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From the archives of the Valley Journal, Sopris Sun and Roaring Fork Rampage

Dec. 3, 1981

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The Aspen Center for the Visual Arts was hosting the first major display of the late Frank Mechau’s work in the Valley — where he spent his boyhood and final years. Many of the pieces were on loan by his widow, Paula Mechau, who took the opportunity to share some memories of their time together. 

The couple met while they were working at Lord & Taylor’s in New York City, took a steamer to Paris for three years studying the masters and were pulled back to Colorado by the Great Depression. The New Deal brought a prestigious commission for a mural in the Post Office Building in Washington, D.C., among others — which often featured his Western Colorado homeland. He returned to Glenwood Springs for the summer of ‘37 and ended up with a holiday home in Redstone. His work kept him from living there full time, and he died young of a heart attack, leaving behind Paula and four children. “There is a plane beyond our understanding,” she said. “Within the short limit of his life he was able to fulfill his creative powers.”

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In other news… Due to the deteriorating state of the Dinkel Building, the Crystal Theatre — at the time used only occasionally for live events — was closed for at least 60 days (Bob and Kathy Ezra would resurrect it as a cinema in 1985). 

Dec. 12, 1991

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The three-time defending state champion Roaring Fork basketball girls showed that they were still a force to be reckoned with. Although the team wouldn’t take the top title in 1992, they nevertheless acquitted themselves well in the Brenda Patch Tournament, defeating Hotchkiss 80-31 before losing to top-ranked Olathe 57-48. Junior post Serena Matchael, the only returning starter, averaged more than 20 points a game, and 11 of 12 players who suited up ended up in the scoring column. 

In other news… A renegade reindeer escaped from a livestock airplane bound for Flying Deer Ranch, only to be sighted weeks later crossing the highway near Emma.

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Dec. 6, 2001

While the fledgling world of online retail was causing concern about municipal revenues (at the time, they weren’t taxed), Brent Gardner-Smith caught up with the handful of local businesses that were shipping out, rather than in. 

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Valery Moore Kelly of Marble was having some success with, featuring photographs and artwork from Rocky Mountain artists (though the site no longer appears to be active). 

Bonnie Sherwood of Redstone was finding it cheaper to run (also defunct) than her old storefront in Carbondale, but compared building a pretty website to printing a fancy brochure and not mailing it out, since she didn’t seem to appear on searches. 

And, of course, there was the matter of competition, with Wendy Anderson of the Novel Tea Shop particularly concerned about Amazon’s impacts. But, web designer Tom Perkins noted, an online presence was becoming “a mandatory thing.”

In other news… The Glenwood Meadows development was one step closer to reality after the City’s P&Z recommended approval.

Dec. 22, 2011

After initially sharing the old Town Hall building with Solar Energy International (SEI), The Roaring Fork Energy Center, Aspen Science Outreach and an array of other nonprofits, KDNK officially took over the whole building. SEI was the last neighbor out with a move to Paonia, and the radio station was in the process of buying them out. 

The process had, luckily, been spelled out when the nonprofit hub — a sort of spiritual precursor to the Third Street Center and Launchpad — was formed following the construction of a new Town Hall in the mid ‘90s.

In other news… Roaring Fork High School’s Gay Straight Alliance was gaining membership and acceptance. 

Tags: #Pages of the Past #Roaring Fork Rampage #The Sopris Sun #The Valley Journal #Will Grandbois
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