Saturday, February 28, 2015

Where Eagles Soar (A Brief History of Colorado Ski History and Genesis of My Historical Work)

     I believe the key or pivotal turning point to my story is based on the Denver Water Board purchasing the deeds to most of the town of Dillon during the depression. This allowed them to eventually force the residents out of the town for the purpose of flooding it to create the Dillion Reservoir. I liken it to the film script Chinatown. It is based on the Rape of the Owens Valley by the city of Los Angeles for their water rights. There is a deeper truth here and I have yet to uncover it. It however sets up the stage for the development of the ski areas. If it wasn't for World War II there would not be ski areas in Colorado. The Tenth Mountain Division trained at Camp Hale for their skiing troops who were responsible to spearhead an advance in Italy for the Army. It included Riva Ridge, Mt. Belvedere, and helped breach the impregnable Gothic Line in the Apennines.  It secured the Po River Valley and liberated northern Italy.
When the ski troops returned to the United States a large number migrated back to Colorado and established Arapahoe Basin that set the tone for the development of Keystone and the Valley. It laid the ground work for Ralston Purina to buy Keystone and eventually the Basin.

The growth of the Dillon valley exploded in the sixties and seventies and then massive development of the multitude of town homes appeared.

   You will find two of my short stories on the My Stories link. One is of Vail Mountain and the other is of Arapahoe Basin. White Dreams was a recipient of an Honorable Mention in a Writer's Digest writing contest. I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Power of Prayer

   There is a discourse between theologies regarding praying for material blessings. My thoughts tend to side with Joel Osteen and I believe that in life asking through positive prayer for an increase in your station in life is natural and O.K. Promises are meant to be kept so if you make a promise keep it. God promises to take care of his children and he keeps his promise. Fill your heart with love for in it lies the answers to the world. A prayer that I find particularly helpful is the prayer of Jabez.
  Dr. Bruce Wilkinson has and excellent discourse on this prayer.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10New King James Version (NKJV)

Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez,[a] saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.

   Our home appears to be closing earlier than expected and we will hopefully be heading to the Emerald City in just two weeks. Look for blogs of Aristotle along the yellow brick road. Nothing is ever certain to theT'S have been crossed an the I'S  dotted. Patience has never been my strong suit but I have learned great patience over the years. Charles R Swindoll writes at great length about Moses and his adherence to God's will for him. If you stop asserting your own will and allow God to work in your life, things just become much easier.

...when you trust the Lord God to give you the next step, when you wait in humility upon Him, *He* will open the doors or close them, and you'll get to rest and relax until He says, 'Go.
A particularly moving Song for Today given the world climate presently.
"Brothers In Arms" Dire Straits

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Ghosts They Come

They come
dark of night
proudly prancing
hooves pounding
turf billowing
upon the peripheral plains.

Doc Watson - Tennessee Stud - YouTube

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The White Bird Soars

  1. Mount Sopris
    Summit in Colorado
  2. Mount Sopris is a twin-summit mountain in the northwestern Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Wikipedia
  3. Elevation12,966' (3,952 m)
  4. First ascent1873
  5. Prominence1,434' (437 m)

   It is Indian Folklore that once you lay eyes on Mount Sopris you will never leave it. My interpretation of that folk tale is that it is so magnificent that once you see her, she will remain in your heart and mind forever. For over twenty years I would drive by Sopris in the morning on my way to Aspen. Often she would be enveloped in deep cloud cover and ominous. We would always gauge the severity of winter by the amount of snow on her sides. It was not uncommon for the snow to remain on Sopris until late June. I found great pleasure many a day in trekking up her sides and being in awe at the views. No matter where you were around Sopris, you could casually glance up and see her resplendant in her radiating glory. There is a lot that I am going to miss about Colorado, but it is time for us to move on. We are determined to pursue our next adventure and establish Symposia Living Arts. I hope you enjoy the mountain of the day. She is a real beauty. Live well, live long!

A Song about Time

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Looking Forward to Oregon In The Spring

 I'm happy this minute to be living in Colorado. The East is destroyed by snowstorms, the Pacific Northwest by rain. The days here are unseasonably warm and sunny. It has allowed for long beautiful outdoor walks and drives into the mountains. Aspen is still snowed in and the mountains have great skiing. A plumbing client of mine skinned up Buttermilk and skied down the other morning before our appointment. Great skiing with a sunshine day. I miss skiing but not the hassle of equipment and getting to the hill. Will I miss Colorado if my house and business sell? Greatly, it has always been a respite for me. A place to run to find myself. I have had some of the greatest outdoor adventures of my life in Colorado. If you have never been then you need to get a backpack and a pair of hiking shoes and come on out! You will be glad you did. The opportunities are endless here. I have worked for and performed in a Children's Theatre, had my own business, worked for ski mountains, and met and married my wife here. She was able to fly hot air balloons, become a DJ and radio personality, manage a health club and some of the nicest property in Aspen as well as get a real estate license. Life has been very good to us in the mountains.

   They say that Eugene, Oregon is where old hippies go to die! I am not even close to my death bed yet, far too many books to write and stories to tell and places to see. I have only the Pacific Northwest to explore. Do we question the rain and our ability to handle it? Yes. I suppose I will spend a large amount of time indoors writing, or building something. Don't know about our ability to withstand the cold. As nice as this winter has been I cannot do the cold anymore! Me a child of the cold and wilderness seriously thinking of the warm belts of America. Time and life sure does change your priorities.  I am no longer fooled by Fairy Tale endings because a lot of nice things turn bad out there. You cannot give in to the fear of change. It is harder the older you get but you have to push through.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mount of the Holy Cross



A memory of being in Colorado!

A View of Mount Of The Holy Cross From The Observation Deck At Vail Mountain.

Mount Holy Cross is the highest point in Eagle County. It is located in the Holy Cross Wilderness of the White River National Forest and is a part of the Sawatch Range. It is 14,011 ft high. The most distinctive feature is what gave it it's name. Depending on the snowfall of the winter a large white Cross develops on its slope. I would rate it a moderate climb. There is an excellent book named Colorado's Fourteeners that lists all of Colorado 52 Fourteeners. It is invaluable to anyone interested in climbing any of the mountains.

On Becoming A Historian

   The picture I have of a historian is Doris Kearns Goodwin, me not so much. I don't think I ever consciously set out to be a historian or a historical writer. Yes, I have always written poetry ever since I can remember. I think my very first poem had something to do with Curious George and the Library in Albany, New York that my grandparents would take me to. I was just a rambling youth when I first made my way into to Colorado to ski the mountains. I just wanted a few powder turns on some steep and deep and that was the simple truth. So I wintered there with some friends of mine and had the chance to ski often. During that time I developed a great fondness and admiration for the owner of the mountain and his nephew. I thought the owner was what I would call a cliche, he was literally a mountain of a man. Someone I looked up to and admired greatly. As all things go in seasonal endeavors that season ended and every one moved on. I went to Florida to visit my little sister and then was called home to Albany as my father hurt his back and needed me to run the family Plumbing and Heating Business. I remember sitting on the Tarmac in the Airport in Washington D.C. and it was raining. I was on my way back to the real work world. My fondness for Arapahoe Basin and the family business that ran it was great. I was a Plumbing and Heating Contractor and that was that. To make a long story short, I returned to New York did the right thing a good son does and forgot about writing the History of Arapahoe Basin. Easy, right? Not so, something bothered me about it. Something had transpired and I couldn't verbalize it or put my finger on it. It drove me crazy. All of this is just the thought process to bring out the historian in me. You see, the same duty that made me run my family business now makes me understand that I must become a Historian and in the process write the story of A-Basin and Joe Jankovsky, the Mountain of a Man.
   Begin at the beginning, I couldn't grasp the concept. I know in Centennial, James Michener writes about the formation of Colorado from the beginning of time. Do I really think that I have the ability to go up against someone like him in my writing? The answer to me is to simply write it out. It is a process to become a Historian and the trick is to enjoy the process and journey. It doesn't matter how long it takes the answer is in the journey and the journey will reveal the truth I am searching for. It is one thing to talk about doing something. The real moxy is in actually doing it. Here is where I raise my non-existent glass and say, " I'll drink to that."

A Song very close to my heart.  "Where Do The Children Play" Cat Stevens