Susan Herzog Bristol
Women of Vail

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December 1, 2013
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‘Women of Vail’ serialization: More of a community than a resort

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from “Women of Vail,” by Elaine Kelton and Carolyn Pope. The Vail Daily is serializing the book, which is available for purchase at www.bookwormofedwards.com, the Colorado Ski Museum, Pepi’s, Gorsuch, Annie’s and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

I grew up in Michigan and lived across the street from Vail’s first mayor, Ted Kindel. I came to Vail from Boston in 1970, after my first job doing PR for The Architects Collaborative and Walter Gropius (Bauhaus founder). After his death, I lived in the house he designed near Walden Pond, finishing up the exhibit of his life’s work with his widow, Ise. I had graduated from Connecticut College for Women in 1968 in German language and literature.

I met Roger Staub at a meeting in Boston and liked the look of Western skiing. Ise Gropius put me in touch with the Aspen Institute for a job, but I came to Vail first and loved it immediately. I decided to move to Vail for a job doing PR for the Vail Resort Association with Dale McCall. My PR work for VRA included “fam tours” with media and the first Ski Golf Tournament. I was a member of the first all-girls ski team with Maggie Finch, Doris Bailey and Brooke Franzgen.

Skiing and my marriage to Wolfgang Herzog plus the wonderful lifestyle are the reasons I stayed. It was a great place to bring up our son, Alexander. I never grow tired of or take for granted the good friends and natural beauty of this place. I purchased a little house on Gore Creek because I couldn’t find any other place to live.

I love my friends. It’s wonderful to have the depth of camaraderie with so many people who worked to make Vail what it is today. I am perhaps the closest to a group of moms informally called the Mother Tuckers. Although my parents initially thought I’d moved to La-La Land, I found Vail to be more of a community than a resort. I hope to ski until I die. I also love swimming and hiking in the valley. Alex grew up under the French Corner at La Tour with escargots and lobster bisque. He skied with Rumplestiltskin School (with Hatsie Hinmon) before he talked much and had free run of the mountain and hiking into the Gore — a superb way to grow up.

After some wild nights at the Nu Gnu and listening to Jo Jo Lyles at The Clock Tower, I settled into cozy nights in front of the fire, alternating with great enjoyment of superb local restaurants. I was fortunate to enjoy an adventurous marriage and a wonderful son. Vail, to me, meant sunshine and great skiing. The on-mountain celebrations were the best. The American West was at our feet; it was such a fantastic opportunity.

“Women of Vail” was produced by a team that includes Elaine Kelton and Carolyn Pope, publishers; Joanne Morgan, designer and production; and Rosalie Hill Isom, writer and editor.

Although my parents initially thought I’d moved to La-La Land, I found Vail to be more of a community than a resort. I hope to ski until I die.


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The VailDaily Updated Dec 1, 2013 06:15PM Published Dec 1, 2013 06:28PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.