Editorial: Frank Doll, bridge to the past
Vail CO, Colorado
In our transient resort community, it’s unusual to find people who remember what life in Eagle County was like 10 years ago ” much less a half-century or more ago.
This week, we pause to honor and remember Frank Doll, a true Eagle County pioneer who over his long life touched many a local and visitor alike.
Frank was a regular visitor to our busy newsroom over the years. A local weather watcher, he popped in monthly to give us his handwritten notes on the month’s high and low temperatures and precipitation. With his signature cowboy hat and reserved demeanor, Frank was nonetheless outspoken when he had an opinion he wanted to get across, and he had some lively conversations with former Daily Editor Don Rogers.
“What struck me was how he always looked to the future,” Rogers said. “I was very impressed by that.”
We always loved how Frank would summarize things in a few short words. If we asked him what he thought of a rainy month, he might say, “Well, it was wet.” As fascinated as he obviously was with the local weather, he kept the view that jawin’ about what the clouds were doing wasn’t going to change anything. The numbers spoke for themselves.
Recent history in our county can be divided into “Before Skiing” and “After Skiing,” and Frank’s time straddled many of those years. He may have been part of the original ranching community before Vail opened, but he also embraced the opportunity inherent in the ski industry. As a storyteller at the Beaver Creek Park-Hyatt in his later years, Frank rolled the old ranching-days stories in with the ski lore, effectively summarizing the county’s recent history with his trademark folksy charm and wit.
We join with the Doll family, Frank’s many friends and the entire Eagle County community in saying farewell to a good man who loved to look back as much as he liked to look forward.
” Alex Miller for the Editorial Board