Crowd Pleaser


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 […]

Activities, Crowd Pleaser


It’s breathtaking to catch a glimpse of a snowshoe hare, elk or mule deer while snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snapping that money shot of wildlife in the forest. But it can be just as exciting to see footprints and be able to identify what large or small animal walked before you. In fact, you’ll probably see plenty of animal tracks from the chairlift on a freshly blanketed powder morning, and it’s always entertaining to point out the difference between a mule deer and an elk’s pattern to friends and family. There are those who are experts at identifying scat, aka the poop of wild animals, but that can be—let’s just say—a smelly, mushy business, depending on how many berries animals have eaten and how long their droppings have been exposed to the elements. Fortunately, there’s a cleaner way to identify mountain animals, particularly in the winter: They each leave distinct […]



A funny thing happened to Joe and Annie Staufer on their way to California. The night before the couple was to leave the island of Bermuda—where they met while working at a resort—to fly to Santa Barbara for a job at the Biltmore Hotel, Joe received a phone call from his friend, Martin Mosshammer, the assistant manager at a newly built, small hotel called The Lodge at Vail, located at a nascent ski resort in the mountains of Colorado. “Just come see it,” urged Mosshammer, who knew of Joe and Annie’s plans. “You can fly to Denver, rent a car, drive west to see Vail and then drive on to California.” The conversation peaked the couple’s interest well, Joe’s, anyway—as Annie, who is from England, was looking forward to enjoying the appealing California climate. But, she was game. And so began the Staufer’s adventure. Arriving in Denver, the couple rented […]

Crowd Pleaser

She just does it

There’s no shortage of natural wonder in the Vail Valley. From stunning vistas of expansive mountain ranges to sparkling creeks that meander through towns to awe-inspiring wildlife, the Valley is a treasure trove of local gems, just waiting to be explored. But after a full day of soaking up food for the soul, it’s time to satisfy that other hunger and indulge in some sustenance for the stomach. The culinary scene in the valley has grown by leaps and bounds; almost any craving can be satiated at the myriad of restaurants. Less apparent, however, is the amount of what is presented for purchase is actually locally grown and produced. Though the area started as land for farming and ranching, the discovery of “white gold” changed the landscape of Vail more than half a century ago. Local farmers, ranchers, vintners and fromagers are now demonstrating that it’s possible to feed more […]

Crowd Pleaser

Home on the Ranch

Strange how life sometimes takes a turn, as it did for Jeanne and Roger Tilkemeier. And this was a good turn. No. Rather, a great turn! When Roger returned home from the Korean War, having served four years with the Navy, Roger and Jeanne anticipated Roger working with Jeanne’s uncle who owned ranches in Nevada and California. “Her uncle’s superintendent was 68 years old and wanted to retire,” explains Roger. “I was interested in the agricultural business and her uncle suggested that I be his super’s understudy and learn how to run the ranches. Jeanne had grown up with horses and this would have been perfect.” But, before Roger began working, Jeanne’s uncle died and everything was disbursed. And the couple’s life took that turn. Roger took a job with Kaiser Aluminum in Los Angeles, then Denver, where he was involved in marketing the very first aluminum beer can for […]

Crowd Pleaser

Cowboy Wisdom

The character in the play, A Man for All Seasons, written by Robert Bolt, is portrayed as “a man of principle, envied by rivals and loved by common people and by his family.” Robert Whittington, a 14th century English grammarian defined the meaning as “a man for all occasions, whether happy or sad.” At the time, Whittington was talking about Sir Thomas More, the 16th century Chancellor of England, about whom the play is based. For those who knew George “Bud” Gates, the phrase “a man for all seasons,” can aptly be applied, for he was respected by all those who met him and was loved dearly by his family. He was a man for all occasions. Unlike More, a chancellor, Gates was a cowboy in every way. And he walked that walk and talked that talk! Raised on the Gates Ranch, Bud who passed away in 2016, was a […]