Snowboard instructor loved flowers, snow
BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado – This summer’s flower displays along Breckenridge, Colorado’s Main Street won’t be the same after the abrupt departure of Bess Rosenfeld, an outspoken young woman who loved snowboarding.
“She was just a very strong-willed person and always said what she means, and I think that people listened to her when she talked,” said friend and town parks operator Courtney Lape. “She’s an icon.”
Rosenfeld, of Alma, died Feb. 28 on Colorado 9 in Blue River, where her northbound Honda Accord collided with a dump truck that was hauling a trailer.
Her vehicle’s speed and the icy, snowpacked roads are suspected to have contributed to the accident, according to Colorado State Patrol.
Lape said Rosenfeld, 29, worked on the Main Street flower crew since about summer 2004. There wouldn’t have been any salpigs on the stretch last summer if it hadn’t been for a special order at Rosenfeld’s request.
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The salpiglossis (Greek for “trumpet” and “tongue”) flowers, especially purple ones with orange centers, were her favorites, Lape said.
“They’re crazy flowers,” she said.
Deena Scherer, Rosenfeld’s aunt from Bedford, N.Y., said she always loved snow and was a skier since the age of 3 or 4.
“She was a smart girl, and she really took to the snowboard like a fish to water,” Scherer said. “She loved nature.”
She said Rosenfeld was also a “vicious backgammon player” and could crochet well.
Rosenfeld’s local friends have ski hats knitted for them.
“She was a good driver ” that’s what really pisses me off about all this,” Scherer said. “It shouldn’t have happened.”
The aunt said kids and pets especially loved Rosenfeld.
“We’re going to miss her more than anybody could ever say,” she said.
Tattoos and hoodies
Rosenfeld worked most recently as a snowboard instructor at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Margaret Doherty, a bartender at Ullr’s Sports Grill, worked with Rosenfeld planting flowers last summer.
She said recently Rosenfeld was also working for a business that cleans schools and office buildings late at night.
“I tried to go to the crash site yesterday to put flowers there, but there’s no marks, and I couldn’t (find the site),” she said. “It’s just hard to say goodbye when you don’t have any closure.”
Doherty last saw Rosenfeld at Ullr’s where they were “just hanging out” last week.
Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson said the accident occurred near mile marker 82, and that Rosenfeld’s car skidded about 250 feet after it collided with the truck. She died on impact of blunt force trauma.
Lena Tuter, who sells tickets for Vail Resorts, said she met Rosenfeld while working at Goods in Breckenridge in 2007.
“She loved her tattoos,” Tuter said. “She had a whole collection. And she loved hoodies; she was a bit of a fashionista.”
She said Rosenfeld was loyal and passionate to friends and family, and always outspoken.
“She wasn’t a mystery, she was right out there,” she said.
Rosenfeld’s “colorful, whimsical” tattoos included suns on her feet and perhaps a fairy on her leg, Tuter said.
“We were kind of cruel at work,” she said, adding that their favorite pastime was watching out the window as people got towed from no-parking zones.
Doherty said Rosenfeld was the most spontaneous, adventuresome person she’s ever met.
“For example, she talked about going to Jackson Hole and made up her mind, and left the next day by herself for the eight-hour drive,” she said, “and then ended up staying for two weeks.”
Rosenfeld’s funeral is today in Norwalk, Conn., where she was a longtime resident before moving to Colorado.
Breckenridge Ski Resort spokeswoman Kristen Petitt said the family would like to have a memorial service locally, but that plans aren’t certain.
Lape said her last time with Rosenfeld was a week ago today, when they had dinner at Millonzi’s Delicatessen in Fairplay and stayed the night at Lape’s place.
“She was just starting to get her life in order and really wanted to take a month off this summer to go to either New Zealand or Australia,” she said.
They had “girl time” with another friend, drank some wine and watched “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson” and “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.”
Lape said the salpig flowers are already on order for Main Street this year.
“We’re definitely going to miss her this next summer,” Lape said. “Every flower I plant, I’ll think of her.”
Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.