 and was for years an award-winning writer and photographer for the paper; then, she became editor. I cherished the few times Mary rode with me in my truck and bounced along on the treacherous, magnificent mountain road to Montezuma Basin. She’d tell me stories, climb around on the snow field, admire Castle Peak, take some pictures, then she’d write an article about Montezuma Basin and my racing camps. 

Today, I dusted off my copy of The Story of Aspen, opened it up, and started rereading bits and pieces and looking at some of the old photos of the people who made Aspen, Aspen. Their pictures, their stories are what made the soul of Aspen. The Aspen Valley is a magical place — one of the most beautiful places in the world. The characters who made the history are long gone, but I hope some of the soul of what they made still exists.




Rick Richards

Taos, New Mexico