Since The Brown Recluse didn't ever care for family, she was a study in opposites when it came to friends. Even I must admit that growing up in her shadow had its perks. Our home was always filled with interesting, artistic, musical, funny, eccentric, eclectic, and sometimes dangerous people. This was especially so when we moved to Aspen. It was never anywhere even remotely resembling a so-called normal family life, but I didn't know many other kids growing up there, that did have the norm. Aspen is a unique place, or rather, it used to be. Back in the 1960's it was grand and filled with the most colorful cast of infamous & famous people.
The Brown Recluse was friends with Leon Uris, who was a frequent visitor at our house. His son, Mike, was a good friend of The Prince's and I had a major crush on him, not understanding the vast difference in our backgrounds. Still, he was cute & funny and always had great
Another frequent visitor was a senior level ski instructor, Bert Cross, who was also known as *Dirty Bertie Cross*. He'd once been a famous ski instructor in Stowe, Vermont as well as Squaw Valley (which meant he'd bagged dozens of Snow Bunnies), but was also a fairly good artist. When I was 15 TBR let him do my portrait, minus the usual post portrait sex antics, of course. I remember he used to come over early mornings with what he always called "Boo-Boos", which were basically coffee with whatever liquor he had at the moment. I'm fairly certain he wasn't too particular at that point in his life. He also had a lot to do with my early skiing lessons. The man had patience of steel.
Another local character that frequented our abode was the head of The Aspen Underground Ski School... Ralph Jackson. The man is a legend in stories of anyone who lived in Aspen back then, to this day. Ralph was as old as the hills (although no one actually knew his real age) but taught trick skiing back before any of it was a sport. His students were the ones who created all of the events that came to be part of the Olympics, as well as nationals & regional championships. This man was a true pioneer in the world of skiing and yet, is seldom remembered as such, in most skiing circles anyway. He also had a profound influence on my skiing technique, for which I'm forever grateful to him. He taught me to do helicopters off the roll-jump. So, clearly, the man was a genius. Always has been. Always will be. Whether anyone has ever heard of him or not.
So.... I must say that I've always been rather partial to the eccentric & quirky, as they seem ever so much more fun than the mundane. Call me crazy, but... I will argue with you to the death. As bad as The Brown Recluse was, she always provided my brother & I with a diverse group of people, although none of them were what I'd consider role models. I'll go into the *dangerous types* at a later date. It was enchanting to me, being around these people and I always thought that my life was good. Hey - what the Hell did I know? I was just a kid.... And, Aspen was magical back in the 1960's.
To Be Continued...
Oh, and by the by... I Am Back. I Think. Alright, I'm praying. I think the back is back. For Now.