With the recent untimely demise of veteran Ed “Mex” Pfab, in an accident at home, the Aspen Mountain patrol lost one of its beloved brethren.
A couple of vignettes: One time Ed and I partnered doing avalanche control work in the Bear Paw Glades. He kept telling me that “two Eds are better than one!” When I kicked off a foot-deep slab, it knocked me off my feet and took me for a ride. As I picked myself up, Ed casually skied over. “I had you in sight the whole time!” he assured me.
“You know the worst thing about getting killed in an avalanche?” he continued.
I confessed I had no idea.
“You lose your overtime for the whole week!”
Ed and a few other vets on the patrol were getting a little long in the tooth. This is inevitable when a bunch of ski bums land the greatest job on Earth. They don’t ever want to leave.
You obviously can’t do this job forever, but you don’t want to retire before you get in all your turns either. So it’s a conundrum. Ed was already deep into his 60s when he summed up his retirement plans: “I figure the first time I walk into the patrol room, and it goes dead silent, I’ve got five more years.”
Now he’s gone. Among his co-workers, the grief is palpable. I won’t rehash the accolades. But he was a rock. He did it all. He was the one you wanted to team up with on a bad wreck, or any other patrol job. Now may he rest in peace.
Ed Colby, New Castle
The next shortage is here, healthy eggs.
Eggs are a staple in many American diets, but there is a problem here. People who have been eating caged eggs and buying cheaper eggs have not been getting the nutrition they expected. Caged chickens lay eggs without many nutrients free-range eggs have, and may be even almost unhealthy for humans.
Colorado legislators put into law an end to caged laying chicken eggs sold in Colorado, starting on Jan, 1, 2023. Most of the bill requires farmers to meet specific space requirements per bird to give chickens an opportunity to be happy laying hens. We as citizens will benefit from healthier eggs.
This shortage is due to a couple of different reasons. Before today in Colorado, only 20% of eggs sold were cage-free. Today, producers have to demonstrate a ratio of one square foot per hen to become certified and sell eggs in Colorado.
Plus, the avian flu has shut down farms and they must raise new chickens from eggs, which usually takes six months for these chickens to begin laying eggs. This new law sets new standards which require big farmers to change their present systems and give chickens a better life.
Ultimately, citizens will be paying the price, as eggs could go to almost a dollar a piece by the end of the year. This will also have an effect on all the products we eat with eggs as part of the ingredients.
MANA Foods, which carries many sustainable products, has only carried free-range eggs since opening, with all their other organic foods. MANA Foods is aggressive in getting cage-free eggs, they have been able to secure eggs from additional farmers in our region to help make up for the increased demand, and you can expect higher prices.
Roop Khalsa, New Castle
What about Pat?
The banning of Pat Milligan, the Sandwich Board Lady, is an entirely new level, even for SkiCo. History is full of stories of the rich being clueless to the suffering they inflict on others, specifically elderly women like the Sandwich Board Lady or what Vail is doing to Daniel Herrick. Their stories highlight SkiCo and Vail’s abuse of power in our Colorado communities. Dan and Pat represent the common man among us. Pat loves her community and had a decades-long agreement with SkiCo. She’s the last one left in Colorado.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death now in America. Dan experienced the suicide of two his closest friends and moved to the mountains for solace. He was honest with his employer about his depression, his friends’ deaths and about waking up every morning wanting to kill himself. Instead of empathy when he asked to be transferred within the company, he was met with abuse from the corporation. The problem for Vail was that the abuse didn’t stop with his firing. Dan and Pat represent the marginalized in our communities and we should throw sunlight on their bannings.
Lee Mulcahy, Basalt
In honor of National Mentoring Month, I’ll shed light upon several Buddy Program (BP) offerings. Whether you’re a parent, volunteer, or community partner we hope one of the following avenues of mentorship speaks to you.
Ten years ago, I moved to the Roaring Fork Valley (RFV) and transitioned from Outward Bound instructing to teaching. I quickly observed that outdoor recreation, albeit ample in the RFV, wasn’t accessible to all per its cost. Subsequently, I began volunteering with the BP, as they offer group-mentoring programs free of charge. Through the LEAD Program, middle and high school students participate in activities including; backpacking, canyoneering, rock climbing, snowshoeing, etc.
The BP’s traditional forum of mentorship, community-based pairings, partners mentors with mentees. Over the past five years, my buddy, Sonia, and I have had the opportunity to share our hobbies, watch one another’s families grow, support each other through difficult times and celebrate each others’ successes. Having a little buddy has enriched my life immensely. I recommend this route of mentorship for anyone looking to expand their sense of connection within our community.
Peer to Peer mentoring is another facet of BP mentorship in which I’ve been involved. This program connects high school mentors with elementary mentees for afterschool activities. It’s a meaningful way for high school students to give back to their community.
If these offerings pique your interest, visit www.buddyprogram.org to learn more. We’d love to have you join our community of mentors and mentees!
Meg Ravenscraft, Carbondale
Letter policy: Please limit your letters to 500 words. We are committed to including all perspectives in The Sopris Sun. If your letter does not appear, it may be because of space limitations in the paper or because other letters we printed expressed the same idea or point of view. Letters are due by noon on the Monday before we go to print.