Letters to the editor
I would like to thank everyone who attended and supported the tribute the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens held on Aug. 7 for Mrs. Ford. I believe the entire Vail Valley expressed their love and affection for this extraordinary woman who has done so much for so many.I especially want to thank the Vail Daily for serializing our book, “Betty Ford – Vail Valley’s First Lady.” The book is available for sale in our two shops, The Schoolhouse Museum adjacent to the Gardens and Alpine Treasures on Gore Creek in Vail Village. All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Gardens, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Verbatim in Vail and Bookworm in Edwards have kindly offered to carry the book, as well. A DVD of the tribute to Betty Ford, which includes the testimonials to Mrs. Ford, various photographs and highlights of the evening, is also available for sale in the gardens’ gift shops.Thank you again to all the wonderful volunteers who made the evening so spectacular.June M. VanourekPresident, Board of DirectorsBetty Ford Alpine Gardens Up and down at VilarRecently Nanci Griffith played at the Vilar. I had planned for her earlier schedule in the spring and had scored a front row ticket. The Vilar is a beautiful venue, and usually very easy to navigate – down the elevator, down a hall through some doors and across to my seat; simple and sweet. I adore the Vilar. On occasion I’ve had an escort through the secret bowels of the theater. Sometimes, the doors and elevator are not locked and I can go alone. Friday, towards the end of the concert, I was on my way to the ladies room. I was able to get out, but then had no way back in. My available usher, Carol, didn’t have the proper keys. We tested a few entrances, involving a few stairs, ugh, and there was no way through the last door. Finally, lest I miss the one song I planned on, I braved the stairs from Level 2 down to 1. There are hand rails for the first eight or so seats. After that, it’s variable rise and run on the steps, because they accommodate seating instead of easy walking, and the steps are not well lit. Finally, slowly, and yes, carefully and safely back in my seat, amongst some great seat-mates, I was able to enjoy the end of the concert. Nanci had noticed my not quite regal descent and came to speak to me when she returned for her encore. I was in awe when she dedicated the evening to my service animal, Gladys. I’m still in awe. So I had a tough moment. Glady got her due for all the little things she does to make my every day manageable.Tuesday evening I spoke with Chris Sable, the theater director, who readily admitted dropping the ball with his staff. I have to say I’ve never had a more pleasant complaint conversation in my life. Chris Sable basically said he’s fixing their procedures, and offered his pledge that this would not happen again. We discussed the upcoming season and I’ve already picked out my shows. Now if only I didn’t have to wait until Nov. 1 to book them!My many thanks to Carol; she tried her damnedest. More thanks to Janet in the box office for hearing me out and directing my calls. All my respect to the crew at the Vilar. I remember touring it in a hard hat when it was all just a dream. I cannot think of a more intimate place to hear music more than the Spotted Cat or The Columns in New Orleans. I’ve motioned in a previous letter that I’m fearful of concerts at the Ford Amphitheater because visiting the restroom involves confronting the singles mosh pit on the wheelchair ramp. Even after Friday’s misadventure, the Vilar, and then Red Rocks, have always been my favorite places in Colorado because they are safe from the crush of a crowd. By the way, have there been any answers or explanations to Sherwood Stockwell’s letter of July 24 concerning the handicapped parking at Ford Park?Some of you may be wondering why I have shown up in the letters section recently. For over nine years I was in a worker’s comp debacle. I was afraid to let my voice be heard – backlash, I mean. I’m free now, and in control of my own future, medical and otherwise. I’ve made more advances with Medicare in the last year than in the last six years of worker’s comp.I’ve been here almost 15 years. I AM going to make a difference.D. Titus Blackwood AvonInspirationMatt Zalaznick, I have always wondered what you are smoking-injecting when writing the diatribes that you throw at PRESIDENT Bush every chance you get. …Wake up and smell the roses. We live in the greatest country, where a kook like you can express his FAR left views at any time and think that his civil liberties are being crushed by the likes of O’Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh.Sheehan met with PRESIDENT Bush once and was quoted that it was a good meeting. Perhaps some of her radical left-wing sponsors should back off. Anyway, you can get your chance to cheer on her anti-Semitic lunacy when she comes to Glenwood Springs.I have always gotten a kick out of reading your articles, which give me the balance that I need as I flush more cash to the Republican Party machine to crush forward-thinking liberals such as yourself.Arthur Blank IIVail, Colorado
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