Returning to Telluride: TIO in Indianapolis

Returning to Telluride: TIO in Indianapolis

DSC_2264.cover.6x4 copy Lots of things were broken in the early 1990s: the economy and my arm. The country turned to the Man from Hope to fix the economic downturn. (Clinton did.) To fix the arm, the result of a horseback riding accident, I turned to a part-time Telluride local, world renowned hand and arm surgeon Dr. Hill Hastings of the Indiana Hand Center/Shoulder & Elbow Institute, our Indianapolis connection.

Meeting HIll was yet another in the endless variations on the theme of six degrees of separation: a friend of a friend, he happened to be in residence at his Telluride Ski Ranches home just three weeks before I was scheduled for surgery in New York. The man's genius was apparent after our first meeting: he had created architectural drawings of my arm, complete with moving parts to illustrate what needed to happen. He generously offered to participate in a conference call with my New York doc. Clint and I decided to jump ship and have him do the surgery.

In 1992, Hill and his family – wife Bettie, daughters Peiper and Laurel – were primarily based in Indianapolis at their horse farm in Zionsville. Long story short, when they learned I would be on my own in a motel when Clint was flying a trip – he was a full-time pilot for Northwest then – they did not hesitate to invite me to be their house guest during the two-phased operation.

IMGP0299 Seventeen years later, the welcome mat was still out when we returned to Sundance, still as beautiful as it was through the lens of our memories. This visit, only Bettie was in residence, ironically recovering from surgery. (Knee not arm.) The girls, now lovely young women – Peiper teaches Pilates in Telluride at The Pilates Workshop and Laurel is off to Georgetown for med school – had just left their mom to return to their respective homes and work. HIll was his way back from an annual horseback riding trip and visit with his family in Santa Barbara. That left the three of us – and the three big personality Portuguese Water Dogs, Galli, Nikki and Cinco – to share chocolate and chew the fat.

On this Mother's Day, Bettie is fair game and in a league of her own. No doubt she is a super mom, but less June Cleaver than Wonder Woman:  smart, straight-talking, athletic, funny, warm, – and lucky for us, generous to a fault.

After we left Bettie, we headed for the nearby Traders Point Creamery, a dairy farm, where all the products are fresh, simple and organic. We bought their yogurt, voted America's #1 Yogurt by the American Cheese Society, some cheese and a takeout lunch, before heading west for Kansas City, our next stop.

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