Daily Archives: July 12, 2019

dance_featured

Just Dance

Innovative performances. World premieres. Extraordinary debuts. More than 150 dancers, musicians, composers and choreographers creating 11 performances. Numerous public events celebrating dance and music. This is what we can expect from the 31st season of the Vail Dance Festival (VDF). A spectacular event, under the artistic direction of Damian Woetzel, that is world-renowned.

A retired principal dance with the New York City Ballet, Woetzel, now president of The Juilliard School, was named artistic director of the Festival in 2007, and soon established the event as a place to see both major dance stars and up-and-coming-performers.

“Breathing the Rocky Mountain air, we seem to let go of rules,” says Woetzel. “Bringing together so many distinct voices sets the scene for some highly creative craziness.”

And, certainly, each performance at the VDF will be a unique experience, beginning with an opening night that will feature New York City Ballet principal dancer, Festival Artist-In- Residence Lauren Lovette, a preview appearance by the Cuban contemporary powerhouse Malpaso Dance Company and artists from the American Ballet Theatre. George Balanchine’s Serenade, performed by Colorado Ballet with guest artists from the New York City Ballet and music by the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, will conclude the evening.

What follows are ten more days of celebrating an array of talented performers collaborating in a mélange of dance styles that will leave the audience wanting more.

Lovette’s reign as festival Artist-In-Residence will have her taking on roles, not only as a dancer, but as choreographer of a new ballet for the NOW: Premieres performance, and starring in a new work choreographed by Hope Boykin to the music of the Festival’s Leonard Bernstein Composer-In-Residence Caroline Shaw. Lovette will also teach master classes and participate in community activities.

“I am always looking for options that yield something unexpected,” Woetzel once told the New York Times. “What I really crave is to get into these unique venues and make something that really hasn’t been done before, where people are without a net, and you have no idea what is going to happen.” And, this season’s festival exemplifies Woetzel’s philosophy with the UpClose performance mesmerizing the audience.

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Titled JUST Dances, the production will explore the powerful relation of dance to the world we live in; focusing on how movement can create social impact. M.A.I. (Movement Art Is) cofounders Lil Buck and Jon Boogz, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer and choreographer Hope Boykin and Lovette will perform in this rehearsal-style performance, which has become an audience favorite.

Actually, every performance presented at the festival is an audience favorite because of the uniqueness each possesses — such as having Memphis jooker Lil Buck collaborate with a classical ballet dancer. For instance, NOW: Premieres will feature new works and collaborations by a select group of adventurous voices in dance and music, including Lovette, Shaw and New York Ballet principal dancer and choreographer Tiler Peck.

Each night of the Vail Dance Festival is an absolute celebration! The American Ballet Theatre returns to Vail, with special guests, to celebrate its heritage and future with masterworks from its repertory. Philadelphia’s BalletX, a festival favorite, returns to present its first full-length story ballet, The Little Prince. Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company will make its debut, featuring works expressly made for the troupe by noted choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Sonja Tayeh. And, the legendary Martha Graham Dance Company will present a program of classics and new works, featuring the Graham Masterpiece Appalachian Spring, set to the iconic Aaron Copland score, performed by the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra.

And then there are the International Evenings of Dance (IED) I and II, when a brilliant cast of dancers from around the world takes the stage in these signature festival performances. The IED II performance, showcasing dancers from Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet and the New York City Ballet, will feature a world premiere from legendary choreographer Alonzo King, with an original score by jazz pianist, composer and performance artist Jason Moran.

Of course, the specially priced Dance for $20.19, when guest artists and companies come together with their fans to celebrate their love of dance, is always a special evening. The joy it brings so many people, of all ages, is palpable.

Closing night’s festivities will feature Ballet Hispánico, returning to Vail with a new program for that evening. As well, a post-performance on-stage fiesta with a live salsa band — for all — will be celebrated.

As Connie Flach, a dancer with the Grand Rapids Ballet company once told Dance Magazine, “The moments dancers create onstage are fleeting: That is precisely what makes them treasures. The combination of factors that come together to create a show can never be recreated again — there are too many variables. Therefore, every single viewer leaves with a party favor. They get to hold on to their specific perspective of that evening’s unique experience” And the Vail Dance Festival is truly a unique experience.

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Dazzling Debuts

Eighteenth-century German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, best-known for his poetic drama, Faust, described string quartet music as “four rational people conversing.” Essentially, the “conversation” begins when one instrument introduces a melody or motif and then the other instruments subsequently “respond” with a similar motif. It’s a thread that, over the years, has been woven through the history of chamber music.

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Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin

From its origin, chamber music has been composed for a small group of instruments — traditionally, a group that could fit in, say, a palace chamber of a large sitting room. In fact, for more than 100 years the music was primarily played by amateur musicians in their homes and was sometimes described as “the music of friends.” This summer, the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin, alongside celebrated violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, will make its North American debut at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

The ensembles, friendly music rivals, were first united in 2005 when Sir Simon Rattle, then the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, wished to conduct a common concert of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras for his 50th birthday. The collaboration was so positive, it continues today and out of this idea, the combined chamber orchestra ensemble was born.

And this Bravo! season opener, truly a landmark event which will showcase the musical and technical prowess of some of Europe’s finest musicians, will be made even more exceptional with the appearance of master violinist, Mutter.

“To present the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin in its North American debut is a singular opportunity for Bravo! Vail. That this occasion marks the Vail debut of the great violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter performing all five of Mozart’s violin concertos is thrilling,” says Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott. “We are so excited to be a home for this compelling musical partnership and to introduce them to our exceptional audience and setting.”

Mutter has built a career on her signature, colorful sound and magnetic stage presence, being described by The New York Times as a violinist with “rich tone and flamboyant expressiveness.” She is universally considered to be one of the greatest violinists of modern times, her artistry embracing everything from tone richness and unsurpassed technical virtuosity to remarkable expression and soul-stirring musicianship.”

Born in West Germany in 1963, Mutter first wanted to play the violin after listening to an album of the Mendelssohn and Beethoven violin concertos that her parents had given to each other as an engagement present. At the age of 13 she was invited by the conductor Herbert von Karajan to play with the Berlin Philharmonic. They worked together until his death in 1989. “He knew just how far he could push a young musician and also the orchestra,” Mutter once told an interviewer. “He would always push you to the edge of what you could comprehend at that very moment; what you were physically able to bring to the performance.”

And Mutter is sure to bring outstanding virtuosity to her performance with the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin when she makes her debut at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival on June 20 where she will play a program of Mozart pieces including Violin Concerto No. 2, Violin Concerto No. 3 and Violin Concerto No. 5. The following evening, the orchestra’s performance will include Divertimento for Oboe, Two Horns and String, Violin Concerto No.1, Symphony No. 1 and Violin Concerto No. 4.

The chamber orchestra, along with the performance of Mutter is just the beginning of what will be a landmark season for Bravo! Vail as, in addition to the performances of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, the festival will present Puccini’s, Tosca, “A Premiere Opera Production,” with stage direction by James Alexander and music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting. The production will be set in the 1800s and the opera will showcase an all-star cast.

“I never imagined when I became Artistic Director in 2010 that Bravo! Vail would be mounting this unique production of Tosca with the amazing Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and director James Alexander. It is both humbling and inspiring that the Bravo! community has so generously embraced this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring opera to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater at the highest artistic level,” shared McDermott in a press release.

The Bravo! Vail Music Festival has long been considered one of the most important classical music festivals in the United States. It brings weeks of magnificent music that seemingly flows through our magical valley.

At once, the birdsongs are more melodic, the tree branches sway rhythmically and all is well in our world.

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Walking Among The Art

Head toward the covered bridge in Vail Village and you inevitably pass a white-clad soldier, frozen mid-step with skis over one shoulder and goggles covering his eyes. The 13-feet-tall bronze statue with his Army-issued gear honors those 10th Mountain Division ski soldiers, both alive and dead, who trained at Camp Hale, south of Vail, during World War II. Created by Scott Stearman and Victor Issa, 10th Mountain Division Memorial is just one of almost 50 carefully curated pieces of Vail’s public art from East Vail to West Vail’s Vail Ridge. The Town of Vail’s Art In Public Places (AIPP) program was officially adopted in 1992 to “promote and encourage the development and public awareness of fine arts.” Pieces range from murals to bronze figures to more modern work — even playgrounds. And while it’s easy to stumble upon some of Vail’s public art, the best way to explore is with an Art Walk, a free guided tour throughout Vail Village.

Starting at the Vail Village Welcome Center, Molly Eppard, the AIPP coordinator, points out a new addition to the collection. Red Eddy, (2015) by Paul Vexler, hangs above the welcome center desk. One of the few indoor pieces, this commissioned work is made of Douglas Fir and red laminate. Most of the public art in Vail is made of more durable material — stone, bronze, iron — to help it survive the elements. With its wooden structure and graceful lines, Red Eddy is a wonderful introduction to the collection.

“It just fit the space,” Eppard says. “I think it’s a lyrical interpretation of nature without being literal.”

Move down the stairs and, at the bus stop, you’ll find the earliest public art installation in Vail: History of the Gore Valley, a ceramic tile mural. Children from the Gore Valley, including local Olympians Sarah Schlepper and Toby Dawson, created the artwork on the tiles, painting local life over the past couple centuries, from the Ute Indians to the early settlers to the 10th Mountain Division. Many people walk past this mural daily and are unaware of the history of the piece — see if you can spot the Gore Creek shark the next time you’re waiting for the bus.

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Walk toward the covered bridge (be sure to wave at the soldier) and, after crossing Gore Creek, head towards Gondola One. There is plenty of art along the way, including the dancing fountains and even the Pirate Ship Park, created by Ty Gillespie and the Town of Vail Design Team — it’s a wonderful example of experiential art.

But not all of the art in town was commissioned or donated by the town. At the base of Gondola One is The Edge, by Gail Folwell (2008). This bronze sculpture, depicting a skier seemingly defying gravity, is inspired by Bode Miller and was commissioned by Vail Resorts. Though not found on the Art In Public Places walking map, it’s easy to find when strolling through town.

Meander down Wall Street and take a close look at the stones of the water feature. See the mouse hidden there? Integrated among the stones are Animal Stones, (2004) pieces from Colorado- based Carolyn Braaksma. Now glance down at your feet — Braaksma also created the Riddles (2004) just waiting to be solved. These clever plays-on-words reference places and things that are part of Vail: a map of China + a bowl (China Bowl); a tent, – h, a mountain and a division sign (10th Mountain Division).

Vail’s Art In Public Places is a mix of commissioned works, like the Vexler piece in the welcome center, and donated pieces. One of the newest donated pieces in the collection is installed on a west-facing concrete wall of Vail Village’s main parking structure. Kent and Vicki Logan donated the conceptual masterwork by artist Lawrence Weiner, one of the foremost conceptual artists of the 1960s who introduced text as art. The phrase, “to the extent of how deep the valley is at some given time” (2018) is rendered in giant metal letters in Blue Pantone 229.

“It is an incredibly generous donation of art from Vicki and Kent Logan’s renowned contemporary collection,” Eppard says. “They felt it was fitting for this work by Lawrence Weiner to remain in Vail given the context and message of the work. We are extremely fortunate to have an artist of this caliber in our public art collection.” The collection of art in Vail continues to grow with new artists contributing pieces that provide color, energy and interest to the town. In late June 2019, international muralist and Colorado native Kelsey Montague will create a piece on the western ground entrance of Vail Village parking structure. Known for her elaborate wings and other interactive installations, Eppard says she’s excited to see “what lifts” Montague in Vail.

So take a stroll with an Art In Public Places tour or on your own with a map in hand. Discovering the spectrum of work on display in Vail, from the playful Children’s Fountain to the Variation in Silver and White at Lionshead Transportation Center, is one of the most colorful and inspiring ways to experience the valley.

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And all that jazz

For 25 years the Vail Jazz Foundation (VJF) led by founder Howard Stone and his wife, Cathy, has brought those “sudden smiles” and a stream of of exceptional music to our valley. And this summer is no exception — with more than 85 concerts in the course of 65 days, almost every jazz genre will be performed by ingenious musicians!

“We’re going to make it the best party we can — all summer long,” says James Kenly, newly appointed executive director of the VJF. And he’s got a fresh plan to grow and develop the now-iconic festival. With the help of director of development Amanda Blevins, marketing manager Chris LeBoeuf and the rest of the team, their new ideas will make for a unique and transformative time in the history of Vail Jazz. And, with the countless relationships Stone has nurtured over the course of his career Kenly certainly has a large platform from which to begin the next chapter of the foundation.

To honor the Stones’ quarter-of-a-century contribution to culture in the valley and jazz music as an industry, Kenley has carefully curated this season’s lineup to be distinct from years past, while keeping in line with Howard Stone’s vision. This will include free as well as ticketed performances, featuring world- class performers and artists from numerous countries and “spanning the jazz world from swing to salsa and from the American Songbook to straight ahead.” In fact, some of the biggest names in jazz today, hailing from across the globe, will be featured.

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And, Vail’s Fourth of July parade is no exception, when some members of the Fernando Pullum Orchestra will be rockin’ out on the Alpine Bank/Vail Jazz float. The 25-student orchestra, which is traveling here on busses provided by the VJF, is from the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center in Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization. Its mission to provide quality performing arts instruction to at-risk youth, helping to boost their self-esteem, develop civic responsibility and achieve academic success.

After the parade, the orchestra will perform a free, hour-long concert at the tent in Lionshead Village. “The goal is that when everybody funnels into Lionshead after the parade, the students will perform for an hour to 90 minutes,” explains Kenly. “And then, that evening, we’re bringing back Marcia Ball, who will perform a program called The Red, The Whites and The Blues in the tent at Vail Square.”

As usual, this incredible summer of jazz culminates on Labor Day Weekend with the Vail Jazz Party, which has been described as “a five-day musical extravaganza,” complete with “wall-to-wall indoor and outdoor shows, bringing dozens of the world’s jazz stars together.”

And this year it will be so again — with performances from more than 70 jazz artists, including Grammy Award-winning John Clayton, Byron Stripling and Lewis Nash, to name a few. As for the pièce de résistance — the Gospel Prayer Meetin’ that takes place on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend? This year — for the first time — it’s going to be held at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, so plan for a joyous morning. As Kenly says, it’s going to be the “best party yet,” and you can believe that Cathy and Howard Stone will be celebrating the entire summer. Their “baby” is all grown up — and the Stones are very proud parents — as well they should mag be!

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Colorado River Ranch

Contrary to popular belief, no one tames the Wild West we can only learn to live in harmony with Mother Nature as she graes us with her bounty, entrances us with her beauty and humbles us with her power. The early homesteaders were seeking to do just that — some succeeded, many failed. But the pioneering spirit that drove those first ranchers and farmers is still alive and thriving in today’s Colorado Rocky Mountains.

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For many modern ranchers in Eagle County this has been a way of life for generations. They have followed their roots in the grueling lifestyle of true ranchers and real cowboys who made these rugged mountains a place to call home. Some of the newcomers to the ranching community are the “gentlemen farmers” who are only seeking a brief escape from the hustle and bustle of the city for a momentary step back in time, complete with “rancher” bragging rights to carry home.

Today this is an area that hosts many different ranching dreams, from those who have worked the ranch for over a century, to those jetting in for a weekend — and every conceivable thing in-between. One family with a dream began their journey with a home in Beaver Creek. A love for the Vail area, the thrill of horseback riding in the mountains and a chance dining encounter with a Wagyu steak led them to ownership of the Colorado River Ranch (CRR), and an ongoing adventure of a lifetime.

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Thirteen miles north of Dotsero, surrounded by mountains with the Colorado River running through it, the beauty of the valley takes your breath away. The 1,017-acre CRR ranch spreads across the valley as the bucolic view, with cows and horses grazing, all adjacent to thousands of acres of BLM land. This idyllic spot and a passion to have a modern-day working ranch raising cattle has created a new lifestyle for this family that fuses the past with the present in a manner our forefathers never could have envisioned. “Ranching in rhythm with nature” is the mission in which the owners of CRR have chosen to use their property. And the real beauty of this ranch shines from the inside out!

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Steeped in history, CRR is one of the older historic working ranches in Eagle County. In 1859 when gold was discovered in Colorado, followed by the detection of silver, many adventurers were attracted to this area. Such explorers, Sam and Frank Doll, combined their talents in the 1870s and purchased tens of thousands of acres in the area, naming it Grand River. In 1923 they added CRR to their holdings, obtained in a sheriff’s sale. The fertile acres were ideal for raising livestock which had drawn early homesteaders.

Over the years, the ranch changed hands, with the first new owners, the Schultzes, renaming it Willow Creek Ranch. In 1964 William F. Stevens bought the ranch, along with adjacent land. Bill and Neva Nottingham took on the neglected ranch in 1985 and ran a cattle operation until selling to Cordillera for a golfing- residential development, which never came to fruition. Then, in 2008, River Ranch LLC purchased the ranch and put a conservation easement on the property.

And finally, in 2014, the current owners purchased the property. Seeking a place to ride horses, raise Wagyu beef and toil alongside their ranch managers, they have returned it to working ranch status and are focused on protecting the environment as they preserve its agricultural heritage.

As the largest remaining ranch in the Upper Colorado Conservation & Recreation Project Area and within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Special Recreation Management Area, CRR hosts a large herd of Wagyu cows bred and raised naturally under organic principles, as are their horses, chickens and goats. When the owners pursued their desire to be cattle ranchers, raising the very best was their goal and Waygu cattle fulfilled that objective.

“We operate in harmony with nature as stewards of the land,” says Scott Jones, CRR manager with his wife, Jennifer. “By us taking good care of our land, it takes good care of our cattle and the environment.”

They rotate the cattle grazing areas so there is always enough left to foster the wildlife and time to revitalize the soil; the cattle graze in Wolcott in the summer so the fields can be replenished with the grass hay or alfalfa the ranch raises for feed. And true to their heritage the cattle are herded on horseback.

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Shades of the Old West certainly come to play during branding time. Calves are branded early to determine ownership. Colorado is a “brand state” meaning, just like in the olden days, if a cow is unbranded there is no claim to ownership. Unlike most operations where calves are taken to feed lots once they’re weaned, CRR maintains care until fruition, 36 to 40 months, feeding on high-protein grass, superior in the high altitude, until they are processed.

“The Wagyu cows we raise here go from farm to table,” says Jones. “We oversee our cattle from birth until the day they are processed so we are sure they meet our standards for the highest quality meat and care available.” Since modern day ranchers are looking for a finer home than the rough quarters early-day settlers experienced, CRR brought in a powerful team of visionaries to bring refinement to their dream. Working together a stunning and comfortable living environment was created in the “New West.”

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The first building to be tackled was the “Red Barn,” no longer in use even for the livestock. Committed to working with local artists to bring their vision to life, they contacted local architect Tom Cole. Their desire was to combine traditional natural elements like wood, stone and oxidized metal to create an organic look, as if it were a natural part of the landscape. Cole created an exquisite image for all the buildings that presents an inspired look honoring the Wild West of yesterday with the contemporary lines of today. Builder Tom McCord of McCord Construction and interior designer Tracie Schumacher of Studio 80 Interior Architecture & Design brought these ideas into reality.

“In the beginning the owner was already working with Tom, and our team had the task of bringing an old cattle barn back to life using the exact footprint,” says Schumacher. “It was the first building project on the ranch and was a good way for all of us to learn about each other and to understand the owner’s taste.”

Mountain modern with clean simple lines, a space that was casual and practical, and using many traditional elements to tie the past to the present was the direction. And as Schumacher pointed out, “the devil is in the details.” “This is one of the most gorgeous pieces of land I’ve ever seen. So, when you have to take a crumbly, broken down barn and make it into something special — when you have to compete with the beauty of nature — how do you blend the two in a way that is beautiful? The challenge is how to get everything talking to each other.”

The entire design of merging traditional with modern joined seamlessly under Schumacher and Cole’s hands. Repurposed Wyoming wind fencing unites with metal; suede cabinet fronts with leather pulls create a soft touch; the coil kitchen bar stools with wooden seats are pieces of art; animal hides, wood tiles and polished cement flooring also integrate the comfortable and beautiful with the practical. This is a place where dogs can run, dirty cowboy boots can be accommodated, and everyone can feel relaxed in an exquisite atmosphere.

“We chose the lighting pendants [by Human Scale] because when they are lit at night it reminded me of raindrops or stars. It was just one of the ways we brought the outside in — it was one of the many elements that enhances the feeling of being outdoors,” says Schumacher.

The glass garage door that spans one side of the top floor not only captures the views of the Colorado River and the cliffs beyond but rolls open into the ceiling to invite the fresh mountain air inside. The sturdy, comfortable outdoor furniture surrounds a metal gas firepit to add warmth and ambiance to any gathering. It’s the perfect place to congregate and enjoy the camaraderie of family and friends while basking in the glow of Mother Nature.

With the same fine attention to detail, an expansive water feature complete with cascading waterfalls and a large pond further enhances this delightful area. The rocks used to create this tranquil scene are from neighbor ranchers. A native rock path leads down to another patio area and firepit that can be enjoyed while watching the lazy, flowing river. To approach the next project the owners asked their ranch manager what was needed to assist the operation. He responded with “a horse barn.” But he certainly did not envision the remarkable finished product. The huge horse barn was the second project the design team took on, and the ranchers of yesteryear would have been dazzled — frankly, today’s ranchers would be dazzled. There are horse stalls and tons of storage space. But the tack room is a twenty-first century marvel. A barnwood wall magically revolves from a center axis and spins to reveal the backside of the “wall” covered with neatly stored tack. It uniquely serves as the door into the rest of the hidden tack storage room.

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The upper level of the barn entertains a large covered patio, with a beautifully appointed bar and overlooks the horse arena. It’s the perfect shaded area from which to watch horses train while sipping a lemonade or cocktail and discussing the progress in the arena below. Or just relax while enjoying a spectacular sunset.

In the barn there are dog wash stations, rooms where baby ducks incubate, and refrigerators to store eggs of all different colors from the many varieties of chickens raised on the ranch.

The chickens can assist with the farming aspect of the ranch by living in a mobile coop. At appropriate times the coop is transported to various areas of the cattle field where mobile fences are erected to protect the chickens from predators. Their job is to peck and scratch throughout the fields to disperse “fertilizer” and find worms to eat. This all ties into the mission of being in “rhythm with nature” — everything giving back to the land that supports the people and all the critters.

Accompanying the cattle and myriad of chicken are horses, several goats (who have their own playground that even includes a trampoline to play on); dogs and ducks.

They all live in harmony with the wildlife that have taken up residence on the ranch. Bald eagles are so content in this setting that this year, one nesting couple has given birth to three baby eaglets — very rare in the animal kingdom. There are playful river otters who drift along the current of the river keeping an eye out for coyotes, bears, deer, elk and mountain lions. And the fishing is great.

After the horse barn was completed, a large bunkhouse was the next project for this design and building team and they, once again, made magic happen. The striking vision Colorado River Ranch presents, with its rust colored metal roofs, emerald green pastures and the Colorado River winding its way across the property, is a remarkable example of one of the many faces of the modern ranch.

For this property, the accouterments for luxury living are clearly there; the development for raising the finest cattle has been employed and the Western spirit is on full display. “Ranching in rhythm with nature” — mission accomplished.

Authors note: One of the most fascinating things I learned while working on this feature is this: a cow can jump, flat- footed, a six-foot-high fence — a big, heavy ungainly cow leaping six feet up in the air! And in fact, a pregnant cow can do this. Mother Nature is an endlessly astonishing thing to behold.

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Elaine Kelton

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles, with their mop-top haircuts, made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show singing five songs – which were immediate hits — including “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “All My Loving,” “She Loves You,” “I Saw You Standing There” and “Till There Was You.” The Beach Boys topped the charts with “I Get Around,” and Barbra Streisand struck a chord with “Peo- ple.” Mary Poppins won the Oscar for Best Movie. The cost of a new house was $13,050 and the average yearly income was $6,000. A movie ticket was $1.25. And Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton for the first time.

Everyday values were much different then what American citizens had ever seen before. The Flower Power movement had just begun and people no longer thought about keeping up with the Joneses. The thought of hors de l’ordinaire was acceptable and, essentially, the norm.

So it wasn’t out of the ordinary when Elaine Kelton and her hus- band, Gary White, who had been living in Jackson Hole, didn’t think twice — well, maybe twice — and “went for it,” by taking a chance, and moving to the valley. “We met two people who were patrolling in Vail,” recalls Elaine, “who suggested that we see the new ski re- sort. We told them that we didn’t ski. And they said, ‘It’s a great way to learn.’

“And so, that summer, we checked it out, liked it and decided to move. We rented in McCollister, (named after a family that owned a lumberyard and grew potatoes) — now called Potato Patch, where Vail Associates (VA) had put in trailers. Basically, that was the only housing available.”

Gary first worked with VA, but soon joined Elaine at the Lodge at Vail, where she was the social director and he was a bellman and also worked in the cafeteria — as did every other employee of the lodge when things got hectic!

“Here you have Gary, who was a Williams College history ma- jor, and then me, who had attended Smith College and who had thoughts about being involved in the the fashion world in New York. And, here we were in Vail. I was prepared for “camping out” mean- ing “no room service,” Elaine quips.

There were no paved roads. No television. No movie theatres. Ba- sically no form of entertainment other than a bar called The Golden Ski. On Sunday nights, when things were slow, 8mm films were rent- ed and shown in the basement of the Lodge. “We kept a Monopoly game going, ad infinitum, in the hallways of the Lodge, and the staff played in teams,” says Elaine.

Because there was no post office, mailbags were dropped off at the Lodge’s front desk and people had to sort through stacks to find their mail. It was that simple. A bit later, a small post office opened in the Plaza Building on Bridge Street.

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“Vail today in no way relates to what was those first few years,” shares Elaine. “It wasn’t the wild west. It was an adventure. Yet, Gary and I were neither adventurers or perceived ourselves as pioneers — we were 23 and 24 years old. Vail was a young community that brought with it a sense of democracy, where it didn’t matter where you came from or what you had done there. Rather it was ‘What can you bring to the table? How can you participate? How do you work? What do you plan on doing?’ Nobody was trained to do what they were doing. Every one of us did the ‘pick up’ kind of thing. You identified what was missing.”

At that time, Vail was essentially a group of people who loved ski- ing, loved the outdoors and saw the magic of the mountains. “We never saw Vail’s evolution and what it is today. Rather it was that each day brought something new, each day brought a need that had to be met,” says Elaine.

In 1967, Elaine and Gary built and opened the Ramshorn Lodge in Vail. At the time, Elaine, who has three daughters, Courtney, Vanessa and Ashley, was pregnant with her second child. “We didn’t have any programs for kids who were ready to begin the reading pro- cess so I started a Montessori school, which we ran for close to 10 years, in our conference room,” relates Elaine. “Judy Gagny, whose husband, Bob, was a ski school supervisor and who had Montessori training, ran the school. She was a genius and got our kids ready to go to Red Sandstone School, which was absolutely terrific.”

As Vail evolved, people saw the many needs. They needed a hos- pital. They needed a school system. They needed a town. “It was probably in 1969, when VA was being faced with its own financial drains, we realized that we needed to become a municipality,” ex- plains, Elaine. “And so, we sat in the cafeteria at the Lodge at Vail, which was clearly the meeting place for everything, and we dis- cussed our alternatives.”

According to Elaine, VA was willing to relinquish the running of the town, which was quickly developing. They realized that in order to survive, a community had to be built that had an infrastructure that went far beyond just being a company-owned town.

“They were fledgling. We were fledgling,” she says. “The most wonderful sense of democracy in the community was that everyone pitched in. Part of it, I would say, was due to the geography, because of the fact that we were totally surrounded with mountains and isolated by a single access and egress into the area. If the passes were closed, we were all stuck. So the success of Vail, in so many ways, was tied to our to- tal interdependence on each other.”

When Vail was a nascent community everyone in every age group came together to help develop the town. People from all walks of life brought their expertise and experience to build a community. Says, Elaine, “Vail Associates told us that they would supply hospital- ity and the greatest skiing experience on a world-class mountain, if we, the residents, would provide all the amenities that were needed. The restaurants, the services, the hotels, the entertainment areas. And this is how it all evolved.”

At the time, however, summer in Vail was almost non-existent. The place was not on a main road and, as Elaine puts it, “You had to deliberately and with intention drive into Vail. And when people did that, we needed to have ways and means to entertain them.”

So the residents started a group called the Vail Institute to bring in music. A budget was created to book entertainment and the con- certs were held on the lawn in front of what is now Gondola One, at the base of Vail Mountain in front of the Gold Peak house. Kids hand- ed out mimeographed programs at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon and if people didn’t have blankets, they’d sit on dirt, as there was no grass — and no shade. “We had Chuck Mangione.

We had Odetta, Rita Coolidge. We had performers that people still recognize today,” says Elaine. “We had a group called The Blue Jeans Symphony, which ultimately became the Boulder Symphony. We might have been isolated, but we were always interesting.”

Eventually an art camp called SummerVail began, where Elaine learned to blow glass from a young artist named Dale Chihuly. She attended a cocktail party where the pianist was Leonard Bernstein. Guests were invited to guided tours and champagne, Red Check- ered Picnics (like the tablecloth) on the mountain.

“We originally did the picnics to entertain ourselves but, in so do- ing, we all became invested in what made Vail so special. And it cre- ated a passion and love and a system of defending our environment and out-of-doors. And we see that replicated today,” Elaine says, re- calling Vail’s early years.

“The cross-section of the people that were here at the time never had a small-town mindset. They were diverse, educated, independent in their thinking and adventuresome.

“What we experienced in those first few years is mirrored in the experiences of today. The passion is still there and I think that’s what mag keeps Vail a viable, special and unique place to live and to be.”

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Block Out The Sun

Those bluebird days on the mountain, the languid afternoons on a raft, the hours spent on bikes or hiking peaks. It’s why we live (or visit) here. But all that time under the blaze of bright sun takes its toll on our skin: there’s more skin cancer here in the Rocky Mountains. Additionally, it takes much less time to start to sunburn, aka start damaging the skin, here.

According to Dr. Karen Nern, dermatologist and owner of Vail Dermatology, one in five gets skin cancer in Colorado; the rate of melanoma is one in 35. These rates are higher than the average — because of the altitude and because we’re outside so much of the time.

She refers to a study conducted by Dr. Daryl Regal, a dermatologist out of New York. He looked at how quickly a sunburn can happen in various locations. In New York, it takes about 25 minutes, in Orlando it’s 15 minutes, in Vail at the top of Chair 4, it takes a mere 6 minutes. That’s nothing! Staying out of the sun isn’t really an option for our active lifestyles. But protection from the sun is a must to stay skin cancer free. Start protecting the skin early so not only does it become a habit, but it stays young looking and, more importantly, cancer free.

Obviously, start off with sun-protecting clothing. Begin protecting children when they are young so they become accustomed to covering up with rash guards and large hats. Sunscreen should be as habitual as brushing your teeth. Put it on every morning. We’re lucky enough to get tons of UV light every day; so we need to protect our skin every day. If you’re outside reapply every two hours. For instance, try a powder sunscreen that is easy to reapply and can be put in a bike jersey or ski pants pocket.

“We have powder sunscreen to put on with a brush, doesn’t freeze,” Dr. Nern says. “It doesn’t melt, you don’t have to take your gloves off.” But perhaps her best-kept accessory secret is to wear a face mask while skiing. Using sunscreen with zinc or titanium is also recommended; non-chemical materials work more effectively because they act like a reflector to the bright mountain light and are a physical barrier to the sun. As for SPF ratings? Bigger, or higher, is better. Actually, there was a a study that was funded by Neutrogena right here in Vail. It was a double blind study; skiers slathered SPF 50 on one side of their face and SPF 100 on the other. Thanks to the strange tan lines, the SPF 100 was clearly a better option. Most everyone probably knows the various types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. What’s the difference? “Basal tends to feel and act like a pimple that won’t go away, or a red patch that stays. Squamous can be a real tender bump that won’t go away, on sun-exposed area,” Dr. Nern explains. Then there’s pre-cancer spots. “Pre-cancer pink spots that feel gritty. [Those] turn in to basal or Squamous.”

Melanoma can happen in an existing mole or it can start on its own, which is why it’s important to start with regular skin screenings and keep an eye on any moles you have. This gives a baseline for future visits. If skin cancer was detected (and removed) earlier, plan on a dermatologist visit every six months. Fifteen to twenty minutes is all it takes as the doctor is extremely thorough, combing through hair and looking between toes.

“I’m amazed how many times I find a skin cancer,” shares Dr. Nern. Screenings should begin at home. “Those things you look for with melanoma — they are typically brown or black. They are usually growing or changing with an irregular border.”

TURN BACKTIME

If only there were a way to turn back time — to choose not to use a tanning bed, to use sunscreen instead of baby oil, to wear a hat at all times. Well, we know time travel isn’t an option but there are plenty of ways to heal the skin, insists the doctor.

Start today. There are some pills that help stave off sun-related cancer. Dr. Nern stays up- to-date and is able to reference a variety of studies to support how to avoid skin cancer. An Australian study showed that taking niacinamyde, otherwise known as vitamin B3, helps reduce the risk of skin cancer by a whopping 30 percent. So, she recommends taking 500 mg twice per day. Then there’s heliocare, a fern extract that also prevents sunburn. Take that daily too.

Other treatments include excision, a scraping procedure (electrodessication), curettage, topical creams and the blue light prevention strategy. “It’s a full-face treatment, where we put a medicine on the skin, called Amyluze, let it sit for 90 minutes then put the patient in front of a big blue light. The light activates the medicine and kills the precancerous cells. It’s for people who have found spots and want to move ahead.”

There are chemical peels, resurfacing, laser peels… so many options to keep us younger looking and cancer free. Prevention is the best strategy, including the use of sunscreen starting at a young age and for that reason, Dr. Nern recently launched The Sun Bus, an interactive bus that will visit schools and events to provide education and offer free skin cancer screenings by volunteer dermatologists.

Remember how in the ’70s kids badgered their parents to quit smoking? The Sun Bus, sponsored by Alta MD sunscreen, (www. thesunbus.org) will be a catalyst to remind children to wear sunscreen and help their parents remember too.

Bottom line, says Dr. Nern, “Most skin cancers can be prevented. If caught early they are highly curable. The word melanoma is a very scary word — we catch them so early in our patient population, it’s a really low risk of significant complications.” So, grab a hat, layer on the sunscreen and enjoy one of our 300 sunny days.

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The Advocate

There are events in life for which one can prepare: having a baby, paying taxes, deal- ing with aging parents. But a cancer diagnosis is not one of those things, especially when you have no family history and have spent much of your career advocating for health and wellness. And journalist, author and television host, Joan Lunden, was blind- sided by the news.

“I was one of those people that just never thought I would be diagnosed with breast cancer,” Lunden says. “I didn’t think I’d be one of the statistics because I didn’t have it in my family. So I kind of walked around feeling pretty immune. Mistakenly, of course. Had I known that less than 15 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer ever had a family history, I would not have felt so immune.”

On June 5, 2014, Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. “I remember the day I got diagnosed. I’d sat down with my breast cancer surgeon and she looked at all my results and she said, ‘You know,’ in a very serious tone, ‘you have triple negative breast cancer.’ And at first I thought, well, that sounds good. At least I’m negative to three things,” Lunden says with a small laugh. “That’s how little I knew about it!”

Lunden’s doctor explained that when assessing a tumor, its cells are tested for hor- mone receptors: estrogen, progesterone and HER2. If all three of these tests are “nega- tive,” then the cancer is triple negative. Though there are various treatments for breast cancer, most are hormone-targeted therapy; Lunden’s only choice was chemotherapy. There was a time — albeit a short time — when Lunden considered trying to hide her diagnosis. But that thought quickly passed.

“Here, all of a sudden, was a chapter that if I chose to step out and be public with it, might actually have an opportunity to help other people,” Lunden says. When Lunden speaks at the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group’s (VBCAG) 25th An- nual Celebration of Life Luncheon on July 26, she will have passed the five-year mark since being diagnosed. For triple-negative breast cancer, that’s considered a clean bill of health. But that’s not stopping Lunden from sharing what she learned during her journey.

“This, our 25th anniversary, is a special year for us,” says Brenda Himelfarb, president and co-founder of the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. “We are looking forward to sharing our joy with Joan. Over the years, her work as a broadcaster and author, her involve- ment with nonprofits and her ability to raise so much awareness about breast cancer has been an inspiration.”

For the past 25 years, the VBCAG, which is comprised of volunteers, has raised more than $1.5 million — which supports those in Eagle County who are diagnosed with the disease. Donations to the Sonnenalp Breast & Diag- nostic Imaging Center at the Shaw Cancer Center have included funds for the purchase of various diagnostic equipment including a PET scanner, a stereotactic table for its radia- tion department, a 3D tomography machine and a GE Whole Breast Automated Ultrasound System. Additionally, the group has donated $60,000 to Jack’s Place, a Cancer Caring House. More than 300 women have received a Day to Play, a VBCAG program that provides funds to relieve the stress of treatment, and more than 30 women have each received more than $2,000 in assistance.

“It’s heart-warming to see how much how many people and families in our community that, over the years, the VBCAG has been able to help,” Himelfarb said.

Lunden echoes this sentiment. Through her own experiences, she’s realized that there s so much that women need to know about breast health and about protecting them- selves. She’s working to clear up the confu- sion on mammograms (when and how often to have them) and urging women to be their own proponents in the doctor’s office, knowing if they have dense breast tissue and asking for the ultrasound in addition to the mammogram when it’s necessary.

“I think we [women] are wired to take care of everybody else. We’re caretakers and caretak- ers don’t always take the best care of them- selves,” Lunden says. “They need me. They need that annoying little gnat, to come along and say, ‘I’m here. I’m going to ask you the question. You don’t have to say it out loud but answer it in your own head.’”

Do you know if you have dense breast tis- sue? If you do, have you asked for an ultra- sound in addition to a mammogram? For a woman who has had so many roles in her life, from co-host of Good Morning Ameri- ca to mother to author and more, Lunden says she’s enjoying this new role as an advocate. It’s not one she asked for, but she’s encourag- ing women to become more knowledgeable for the sake of their own health.

“I’ve really enjoyed the role,” Lunden says. “I never get tired of it.”

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Love on the mountain

We’ve always relied on horses. Now it’s their turn to count on us. And that’s what Mountain Valley Horse Rescue (MVHR) is all about. It’s a place that lets kids and adults love on horses, helping bring them back to life. And it seems, once someone sets foot onto this expansive property, sees the abused and abandoned horses and subsequently falls in love with them, they have a hard time leaving, and will come back time and again.

mountain_1It’s horse country, for sure: wide-open spaces and snow-capped mountains surround the vast expanse of land where horses roam. What makes this place so special, however, is that horses come here to heal. It’s an idyllic piece of property nestled near the Flat Tops north of Wolcott in McCoy. It is truly a spacious piece of paradise for the horses. In 2004 two horses were abandoned in the nearby Flat Tops; they were rescued and MVHR was founded. The ranch that first housed MVHR was in Salt Creek in Eagle; it was a rental property and accommodated nine horses. Twelve years later through a generous donation, the rescue was able to buy a 114-acre piece of property in McCoy where 32 horses now live and are loved.

The horses who come to the rescue have had lives that were far from idyllic. The group is set up to help horses learn to trust again, with no timeline in mind. Some of the horses were neglected and arrived with jagged bones clearly visible beneath their fur; others, who never had their feet cared for, were hobbling; still other horses were just left, abandoned in the wilderness. Some were saved from slaughter. All have been brought back to life by the caring two-person staff and many volunteers who are passionate about helping heal these gentle giants.

“Our goal is to get them all adopted,” says Amy Ben-Horin, program manager at the rescue. She and Executive Director Shana Devins exude the calm, gracious spirit that comes along with horses. It’s far more than a two-person job, feeding and caring for horses. On average, 86 volunteers a month make the long trek up Highway 131 to care for the horses, whether it’s feeding them (three meals a day), helping train them or building fences. In addition, there is a list of contractors who work with the horses: farriers, vets, trainers.-671

While the work may be tough, the rewards are great, as is evidenced by the way the volunteers and staff describe each horse, its personality and their stories. “Roxy is the sweetest horse. Dan and Gabby were adopted together. Gabby is his pal, the companion horse. Latigo has neurological issues. He has a sponsor who loves him. All of his medical issues are covered by MVHR. Union was a race horse,” Ben-Horin waxes on like a proud mother.

“Sinclair is our oldest horse. He’s had a purpose his whole life, I think it’s what kept him alive,” Ben-Horin says of the 46-year-old horse. “Horses enjoy when they have a purpose.” All the horses at the rescue do have a purpose; many of them work directly in the programs. In the summer camps, each camper builds a connection with their “own” rescue horse, that has been trained by volunteers.

“The camps instill what it means to take care of horses. The campers will muck, clean and feed daily, it shows the responsibility of owning a horse. They’re your pet… it’s not fair to get rid of them,” says Ben-Horin.mountain_2

The hope is that each of these six horses is then adopted, freeing up space for a new wave of horses who need a place to call home-for-now.

“Operationally our big push is adoption,” Devins says. “These are amazing animals, who, through no fault of their own, have fallen on some hard times. They are not broken. They can be incredible animals for somebody looking. All of these horses have had full veterinary treatment. We know their ages. We know their personalities and what they are capable of and what they are not capable of, so you can come and adopt a horse and know a lot about it.”

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While no horse is pushed out, there is a waitlist of at least 40 more horses that need the rescue. MVHR estimates there are 6,000 unwanted horses in Colorado alone. As the only rescue on the Western Slope, there’s a lot of territory to cover and a lot of horses to care for… and only 32 spaces available. Luck has one of those spaces. For some of her life, she definitely didn’t have luck. She arrived neglected, emaciated and hurting. Now she’s a beautiful, strong, filled-out horse. The horse came just when a young girl got involved with the rescue; she needed a friend. Enter Luck. They work together multiple times a week and it’s hard to tell who saved whom. “They are saving each other,” Ben-Horin says. “We go back and forth with the tagline.

mountain_4Are we helping the horses or are the horses really helping us?” Care for a horse doesn’t come cheaply: 12 of the spaces are currently used for boarders, which creates a funding stream. Ideally, they would like to do away with the boarders to have even more rescued horses on site. Devins estimates to care for one horse for one month costs about $500. There are various programs at MVHR that help offset those costs: the cost to sponsor a horse for one year is $5,000. There are big plans too — that come with a big price tag. The stack-yard to store hay and keep it from molding is framed and getting there. There’s the dream of an indoor arena so horses can be ridden and trained year-round. Maybe classroom space so schools and large community groups can continue to come up, volunteer and learn. Horses are considered livestock, so many grants that are open to places like animal shelters are not available to MVHR, explains Ben- Horin.

And one of those first two abandoned horses who stared it all? Now named Willow: “She will forever have a home with us,” Ben-Horin says with a contented smile.

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Rooted in Family STEPHENS NURSERY DEFINES FAMILY AND NEIGHBORLY TRADITIONS

Bill and Mary Stephens were headed in different directions when they first glimpsed one another in 1986. Mary was the head ranger at Andersons Camp in Sweetwater,Colorado. Meanwhile, Bill motored down the road in a grader — the third generation “There’s your future husband,” Mary’s supervisor announced. But it took five years and a “neighborhood effort,” as Bill describes it, to unite the couple for good. Since then, they’ve been nearly inseparable, working long hours at Stephens Nursery, a third-generation, family-owned and operated business in Dotsero. The Stephens family arrived in this country on the Mayflower. In 1891, Bill’s great- grandfather settled in Sweetwater and began cattle ranching. And until 1989, the family was still living in the original house, built in 1908.

In the early 1980s, the newly constructed Interstate 70 slashed through the fam- ily’s pasture, adding to the already growing strain of decreasing cattle prices. They adapted by planting 90 acres of fast-growing deciduous trees to shade a neighboring planned development for Exxon employees who were working in the oil shale indus- try. However, Exxon suddenly pulled out and the Stephens were stuck with an enor- mous number of trees. It looked like a young couple would save the day by leasing the tree farm, but within months of building a fiberglass greenhouse, they divorced and disappeared.

Three Generations of the Stephens Family

Three Generations of the Stephens Family

Since the Stephens owned the land, wholesale tree buyers began calling them. “So, we began watering the plants,” Bill says. “We just ran with it.” And by 1982, the family had converted its cattle ranch into a tree farm and small retail nursery. Soon, Annalies, Bill’s mother, became known for her custom Bavarian planters, which she based on styles from her childhood homeland in Switzerland. Bill entered Colorado State University to study animal science, but after taking a ba- sic horticulture class as an elective, changed his major to landscape horticulture. “It fit my personality,” he explains. “I like to be creative and work outside, and it gave me an opportunity to draft and change and improve [the land].”

So, after graduating in 1989, Bill joined his parents at the nursery After Bill and Mary married in 1992, Bill asked Mary to work at the nursery, since, be- tween her camp job and his nursery, they hardly saw one another. “I loved my camp job, but we decided to start our lives on the same page — together,” Mary says. When the family transitioned from cattle ranching to growing plants, Bill thought his days of getting out of bed every couple hours to check on cows calving had ended. “I thought, ‘That’ll be nice because now I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night,’” he says. “Now I wake up when it’s 10 degrees and think: ‘Ah! I wonder if the heater’s still on,’ and I get up and check on the greenhouse. It changed from one spe- cies to another; it’s just as consuming and worrisome. I live, eat and sleep agriculture. Work begins around 6:30 a.m., and goes ‘until you can’t see anymore.’”

Bill says that he’s mastered horticulture and landscaping practices by combining his formal education with “the school of hard knocks.” Between the Stephens’ technical knowledge and customer service, it’s no surprise the nursery has been successful for more than 35 years.

“We’re just trying to provide a family-style atmosphere — something that you would have found in the early days, with neighbors helping neighbors,” Bill says.

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Bill and Mary have passed on their values of a solid work ethic and living “neighborly” to their three children. At Christmas, the kids could open gifts only after they fed the animals. “We instilled in our kids that animals always get fed before ourselves. Everything gets taken care of first. That way of thinking changes your approach. You think of your neighbor first,” Bill shares..

Their middle child, Katie, credits her work at the nursery for teaching her the kind of ethics, efficiency, customer service and compassion she will need as a veterinarian. “My father has a love for animals and a passion for trees and plants,” Katie says. “He really gives it his all, and so does my mom. They’re always willing to lend a hand.” Katie has also learned to devote plenty of time to plants — as well as customers. “Like each snowflake, each plant, each tree, each flower is an individual — and they all have different ways they need to be maintained,” she explains. Malorie, the oldest, plans to use her customer service skills in her nursing career. And, 17-year-old Luke already sees a difference between his family-instilled work ethic and others his age. “I’ve seen a lot of people from my gener- ation work at the nursery, and they don’t always stay long,” he says. “You have to figure out how to work long, hard hours and finish what you started. It helps me in school to do everything I’m told to do.” Bill and Mary avoid burnout by changing jobs seasonally and, during winter, work at the Eagle County Airport. “By the time you get tired, winter comes and you switch gears, and as the snow starts to melt you become antsy and get the itch to go into the greenhouse,” Bill says.

Bill works in the jet center as a line technician, fueling and towing aircraft and serving private planes. Mary works as a ramp concierge, marshaling planes, moving luggage and delivering supplies. One might think working so closely day and night, season after season, might strain a marriage, but for the Stephens, it’s quite the opposite. “At times we get on each other’s nerves, but for the most part, because we change jobs, it works out,” Bill says. And, after all these years, Bill still loves working with his employees and his family at the nursery, which includes nine greenhouses. “It gives me an opportunity to play with colors,” he says. “It gives me an opportunity to be cre- ative,” he says, adding that, at this point, he wouldn’t know what else to do professionally. From the beginning, the fine reputation of the nursery grew through word of mouth. and people clamor for its vast assortment of everything “green,” from annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs to pottery, planters and hanging bas- kets as well as its landscaping services.

And, although Bill’s parents officially retired from the nursery, Annalies still dabbles. “Old habits are hard to break,” says Bill, reflectively. “She loves the nursery.

“Our family’s a ‘traditional type’. And by that I mean we are four generations who have worked side by side, first raising cattle and now in a nursery business. I have worked side by side with my parents and now my kids. I’m proud that I have a heritage here. We’re a family that likes that tradition. It’s our roots, so we’re not planning on leaving. I’ll work as long as I can, because it keeps me young,”