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LOCALS A celebration of our favorite personalities |

Steamboat Pilot & Today • 2009

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Steamboat Style

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Inside LOCALS:

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A celebration of our favorite personalities

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ON THE COVER Jane Sindell, owner of the Mugshot bakery and coffee shop in Oak Creek, cruises down the street on her bike with bread in tow. Find Jane’s story on Page 36. Photo by Matt Stensland. LOCALS IS A PRODUCT OF

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LOCALS STAFF Suzanne Schlicht Publisher

Meg Wortman

Scott Stanford Advertising Director

Ad Design

Brent Boyer Editor

Editorial

Creative Services Manager

Kailey Fowler

Melinda Dudley Zach Fridell

Steve Balgenorth Circulation Manager

Brandon Gee Luke Graham Margaret Hair

Joel Reichenberger Tom Ross John F. Russell Matt Stensland Blythe Terrell Advertising Sales Kerry Crimmins Karen Gilchrist Jill Hines MaryBeth Magalis Deb Proper Blake Stansbery

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S H A R I N G

T H E I R

L O V E

Buck & Tara Chavarria

Photo: John F. Russell Story: Blythe Terrell

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Buck and Tara Chavarria have experienced much of what their congregation has. The founders of Christ for Life Sk8 Church were high school sweethearts. They misbehaved here and there — particularly in Buck’s 1959 pickup, which sits in their garage waiting to be road-ready again. After they reconnected, Tara joined Buck in Steamboat Springs in 1999. They married in 2001. “We came to know Christ about 11 years ago, and when we read the Bible and read about Jesus, he went out and hung out with people, and he loved the unlovable,” Tara Chavarria said. Sometimes, that includes the youths they encounter at the skate park. The couple started the skate church four years ago. Since then, they have taken youths into their west Steamboat house, and their congregation volunteers and goes on mission trips. “The biggest thing is we moved here to kind of enjoy Steamboat, and we live here to really give back to Steamboat,” Buck Chavarria said. Tina Harlow, a child protection caseworker with Routt County Department of Human Services, said she works with some of the same youths the Chavarrias know. The couple has provided a safe place for many young people, she said. “They accept kids where they are and meet them where they are,” Harlow said. “They don’t pass judgment on them. They have definitely gone above and beyond with youth that have been involved with our department.” The Chavarrias were dealing with the loss of a church member when they were interviewed March 6. The death was difficult, they said, but it reinforced the importance of their work. More than 40 youths came to their house to talk about the tragedy. Their church allows members to discuss anything, the Chavarrias said. “You create an environment where it’s OK to be honest and it’s OK to be real,” Buck said. Although the couple’s work is serious, they also enjoy life in Steamboat. The family snowboards. Buck has a 12-year-old son, Hunter, and he and Tara have a 4-year-old daughter, Chloe; a 5-year-old daughter, Courtney; and a 20-year-old daughter, Melissa, whom they adopted when she was 17. They’re proud of being able to raise that family in Steamboat. They’re also happy to offer the kind of church they feel comfortable in. “I think Jesus would have hung out at a skate park,” Tara Chavarria said.

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3/20/09 12:50:51 PM


Dean L O O K

As far as Dean Look is concerned, it was an easy decision to live his entire life on the North Routt County ranch his grandparents homesteaded in 1900. “I went and looked around for other places, but nothing looked better to me,” said Look, who at age 75 wakes daily at 5:30 a.m. during the winter for chores at the ranch — and looks forward to a nap when the chores are done. Look and his twin brother, Dale, who died in 2000, were born and raised at the ranch eight miles up Routt County Road 129 along the Elk River. “All our life we pretty much did everything together,” Look said. That included ranch work and hunting and fishing in the high country of Northwest Colorado. They also boxed, and as young boys made $90 one summer at the rodeo grounds in Steamboat Springs as “curtain raisers,” putting on exhibition fights before the main events. Fans would throw coins in the ring as the twins went at it.

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Photo and Story: Matt Stensland

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C O M M U N I T Y

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F A M I L Y

M A N

Ed Corriveau

Photo: Matt Stensland Story: Melinda Dudley

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Ed Corriveau said he followed his father’s footsteps into law enforcement. His 10-year-old son, Kenny, may be next. “Kenny’s already ready. He dresses up in dad’s old gear and goes outside and plays policeman and firefighter,” Ed’s wife, Laura, said. Ed was born and raised in Craig, where his father was a three-term Moffat County sheriff. After graduating from the former police academy at Colorado Mountain College, Ed started as a reserve officer with the Hayden Police Department in 2000. He’s been with the department since, and he also volunteers as a firefighter and emergency medical technician with the West Routt Fire Protection District. “More than anything, I just wanted to be there for the community,” Ed said. “It’s nice to be there for people in their time of need.” No less than three hours after joining the fire department in 2002, he was called out for his first 12-hour shift fighting that season’s raging wildland fires. He had previously worked as an EMT in Craig and met his wife of 12 years, an X-ray technician, while on a call. Ed has gained a reputation as Hayden’s notorious practical joker, having greeted Town Manager Russ Martin by smearing fingerprint powder on his office phone. “He vowed to get even but never did. I’m not sure if I still need to be looking over my shoulder,” Corriveau said with a mischievous grin. Ed lives in Hayden with his family and a small menagerie: dogs Ella and Shelby; cats Bullet, Oreo, Prissy and Lucy; and guinea pig Coco. Two of the cats came from the animal shelter, and the other two, picked up by Ed on the job, never even made it there, Laura said. When he’s off duty — and after catching up on sleep — Ed likes to visit the family ranch and spend time with his son, hunting and helping him raise his 4-H lambs. Free time at the nonstop Corriveau household, however, is hard to come by. “We’ve had abused husbands and wives show up at our door, seeking not just police or medical assistance, but a safe place to go,” Laura said. “Ed takes care of what needs to be done.” “When you have a patrol car in the driveway, people know where to go,” Ed said.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 “For a couple of young boys, it was a lot of money,” Look said. Look met his wife, Joan, who died a month after his brother, at a dance in Phippsburg in 1956. Together they had four children. When Dean is not playing with his nine grandchildren or doing chores, you can occasionally find him bowling. Friends also wonder when he plans to head to Glen Eden Resort’s bar just up the road. “They say, ‘You going up to Glen Eden?’ I say, ‘No, I’m going up to Glen drinkin’,’” Look joked. Dean is always good for a joke or two, said Katie Hallman, who considers Look a big part of the small North Routt community. “He’s an incredible person,” Hallman said. “Everyone likes him.” The Routt County that Look remembers as a young boy has changed quite a bit, but he has not. Look is the guy people are talking about when referring to Steamboat’s Western charm and friendliness. His generosity ranges from plowing people out after a storm, to digging graves at no charge for those being buried in North Routt cemeteries. “He does a lot for people who have nothing and never asks for nothing in return,” said Look’s son, Del Look. “He’s just a good ol’ honest guy.”

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L E A D I N G

B Y

E X A M P L E

Photo and Story: Joel Reichenberger

Greg Long Running can be the loneliest sport, and when Greg Long hollered on a wet Thursday afternoon along a cold and abandoned stretch of road near Strawberry Park, the echo of his voice reverberated across the valley. But he wasn’t alone. “Go now!” he shouted, launching a dozen high-schoolers from a tranquil jog into a heated sprint. The scene replayed for the next hour, Long and his troupe slowly preparing for the coming track season. Long, the distance coach for the Steamboat Springs High School track team, stayed step for step with his pupils. That front-of-pack approach to teaching running is what has helped endure a group of teenagers to the 46-year-old Long. It’s also helped Long find a heap of friends in one of the most individual 10 | LOCALS |

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of sports. “I have a passion for running, so to be able to share that with the kids is just great,” he said. “It’s a real gift.” Long first dropped Little League to lace up his running shoes as a 10-year-old growing up in Northern California. His dogged pursuit of greatness eventually led him to the precipice of the U.S. Olympic Trials. He narrowly missed an opportunity to compete for a spot in the 1984 Olympics. Then, after quitting a job and moving to focus on his training, he missed a chance at the 1988 games after he was hit by a car while working out. It was that dedication to running combined with a love of the outdoors that eventually led Long, his wife, Jill, and their daughter Brittany to Steamboat Springs.

“This is Ski Town USA, not Running Town USA, but it’s an unbelievable place to run,” Greg Long said. “I grew up around the Sierras, and it’s so much more vertical there. Here, especially when the high country opens up, there’s a ton of rolling stuff we can do. The mountains here are much more gentle.” Brittany is now a senior on the track team and has a running addiction of her own. She plans to continue with the sport when she heads to college next year. “If I could encourage anything about a parent-child relationship, I’d encourage people to run with their kids,” he said. “It’s amazing how kids will open up. We have great communication when we run together, so that is special.” It’s just another way Long has found to keep great company on a lonely trail.

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3/20/09 1:02:28 PM


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B U I L D I N G

C O M M U N I T Y

Jim & Roberta Gill

Photo: John F. Russell Story: Margaret Hair

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The way Jim and Roberta Gill see it, you get out of something what you put into it. In 16 years living in Steamboat Springs, that’s how the couple has approached involvement with groups including Routt County United Way, the Steamboat Springs School District, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Rally Colorado and Yampa Valley Medical Center. “You need to actively participate in making the community better for everybody,” Jim Gill said, explaining his and Roberta’s commitment to community service. “Healthy communities don’t just exist by accident.” Roberta was the food services director for the school district for 14 years and now works with VNA as a registered dietician. “I retired and decided there are too many things to do out there yet,” she said. Some of those things have included serving as board president for United Way and sitting on the ethics committee at YVMC. Jim has worked for Wagner Equipment Co. in Hayden since he transferred to the store in 1983. He served on the Steamboat Springs School Board from 1993 to 1999 and from 2001 to 2003, and was on the board that pushed through the city’s first half-cent sales tax for education. He also chairs the U.S. Highway 40 congestion group for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s Transportation Solutions Committee. The couple’s two sons, Mark and Geoffrey, graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in the late 1980s and early ’90s. They were active in football, swimming and other sports; the activity spread to the boys’ parents. “Our kids were pretty much our lives when they were growing up — what they did, we did,” Jim Gill said. With two grandchildren already and another on the way, Jim and Roberta use every bit of free time they have. Roberta is an avid bridge and tennis player, and she likes crossword puzzles. Jim is the chairman of Rally Colorado, a car race he founded in 2001. Jim started racing cars in 1975 because, he said, “it was just fourwheel drive vehicles going fast on dirt. That was fun.” Jim and Roberta Gill can’t think of any reason to leave the place they’ve put so much into. “We love the community, we love the chemistry, and we just love the authenticity of the community,” Jim Gill said. “It’s changed, but it’s still better than anywhere else we know of.”

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3/20/09 1:03:23 PM


C A P T U R I N G

S T E A M B O A T

Jim Steinberg

Photo: Matt Stensland Story: Margaret Hair

In five seconds, Jim Steinberg can be ready to work. With his camera attached to a tripod and his tripod resting on his elbow, Steinberg can be caught by the lighting in one moment and be capturing that moment on film the next. “Being able to just stop time and capture everything that was going on and document it — it’s just wonderful,” he said. Steinberg’s nature photos appear in four books he’s published, more than a dozen more he’s contributed to, and in magazines including National Geographic, Life and Newsweek. As a businessman, he owns and operates Portfolio Collection Ltd. and Portfolio Publications. As a lifetime lover of the performing arts, he does financial planning for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and The Public Theater in New York, and administers a $112 million charitable trust dedicated to supporting theater. In Steamboat Springs, he worked on a committee to build a local performing arts center in the late 1980s, and he has been involved for two decades with Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, chairing the camp’s 1990 capital campaign, and cochairing the New Works Festival. “I’ve always been a theater fan. I’ve always gone to theater, studied theater, and I’ve been involved with it in some form for most of my life,” he said. That’s hard to tell when entering Steinberg’s modest Oak Street office. Framed tickets to Colorado Rockies games line the front edge of his desk. Copies of his latest book of photography, “Colorado Scenic Byways: Taking the Other Road” — an official gift to governors at the 2008 Democratic National Convention — fill boxes on a table at the back of the room. Things have changed since Steinberg first moved to Steamboat in 1975 and took a graveyard shift as a security officer at a coal mine. “I had a Jeep, a walkie-talkie and 12 hours of time on my hands,” Steinberg said. He kept the job for a few months before starting at the Portfolio Collection, and he occasionally worked nights at The Bottleneck liquor store. Steinberg became a partner with Portfolio in 1980 and took sole ownership in 1983. After 30 years of capturing images of Colorado, Steinberg has a handle on it. But he has trouble picking a favorite spot to shoot. Finding a favorite place to live has been easier, he said. “When you travel six to eight months out of the year, you get to see a lot of the world, and I still haven’t found a place that I like better.” 2009 |

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C O M I N G

F U L L

C I R C L E

Photo: Matt Stensland Story: Melinda Dudley

Karen Massey When Karen Massey arrived at a job interview seeking the family and consumer science extension agent position in Routt County’s Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office, she showed off a clothing project she made with 4-H while a child in Glenwood Springs. It was an easy sell. “She did that, she had the job,” fellow extension agent CJ Mucklow said. Massey, her husband Dean, and their 16year-old sons arrived in Steamboat Springs in 2005. They decided to dock in the Yampa Valley after four years living on a 43-foot catamaran, traveling the world and homeschooling the twins. The Masseys had tired of city life on the Front Range, where Dean worked as an environmental lawyer and Karen as a dietician at the Coors Wellness Center and as a nutrition instructor at Metropolitan State College of Denver. They sold their cars and their

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house and bought their sailboat in France, starting their explorations of the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Islands and the East Coast. They eventually sold the boat in Honduras and decided to settle in Steamboat. “We moved here without jobs, but when you’ve lived on a sailboat for four years, risk is relative,” Massey said. Massey’s childhood dream job became available only a few months after they moved to town. “When I was in high school, I went to our local extension agent and asked her how I could get that job,” Massey said. Massey did as she was told — became a dietician — and picked up an education degree along the way. In Massey’s line of work, she gets to experience many of her passions — cooking, gardening and weaving — on the job.

In one recent week, Massey was involved in orchestrating classes for beginning vegetable gardeners, working with the elderly on plans for passing down possessions to their families, advising child care providers on nutritious snacks, and training teachers on personal finance so they can put in their curriculum. “The beauty of my job is I can do almost anything I see a need for,” she said. In addition to backpacking, hiking, skiing and “anything that gets me outdoors,” Massey also sets aside time for family dinners at home, frequently bolstered by her teenage sons’ friends. Massey doesn’t only feed high-schoolers. She opened her home at one recent Christmas to Mucklow and a goat raised for 4-H. “Not everybody would let you cook a goat at their house, but she did,” Mucklow said.

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3/20/09 1:05:43 PM


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3/20/09 10:31:07 AM


Photo and Story: Joel Reichenberger

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2009

3/20/09 1:07:01 PM


Scott & Kristy F O X

It started with a kitchen table conversation. Scott and Kristy Fox were searching for a new salad for their popular Steamboat Springs breakfast and lunch hotspot, Freshies. “We said, ‘Let’s come up with a salad that uses those Craisens,’” Kristi said. “We wanted something fresh, something healthy that would really set us apart.” They continued tossing ingredients into the conversation, moving forward with some and weeding out others to build something unique. That was the formula for creating their most popular dish, the Meadow Salad. That same attitude, attention to detail and focus on freshness has been the formula that’s made Freshies the go-to spot for Steamboat locals. The Foxes opened Freshies six years ago after owning and operating Winona’s downtown. They decided the opportunity to own their own building was worth starting over for, so they sold off one popular restaurant to open another. They don’t have to look far for proof they made the right decision. “We really pack them in,” Scott said, pointing to the busy parking lot outside the restaurant’s doors. “We see the locals as our base, and we’ve always taken the tourist business as the gravy. A

lot of places do it just the opposite.” The Foxes think that attitude has helped keep the parking lot full whether it’s May or December. Mud season isn’t the only common restaurant sickness the Foxes’ employee-first management style has cured. “The turnover among our employees is almost nil,” Scott said. “We’ve never had a problem keeping people.” The key to that trick has been listening and caring for the staff, both agreed. Nothing on the popular menu is there permanently, and suggestions from the staff are welcomed. The Meadow Salad grew even more popular when dried cherries were substituted for the Craisens after its introduction. Freshies won’t ever branch out to new locations. Nor will it expand to serve dinner. “We feel like we’re geniuses for figuring out how to work in the restaurant industry and never work at night,” Kristy said. That schedule has allowed them to be home every night with their three daughters, 15-year-old twins Carly and Cassidy, and 7-year old Lily. “Our focus is getting out of here and going to hang out with them,” Scott said.

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3/20/09 10:31:19 AM


C H A N G I N G

T H E

W O R L D

Photo: Matt Stensland Story: Luke Graham

Mary Walker In the physical sense, Mary Walker resides in Routt County. But much of her heart is in Narok, Kenya. There, Walker has seen and felt the full spectrum of emotions. In a country where only 2 percent of children finish high school and go on to a post-secondary education, Walker is making a difference. And she’s doing so in the midst of political unrest, social differences and a culture in which young Maasai women face a steep uphill battle. Still, sitting in Bud Werner Memorial Library on an unseasonably warm March day, Walker’s smile was as bright as the sun outside. “We’re selling the idea,” Walker said. “By educating the girls, the world will change. The world will become a better place.” Walker works at the Tasaru Girls Rescue

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Centre in Narok, Kenya, and helped start the Tasaru Scholarship Fund. The Rescue Centre serves as safe house for Maasai girls who have escaped or been rescued from female genital mutilation and forced childhood marriage. The scholarship fund helps the girls attend some sort of secondary school. Walker started making the trips to Kenya more than two years ago after visiting as a tourist and hearing from a Kenyan woman who witnessed a genital mutilation. So affected by the conversation, Walker researched the Rescue Centre and now goes to Kenya three times a year. A great-great niece of Routt County pioneer Margaret Brown, Walker, a Clark resident, spends most of her time in Kenya doing administrative work with the center and raising money. Although her stays in Kenya are brief, the work has consumed her.

When she’s back in the Yampa Valley, she makes the library her second home, networking and fundraising as much as possible. “She dives right into the deep end of it,” said Suzanne Munn, a friend of Walker’s who also has taught in East Africa. “She’s brave and courageous for taking this on. She’s incredible. She doesn’t spare a minute and is always out there telling people about it.” With most of Walker’s time spent trying to find ways to further the cause, she still finds time to enjoy all that Routt County has to offer. Still, most of the time her mind — and heart — are in Kenya. “I’ve always traveled back because I love the girls and the girls love me,” she said. “I feel very fortunate at this point in my life to put my energy into this.”

2009

3/20/09 1:08:02 PM

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3/20/09 2/9/09 10:07:43 10:31:28 AM


T E A C H I N G

L I F E

L E S S O N S

Neill Redfern Even if he thinks it’s cheesy, Neill Redfern has always lived by a simple philosophy: “For when the one great scorer comes to write against your name, he marks not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.” So it’s not surprising that as director of Steamboat Youth Lacrosse, Redfern is bucking a trend all too common in youth sports. Redfern is not concerned much with winning. Nor is he concerned that the best players always play. For Redfern, the idea behind his organization is to let everyone get equal playing time and enjoy a sport that has given him so much. “The philosophy of our organization is we want to provide a positive athletic experience. Winning is secondary,” Redfern said. “Winning can be important. It shows dedication and work ethic. But at a young age, there are parts that are much more important. ... You never know who the best guy is going to be in three years or five years from now.” Redfern moved to Steamboat permanently in 2001. In 2002 and 2003, he helped coach the high school team. After teaching a clinic in 2003, he started Steamboat Youth Lacrosse. The organization has spring and summer sessions and serves fifth- through eighth-graders in the spring and third- through 12th-graders in the summer. Although the level of lacrosse has improved tremendously over the years, it has been Redfern’s outlook and philosophies within the program that have resonated the most. “I honestly felt that and feel that we all have been given an opportunity to learn from this man about his love of coaching,” said Win Park, the parent of several children who participate in the Youth Lacrosse program. “To learn about his love of equal treatment and love of respect.” Redfern was quite the lacrosse player himself. A game he fell in love with in first grade turned into an opportunity to play in college. He spent two years at Washington and Lee University in Virginia before transferring to the University of North Carolina. With the Tar Heels, Redfern was twice named an All-American. “Lacrosse is and was always a really fun sport,” he said. “The most fun I had was playing high school ball.” Despite playing at the highest levels and always getting ample playing time, Redfern said what he’s trying to do with Steamboat Youth Lacrosse is twofold. He wants players to get better and enjoy the sport, but more important, he wants them to do it the right way. “Your morals and values and integrity,” he said, “will carry you a lot further in life than your lacrosse record in sixth grade.” 20 | LOCALS |

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Photo: Matt Stensland Story: Luke Graham

2009

3/20/09 1:25:59 PM


Kit

R I C E On the afternoon of March 5, employees of the city’s Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department scrambled to stuff bags for that weekend’s annual pentathlon. The event’s organizer of the past four years was absent, but fond memories abounded where Kit Rice’s presence lacked. “In terms of personality, we fondly remember Kit. She had a lot of that,” Recreation Supervisor Susan Petersen said. “I think she kind of found her calling with recreation. She was so good with people, and she just loved every sport. “Without a doubt, the years she was in charge of the (pentathlon) she pulled it off without a hitch,” Petersen continued, adding that Rice even had enough energy after the races to go to the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant and see how many margaritas she and her co-workers could drink as a staff. “Me, on the other hand, I’m overwhelmed.” Rice, the city’s sports coordinator, died in September at age 47. When asked to share some funny stories about their friend, many in the room hesitated at first, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of Rice’s body of work and wondering where to begin. “Kit was a funny story,” co-worker and

hockey teammate Jennifer Travis explained. On the ice, Rice tried several positions before finding a niche in the net. She played the game like she lived her life, Travis said, which meant you were doing a good job “as long as you were playing your heart out and having fun.” “If you weren’t having fun,” Travis said, “it wasn’t worth it.” Rice was a big advocate for women’s hockey, a sport that has grown locally into somewhat of a phenomenon. “I think she’s responsible for getting half the women hockey players out on the ice. She was so encouraging,” Travis said. “Kit was a unifier, I think. She had a great way of taking a group of people and just pulling them together.” Laura Stamp listened to others’ stories and told a few of her own. Before that afternoon, it had been awhile since she cried about the loss of her partner of eight years. “She could say something to you, and she’d walk away and you’d think, ‘Did she just put me in my place?’ She never made anybody feel bad. She was never brash. She was always so gentle,” Stamp said. “We were just really good friends. Always really good friends.”

Story: Brandon Gee

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2009

3/20/09 10:31:44 AM


L A U G H I N G

&

P R AY I N G

Pastor Troy Lewis When an old friend from his days working for the Texas Rangers called, he couldn’t believe that Troy Lewis is now known as Pastor Troy Lewis. “If I know anything about you,” Lewis said his friend remarked, “your church probably laughs more than it prays.” That’s not far off. “I just seek to use as much selfdeprecating humor as I can,” Lewis said, “and I’ve got plenty of material.” For Lewis, humor is an integral part of his goal of making Steamboat Christian Center a church that is “real, fun and hopeful.” “It’s not uncommon to have people laughing during the sermon,” church member Kevin Haynes said. “He’s really good at weaving humor into the sermon, and sometimes that really drives the point home.” Lewis said keeping things lighthearted is especially important in a community like Steamboat Springs, where plenty of people are “spiritual,” but significantly less consider themselves “religious” and are hesitant to walk into a church. If you walk into Steamboat Christian Center in the middle of a service, you’re just as likely to hear a Bon Jovi or Doobie Brothers song as you are to hear “Amazing Grace” or “The Old Rugged Cross.” It’s all part of an effort to make Christianity relatable, Lewis said, and not to complicate Jesus’ simple message. “Being irrelevant is irreverent,” Lewis said. “If we’re not making sense, we’re probably not pleasing God. … You don’t have to believe to belong here. We’re all on different parts of our journey.” While he treats his services like a party, Lewis also knows that life isn’t always easy and fun. He refers to Steamboat as a “brutiful” place, where an abundance of natural beauty masks a lot of hurt and loneliness beneath the surface in people’s personal lives. Haynes said that when he was grieving the death of a young relative, Lewis let him vent, question and cry for two hours — and then they prayed together. “No matter how long you’ve been there, there’s things that come up that make you question,” Haynes said. “That really impacted me — that he was willing to give me that time.”

Photo: John F. Russell Story: Brandon Gee

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3/20/09 1:37:01 PM


Suzanne T U L L Y

Suzanne Tully can get called in to work at any hour. She keeps a tow rope and an avalanche shovel handy and said she’s had to fight through the nastiest of winter storms to reach the clients she affectionately dubs “my ladies.” Life as one of the only direct-entry midwives in Northwest Colorado isn’t always easy, but Tully’s not about to stop giving Colorado women the option to give birth at home. “I love my work,” she said. “It’s inspiring to women to support them this way, and it’s a really positive impact to their families to welcome a child into life this way.” Tully said only 1 percent of births nationwide take place at home, but in Steamboat the number is greater than 5 percent. Those who opt for Tully’s service get everything from Mayan massages — “It’s very traditional; it makes all my ladies very happy” — to yoga classes, nutrition advice and, of course, a helping hand on the big day and several sit-downs afterward. “All different kinds of people choose it,” she said. “Women choose it mostly for the intimacy and the personal experience. A lot of women say, ‘I’m not sick. I’m not going to the hospital.’”

Tully now picks up more than one-third of her business from Craig and Hayden. Her career hasn’t always been confined to U.S. Highway 40, however. She first learned the art as an apprentice 20 years ago while living in Hotchkiss. She’s helped everyone from Mennonite mothers in Northwest Colorado to new babies in Russia and desperate immigrant families in El Paso, Texas. She’s been a fixture in Colorado midwifery since the practice was legalized 15 years ago, was one of the first certified midwives in the state, and has continued to help expecting mothers since moving to Steamboat from Hotchkiss nearly four years ago. She decided to move once her youngest child left for college. Since she arrived, two of her children, 27-year-old Noah and 24-year-old Louise, have moved to the Yampa Valley and found jobs. Hanna, 21, is a senior at the University of Colorado. “I enjoy that a lot of people in this city are so happy,” she said. “I enjoy the support of the community. It’s a very accepting community, and I deeply appreciate that.” And she loves skiing all day, even if she is on call.

Photo and Story: Joel Reichenberger

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2009

3/20/09 1:38:18 PM


Father Tom D E N T I C I

For Father Tom Dentici, every day begins with a walk. And, just so you know, he’s not lost and his car isn’t broken. Dentici, affectionately and respectfully known as “Father Tom,” is the first to laugh about and admit that the site of an 80-yearold man ambling around will engender a few remarks. But engendering remarks is one of the things he’s best at. As a former regular at Dos Amigos in Ski Time Square, people would often come up and ask Dentici what a priest was doing at the popular bar and restaurant. “I’m the one that’s single,” Dentici would joke to his married friends. “What are you doing here? Get home to your family.” “I was really sad to see that place go,” Dentici said about Dos Amigos, which closed in 2007. “That was one of my best offices.” Before being reassigned to other Western Slope communities, Dentici was the pastor at Holy Name Catholic Church in Steamboat Springs from 1983 to 1993. In his retirement, he has returned to the community he considers home, and to the friends — many of whom he baptized and married — he considers family.

Although his favorite haunt is gone, Dentici’s social life hasn’t exactly slowed down. At a coffee shop one Thursday evening, parishioner and friend Barb Shipley fields phone calls about Dentici’s party the next night and jokes that she is his social director. “Father Tom’s greatest asset is that he is all about relationships,” Shipley said. “He truly is a priest of the people. … He’s just so real. Half the time, people don’t even know he’s a priest.” For Dentici, being with people, particularly young people, is one of the great joys of his life. The informal gatherings and outings he has hosted during the years are an opportunity to let people know that they’re welcome, they don’t have to perform and — most important — they’re cared for. “The most important thing that a pastor or minister can do is care for his people and all that, that means,” Dentici said. “Because if you look at the essence of any religion … it does come down to that — how you care for the people, especially those the most in need. When people see that, they realize the value of religion. When they don’t see that, they have good questions.”

Photo: John F. Russell Story: Brandon Gee

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3/20/09 1:39:17 PM


H O L D I N G

H I S

O W N

Photo and Story: Tom Ross

Jack Doyle Jack Doyle walked into the public library the other day and encountered a familiar smart aleck. “Hey Jack, I didn’t know bartenders could read!” The librarian came to his aid. “I see Jack in here a lot more often than I do you,” came the retort. Doyle is a veteran mixologist, a fixture at The Tugboat Grill & Pub, and an avid reader. “I usually check out two books every time I go to the library,” he said. “One I know is a page turner and another that’s more interesting.” That way, if the interesting book doesn’t grab hold of him, Doyle knows he can fall back on a mystery or adventure novel. Doyle was born in Boston and went on to earn a degree in production and operations management from Boston College. His diploma helped him land a construction

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management job at the Craig power plant from 1976 to ’79. From there, he moved on to working as a superintendent on construction of the Lake Catamount dam. Doyle’s first shift working behind the bar at the Tugboat was on New Year’s Eve in 1979. It was a baptism by fire, and he dug the performance aspect that comes over the job when things are really chaotic. “It’s an ideal job for me,” Doyle said. “When it’s really busy, it really does feel like being on stage. If you do the job right, people are having a good time.” Doyle is more than a bartender at the Tugboat. As assistant manager, he comes out from behind the bar and runs the place on nights when owners Hank Edwards and Larry Lamb are off. “Jack’s knowledgeable and fast as a bartender,” Lamb said. “He also knows how to relate to the customers, and he’s very good at defusing problems.”

Doyle takes pride in knowing how to break up a bar fight before it happens. Doyle, who isn’t a big guy, steps between the two reluctant combatants and says, “I have to do my job, but look at me. I’m screwed!” With the tension relieved, both parties can back away without feeling like they chickened out. Besides being a good student of human nature, Lamb says Doyle is the world’s luckiest halibut fisherman. On fishing expeditions off the Washington coast with former Steamboat beer king Larry Kaminski, Doyle always returns to port with the biggest fish, and that can mean 200 pounds of halibut. Five days a week you can spot Doyle taking a two-hour walk with The Dead rambling on his iPod. Then he settles in with a novel to get his mind right for another high-energy night with the crowds at the Tugger. Damn straight bartenders can read.

2009

3/20/09 1:40:12 PM


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3/20/09 10:32:16 AM


Tom

W H I D D O N If you moved to Steamboat in just the past 15 years, it’s possible you’ve never met Tom Whiddon’s alter ego, Weatherman Sam. Whiddon is a familiar sight at major community gatherings in his role as community service supervisor for the city of Steamboat Springs. It can be a stressful job, but he is the master of mellow and knows how to manage a crowd like nobody’s business. “I’ve heard people say a lot of things over the years, but as my mom always said, you get more flies with honey,” Whiddon said. Weatherman Sam is another story that grew out of Whiddon’s lengthy career as Steamboat’s leading radio personality. Whiddon came to Steamboat in December 1975 from Western State College in Gunnison, where he studied speech and worked for the college radio station. He had been promised a job at KBCR radio by John Gayer and was quickly rewarded with the prime morning drive time slot. Whiddon has a suppressed gift for impersonations and quickly picked up on the comfy twang of then-KCNC TV weather guy Sam Allred of Denver. Weatherman Sam took on a life of his own, and morning listeners often tuned in to hear

Whiddon’s alter ego give the weather report and carry on conversations with Whiddon. The morning traffic reports from high above U.S. Highway 40 usually resulted in hilarity or something close. Sam’s favorite overnight low temperature was “farty-far degrees.” Whiddon would have never said that on the air himself. During his radio career, Whiddon devoted many Friday nights and weekends to broadcasting Steamboat Springs High School sports all over the state. And he has been the longtime voice of Winter Carnival parades. Whiddon has life figured out. He lives in Old Town a few blocks from work and in most seasons has a kayak on top of his rig or two fly rods already strung and clipped into the ceiling of the car. When the evening whistle blows, he heads for the river. Tommy’s son, Clay, a kayaking whiz and wise-beyond-his-years college boy, acknowledges that his dad is a good paddler. “He’s not throwing all the best tricks, but he can go in the play wave in Steamboat without getting beaten down,” Clay said. Sometimes, not getting beaten down is a triumph for a middle-aged outdoorsman.

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2009

3/20/09 10:32:29 AM


Photo and Story: Tom Ross

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3/20/09 1:41:20 PM


B O O K

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Photo: John F. Russell Story: Zach Fridell

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The road trip that first brought Sherry Holland to Steamboat Springs was enough to snare her and keep her in the Yampa Valley for more than 27 years. Driving over Rabbit Ears Pass in June 1981, Holland looked at the green valley below and said to her sister, “This is where I want to live.” Of course, there were still 26 boxes of books to ship from her home in California before she could call Steamboat her home for good later that year. After working odd jobs in town, she landed work at the public library, which motivated her to return to school and earn a master’s degree in educational media. Both helped her land the librarian job at Strawberry Park Elementary School, where she has spent the past 10 years building a library of books suited to her clientele. Each book in the school’s extensive library is handpicked to meet the needs and desires of the students. “I look at libraries as infinite possibilities,” she said, adding that libraries help “understand the breadth of humanity.” Parents have recognized her contributions to the school, as well. “Her library is an exciting, inspiring escape for the students from the wildness of the (school) arcade or from what can sometimes seem like drudgery in the classroom,” parent Paige Boucher wrote in an e-mail about Holland. In Steamboat, Holland has raised her family — sons Danny and Michael — and has taken up bicycling with her husband, John. Even when she’s pedaling away the hours on a road bike on Routt County roads, Holland isn’t far from her books — she said she’s often listening to books on tape while she’s on the saddle. The role of the librarian has changed from when she started to include more emphasis on technology, but Holland said it’s not all different. “The school librarian today has a very different set of responsibilities from before because the whole world has changed drastically, but in some ways it’s the same. I’m still working with children,” Holland said. “Connecting kids to these books is one of the biggest thrills I have.”

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Lisa

W I L D E R M A N Lisa Wilderman has not led an interesting life. Truth is, she has led several interesting lives, ranging from living in New York City to teaching in the Yampa Valley to raising a family to spending her retirement years traveling the globe. The one constant in Wilderman’s life has been her music. Starting with voice and piano lessons when she was a young girl in Wilmette, Ill., she has continued to play and perform throughout her life. During her 12 years at Steamboat Springs High School, she performed and directed music for school musicals and often graced the stage at community theater productions, including a 1997 performance as Mother Superior in “Nunsense” with the Seventh Street Playhouse. Wilderman also shares her talent for piano and organ playing at local churches and is a regular performer during weddings and funerals. Performing is how she met longtime friend Judy Siettmann, a substitute teacher who said Wilderman’s love of music and literature was shared with everyone around her. “She has a lot of enthusiasm she brought to her classroom and a love of … all types of literature,” Siettmann said. “She has been such an inspiration to so many people and a great teacher

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2009

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and a great friend.” Since her retirement in 2004, Wilderman’s life has been filled with a new kind of excitement as she traveled to Vienna to study Mozart, to South Korea to teach English, and to Serbia to work with the United Nations. “I’ve discovered travel and the world are for me,” she said. But no matter where she goes, Wilderman said she always thinks of Steamboat as home. “I’ve been here 30 years, and it’s a good place. It’s a good place to live and be,” she said. Wilderman said that as she taught students at the elementary and secondary levels, she came to realize she was like a parent to each of them. “It’s kind of like you raised each others’ kids without knowing it,” she said.

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Jane

S I N D E L L Known today for her freshly baked bread and service with a smile at The Mugshot in Oak Creek, Jane Sindell got a less glamorous start in Routt County’s service industry 20 years ago, frying fish and chips at The Skiing Mermaid. In 1989, England native Sindell and some friends flew into New York, bought a car, and drove it 16,000 miles all over the country. They planned to eventually end up in Winter Park and get jobs there, but they met another English woman in Grand Canyon who coaxed them into moving to Steamboat Springs. “I was supposed to be traveling the world and never made it past the states,” Sindell said. “Soon I will have lived in this country longer than I’ve lived in England.” In 2001, Sindell helped her Photos: Matt Stensland Story: Melinda Dudley

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friend Tina Bird open the Oak Creek coffee shop, and she bought it from her outright in 2005. She rises in the wee hours of the morning to start baking her famous bread and serves up a morning dose of caffeine for dozens of regulars. “They’re my friends more than anything — they’re not just customers,” Sindell said. Before getting involved with The Mugshot, Sindell spent nine years as the baker for Winona’s Restaurant and Bakery in downtown Steamboat. Then-owner Kristy Fox still sells Sindell’s freshly baked cinnamon rolls and other treats at her current restaurant, Freshies. “The bakery was the backbone of Winona’s, it was what made it really special over there,” Fox said. Sindell enjoys anything that gets her outside in the mountains, including hiking, skiing, dirt biking and running. She likes to capture the mountains, as well, in her photographs and paintings. “The fact that she’s an artist is evident in everything she does, even the way she decorates her shop,” Fox said. Sindell truly knows how to balance work and play. When she broke her leg some years ago, Sindell was still out there on the lakeshore with her paintbrush, getting as much experience in as possible, Fox said. Sindell, who lives in Phippsburg with her boyfriend and dogs Harry and Toivo, said she’d happily bike to work on Colorado Highway 131 if she didn’t have to do it at 4:30 a.m. She keeps a blue beach cruiser at The Mugshot for running in-town errands and the occasional bread delivery. “My one weakness is definitely bread — I eat a lot of my own,” she said.

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E A S T

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Frank Cefaratti Sr. just oozes New Jersey. “Eh! How are ya?” he exclaimed to a couple of familiar customers on a recent Wednesday. “Long time no see!” The pair had swung by his business, Mountain View Car Wash & Detailing, partly to shoot the breeze (and to comment on how tall Frank Jr. has gotten). Cefaratti Sr. greeted them with a delighted grin and the accent he brought to Steamboat Springs from Bergen County, N.J., in 1995. He came to Steamboat to use a timeshare property and vowed to move here permanently. Cefaratti made it happen and started his car wash on Trafalgar Drive in 1997. Mountain View washes and details vehicles, and Cefaratti also owns a self-serve wash across the street. His car wash handles recreational vehicles, dump trucks, small jets and more. “We never say no, and in this economy, we’re trying to tailor it so if people can’t afford a full detail, we do express mini detail,” Cefaratti said. “Everybody’s watching their buck.” Mountain View also sells soft-serve ice cream, snacks and Sabrett hot dogs from New York. Cefaratti loads his with the full list of toppings: ketchup, mustard, chili, cheese, sweet relish, sweet cooked onions, sauerkraut, pico de gallo, raw onion, jalapeños and celery salt. It’s not a bad operation for “a wise guy from Jersey.” But there’s more to Cefaratti than East Coast flavor. The 14-year resident is all about Steamboat, and one of his passions is leash-free dog parks. As leader of the Responsible Dog Ownership Group of Steamboat, or RDOGS, he’s worked with the Parks, Open Space and Recreation Department to create offleash times at Rita Valentine and Spring Creek parks. He’s confident that permanent leashfree parks will come. Cefaratti’s black Labradors, Jack and Hoover, could go wild at one. “They’re always getting in trouble,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t think they’ve ever seen a leash.” Cefaratti’s son, Frank Cefaratti Jr., has faith in his father’s drive. The 2002 Steamboat Springs High School graduate nominated his father for Locals. “He’s the man you want on your side,” Frank Cefaratti Jr. said about his dad. Frank Cefaratti Sr. was effusive in praising his town. He loves the beauty, and he loves the friendly people. “I think we’re a gem in the rough,” he said. “And I like the rough, and I like the shine.”

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Locals 2009  

A collection of our favorite personalities

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