Tops on St. Nick’s list in Aspen? A new arm |

Tops on St. Nick’s list in Aspen? A new arm

Katie Redding
Aspen, CO Colorado
Katie Redding/The Aspen TimesThe Annabelle Inn in Aspen, Colorado seeks a woodworker to repair this statue of St. Nicholas, which has graced a clock that has faced Main Street for roughly 50 years.

ASPEN, Colorado ” For roughly 50 years, a St. Nicholas statue with a pair of skis ” also known by the aliases Father Time, St. Bernard and Skiing Jesus ” has graced the clock atop the Annabelle Inn on Main Street in Aspen, Colorado.

But last spring, the arm that held St. Nicholas’ skis fell off.

It’s not the first time the wooden saint has been damaged ” a close perusal finds him full of Bondo, wood putty, fiberglass and layers of paint. But this time, no one can put him together again.

The first repairman the Annabelle Inn called suggested they begin by taking the saint off the clock and out of the weather, said Innkeeper Charley Case.

“We called it rehab for Father Time ” drying him out,” said Case.

But neither he nor anyone since has been able to fix the saint full of dry rot ” at least for a price that isn’t in the thousands, Case said. Some of the repairmen have said St. Nicholas can’t be fixed. A few others have suggested elaborate fixes ” such as molding him and re-fabricating him out of fiberglass ” that Case said are too extensive and pricey.

A new saint would likely also cost thousands ” and would probably be made out of plastic or fiberglass, said Case. At least that is what his perusal of church-supply catalogues has shown.

“There’s not a lot of other places to buy saints,” said Case.

In the mid-1960s, the hotel now known as the Annabelle Inn reopened as The Christmas Inn. That is when Case believes St. Nicholas was put up on the clock ” next to the phrase “Pleasure knows no time.”

In 2002, the hotel was again remodeled, and eventually reopened as the Annabelle Inn. St. Nicholas underwent an extensive refurbishing at that time, in the hopes of extending his life, Case said.

But for now, St. Nicholas is hanging out inside, waiting for a repairman. Case said anyone interested in figuring out how to put the arm back on should stop by the inn between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to view the saint. He’ll throw in a four-day weekend at the hotel in addition to the repair costs for anyone who can fix the statue, he said.

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