Archive for the ‘Family History’ Category

Christo’s Valley Curtain – – Directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Giffard 1974, 24 mins.

July 24, 2017

Back when we would to to Snowmass at Aspen for summer vacation, my father would tell us about this fascinating project.

“After Years of Silence, We Finally Know More About the SR-71 Blackbird’s Successor – – Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs, or Skunk Works, discussed the future of the SR-72, a Mach 6 strike and reconnaissance aircraft.”

June 8, 2017

My father will find this interesting.

“Snowmass-at-Aspen – – has very good times!” (Doug Jones) “[Snowmass-at-Aspen was] a kind of good-times machine…” (Peggy Clifford)

May 31, 2017

Background to Quote 1:  “Snowmass-at-Aspen – – has very good times!” (Doug Jones)

On a summer day in the early 1970s I was with my family in our 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport, westbound on I-70 in the middle of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, looking forward to what would be at least our second family vacation at the Silver Tree Inn located in Snowmass-at-Aspen.  I was in my customary seat – – back seat on the passenger side of the car.  My younger brother Doug was in his customary seat, the middle seat in the back row.  All of a sudden Doug started singing a song we had never heard before, a song he had made up himself, which went something like this:

Snowmass-at-Aspen – – has very good times!
Got skiing!  do do do do-do
Got tennis!  do do do do-do
Got swimming!  do do do do-do
Snowmass-at-Aspen, has very got very good ti-i-i-imes!

Background to Quote 2: “[Snowmass-at-Aspen was] a kind of good-times machine…” (Peggy Clifford)

“At [the center of Snowmass-at-Aspen] was a square with a clock tower and fountain. Shops and restaurants ringed the square. Beyond them were lodges and condominiums, beyond them were the playing fields – – ski slopes, golf course, tennis and paddle tennis courts . . . [Snowmass-at-Aspen] was not a town, but merely a kind of good-times machine, and the good times were organized and codified. They were also unreal. The fact that there was a real town named Snowmass with a history, residents, houses, and businesses just down the road was not seen by [its developers] as a stumbling block. Market research indicated that Snowmass was a promising name for a ski resort and that the Aspen connection was worth millions in publicity. So, Janns both built an instant town and named it after a celebrated real town…” To Aspen and Back: An American Journey Hardcover – 1980 – – by Peggy Clifford (pp. 107, 108)

Book description from

A non-fiction chronicle of Aspen, Colorado during the 1950s through the 1970s by long-time journalist and resident, Peggy Clifford. Introduction by Hunter S. Thompson, occasional resident, friend of the author, and candidate for Sheriff of Aspen.

“No Relief Like Passing Checkpoint Charlie – – Visits to East Berlin reminded me of how fortunate I was.”

May 11, 2017

My first visit to Berlin was a business trip in the  1990s.  I had a very crowded schedule, but was able to see a little of Berlin, which at the time was being called the largest construction site in the world in the wake of reunification.  A highlight was visiting the Checkpoint Charlie Museum my last morning there, before heading off to the airport.

In 2001 I visited Berlin with my parents, with whom my siblings and I had already had multiple viewings of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and “Game, Set, Match.”  I took the opportunity to get a photo of my father walking past the iconic Checkpoint Charlie sign (while wearing his Bernard Samson hat).

“Peggy Clifford, former Aspen author and journalist, dies”

May 7, 2017


“She wrote one of the most intelligent columns in the history of American journalism,” wrote the late maverick journalist Hunter S. Thompson in an introduction to “To Aspen and Back.” “Her collected columns on Aspen would be a real saga, a million words or more. No one did what she did. Nobody else wrote with the consistency, the genuine love for the valley that she did. Other people might have felt it, but she said it.”

Said McBride: “She was a good reflection of what this place once was.”

In June 1970 — a time when the hippies and free-thinkers were famously at odds with the town’s conservative lot — Clifford wrote in favor of an open space purchase by the city of Aspen.