God Speaks to Each of Us

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going.  No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

(Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Book of Hours: Love Poems to God,” translated by Anita Barrows and
Joanna Macy and chosen by WordWoman Rosemerry Trommer to honor Ann Brady and outstanding individuals like her)

Ann Brady

Ann Brady

The Telluride Foundation’s Citizen of the Year award is in recognition of someone who has unselfishly contributed to the Telluride regional community’s quality of life. From a field of 10 nominees, this year’s winner is Ann Brady.

The Foundation has scheduled a party in Brady’s honor for Thursday, September 27, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., at Arroyo, 220 East Colorado Avenue. The community is encouraged to attend.

In Ann Brady, beauty twins with character.

When her husband of 42 years, Kirk Brady, died of a heart attack in 1999, Brady remained to finish out her tenure as superintendent of the Telluride school system. She got through the hard times with the help of her children, the Telluride community, biking and traveling.

Being outdoors has always been Brady’s Snoopy blanket.

The daughter of a Connecticut Yankee (mom) and a Harvard professor (dad), Brady was the youngest in the litter. Her close-knit family was intellectual and musical, but in-depth conversations with her dad was her siblings’ thing, not hers. Brady once told me that in describing his youngest child, her dad would shrug his shoulders and exclaim: “Well, she’s athletic.”

Was and still is – although Brady holds a Ph.D. in education and administration.

Since arriving in Telluride in 1994, Ann Brady has enjoyed hiking and snowshoeing. She also completed 20 Ride the Rockies events, a bike tour in which participants pedal 350-450 miles over many mountain passes. (Her last race was just three years ago, in 2009.) In college at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Brady was into skiing and climbing. She continues to be an avid skier and has volunteered with the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program for years.

In addition to TASP, Brady’s current local nonprofit work includes the boards of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, the Telluride Choral Society and Palm Arts. After 10 years, Brady retired in December from the board of the Wilkinson Public Library, which she helped turn into a five-star, nationally recognized institution. She is also active with the Presbytery of Western Colorado. Brady has chosen to divide the  $5,000 grant she receives as Outstanding Citizen of the Year among  three of those nonprofits – Chamber Music Festival, Choral Society, Palm Arts – plus the Telluride Playwrights Festival and Telluride Theater.

Ann Brady serves on the board of the Telluride Regional Airport Authority and is currently a member of the Telluride Town Council. Mayor Stu Fraser, who works with Brady on the Council today and used to work with her on board of the Choral Society, has this to say about his long-time friend:

“Ann Brady is an individual who understands life from the perspective of a wife and mother, while having a keen ability to bring forth decisions which are well thought out and reflective of the overall good. That is always done with a smile and great respect.”

Brady shares her honor with past recipients of the award: Terry Tice (2003), Lissa Margetts (2004), John Micetic (2005), Bill Carstens (2006), John Pryor and Jane Hickcox (2007), Kathy Green (2008), Marilyn Branch (2009), Dan and Greer Garner and Andrea Benda (2010) and Billy “Senior” Mahoney (2011).

To learn more about this Outstanding Citizen, click the “play” button and eavesdrop on my conversation with Ann Brady.

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