Sewing for statesmen and celebrities |

Sewing for statesmen and celebrities

VAIL ” The man walked into the Stitchery and, with a distinctive voice, announced his name was Peck and he needed some alterations.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this must be Gregory Peck,'” said Ruth Moran, the owner of the Stitchery.

And she was right. He needed some adjustments to his ski suit and some oversized buttons for a coat. He was a very nice guy ” and more handsome in person than he was on film, she said.

Then there was composer Henry Mancini, who busted the seat of his tuxedo pants.

“He was desperate to get his tuxedo repaired because he was doing a concert in Aspen that night,” Moran said.

And members of the Ford family were frequent customers. At first they crammed into her small shop with their Secret Service detail. Later, she went to the Fords’ Beaver Creek home.

“A really, nice, down-to-earth guy,” Moran said of the president. “Just as common as an old shoe.”

Meeting such notable people is one of the things that makes Moran love Vail, the Wisconsin native said.

“If I were back in my hometown of River Falls, would I have been able to meet President Ford and all of the other celebrities?” she said.

Moran grew up on a dairy farm, and has always loved to sew. She used to sneak into the sewing room after her chores were done to make clothes for her dolls, she said.

Moran moved to Vail in 1967 and started the Stitchery in 1973. Ted Kindel, Vail’s first mayor, was her landlord then.

“I just started sewing for people and that’s how it all started,” she said. “I’ve never looked up since.”

She raised her eight kids in Vail, and now they live all over the country.

Of course, Vail has changed a lot since she first moved here, when Donovan’s Copper Bar was everyone’s office.

“Now I can walk down Bridge Street and not know a soul,” she said.

With Crossroads coming down, she’s retiring ” kind of. She’ll still do work at her home in Gypsum, she said.

Regardless of her age, she feels like she’s 40 years old, she said.

“I’m 75 years old, but that’s just a number,” she said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

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