Today I’m taking the time to tell a personal story. Ruth & my trip that included Aspen this past summer involved our attending some music events that were delayed because of our shared COVID year. Aspen tried some new ideas including Music on the Go this summer, and one of the performances we attended was by the American String Quartet. We met a member of this quartet many years ago, and the story was written up by me and published in The Aspen Times.
Here’s what happened. Ruth & I left our car lights on during a rain shower, and we needed a jump start on a parking lot. A young musician gave us assistance and refused compensation. We later found out that he was the lead violinist for the American String Quartet. While we got our jump start, we had learned that the young man helping us was from our home town of St. Louis, but we didn’t exchange names. That evening the American String Quartet that is still performing in 2021 played a concert, and we were in the audience. We were shocked to learn the identity of the man who helped us.
We met Peter Winograd in St. Louis a couple of years later, and he remembered the incident and my article about it. We shared a good laugh over the events. We had not seen him for several years but learned that he and his quartet were performing in the Aspen Music Festival’s shortened 2021 season. We acquired tickets for this performance and met Peter Winograd backstage after the concert. We had fun reminding him about the incident that had occurred many years previously.
The town of Aspen has changed a lot over the years. By the 1950s it was a derelict town with a mining past but no future. The photo just above was taken in the town of Aspen on Bleeker Street in 1934 when sheep were far more common than humans in a declining town in the mountains of Colorado. By the 1950s actress Hedy Lamarr owned a hotel called Villa LaMarr on Main Street in Aspen, a movie called Devil’s Doorway was being shot at Maroon Bells, and actor Gary Cooper was building a house in town. Then skiing and the music festival among other important events led to a major revival, and Aspen is now known as a billionaires’ playground. Never has a town’s fortunes so completely turned around than did Aspen’s.
We thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing with Peter Winograd in 2021.