In the face of the undeniable fact that year after year, town after town around the world thrills to the spectacle of a twinkling Christmas tree on growth hormones and a flurry of snow at the end of Act I that would cause Telluriders to call in sick in the morning, it is hard to believe “The Nutcracker” first opened under a cloud in 1892 at St. Petersburg Maryinsky Theatre.

IMG_0803 Today she is a wife, mother and beloved director/mentor but growing up, Jen Nyman Julia was a theatre brat. Her parents ran Starflower Productions in her hometown of Winslow, Maine, where actors from all over the country visit to appear in the Nymans’ musicals. 

Boomers might remember “Leave It to Beaver,” the 1950s sitcom about the perfect all-American family of the Eisenhower years. The program was sweet enough to give a person a toothache, but one thing for sure, the tight little unit worked: lots of white teeth, love, and just enough mischief to spice up the action. The word “dysfunctional” had not been invented yet.

Santiago Correa

The Correa clan is Chile’s response to the Cleavers – only more so. There are eight of them: the irrepressible Santiago, Sr, hyperkinetic, wacky, and wise; and his wife, the warm, lovely Ana Maria, the glue of the operation. The happy couple produced six firebrand offspring: Santiago, Jr., Francisco, Tomas, Anita, Andres, and Catarina, each one bright, beautiful, funny, fun-loving, and accomplished. It would be easy to go green-eyed over their disproportionate share of the pie, but when you are welcomed into their home, wined, dined, teased, and hugged, a person would have to be made out of stone not to melt.

We met the Correas three years ago, when Vivien Jones brought us to a dinner at their hacienda in San Vicente, one of five properties where they have vineyards and grow olives and table fruit. At the end of the wine-soaked evening, Clint and I extended an invitation to Telluride. It seemed only right. Tomas jumped at the opportunity to polish his English. Once dates were nailed down, we tackled the logistics of finding him a host family and work.

Birthday Cakes for Vivien and Clint

The Residencia Historica is located just a few kilometers from the toy town of Marchihue and 40 minutes from the much larger Santa Cruz in Chile’s Colchagua Valley. Colchagua is one of the centers of the country’s rapidly growing wine industry and the Chilean outpost of blue chip labels such as Domaines Barons de Rothschild-Lafite. We first visited the place in 2005, when it was still a work- in- progress.

When Vivien Jones and her partner Silvio Castelli discovered what has become the hotel six years ago, the sprawling 18th-century home had seen better days. The bones remained, but they were buried in a tangle of old eucalyptus trees. Dead fruit trees and the thorns of roses tortured the grounds like a hair suit. Undaunted, the couple pursued a vision that can only be described as a labor of love: the promising wreck received the makeover it deserved. The result is a fabulous boutique hotel, where old and new artfully co-exist. To celebrate, on November 8 Vivien threw a joint birthday bash, a traditional Chilean BBQ or asada, for herself and Clint.

Take a left turn out of Telluride and people wind up some place wonderful in the great wide world, where they do wonderful things in a state of wonderment. That’s part of what we mean by the “Out” in the name of our blog: we will be documenting Telluriders when they are out and about having fun, making a difference.  

Local landscape designer Elisabeth Gick and Judge Sharon Shuteran both recently traveled to the Far East, as tourists and ambassadors of goodwill.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, we're still eating the leftover turkey and stuffing, and that means TASP is open for business. We'd love to have more snow, but the weather looks hopeful, and we remember last year, when a slow start resulted in a banner snow year in Telluride.


We do have a few runs open, and I have just spent two days skiing with James Colt, who has been ready for the opening since probably August.

James had a bad rockfall accident two years ago while climbing on the Ophir Wall, not far from Telluride. This resulted in a traumatic brain injury. It has been a rough go for him in the meantime, but he is a fighter. Last year James and I had an encouraging start to the ski season, but our hard work aggravated some old injuries, and we had to call it quits - but just for that season.

James spent the Summer in Telluride walking untold miles, and even more miles on his recumbent bicycle, culminating in a 75 mile ride across the west end of San Miguel County. In addition, James drove himself to Seattle this Fall.

You're going to have to take my word on this one, at least for now: there is a Telluride connection. It goes through Rick Silverman and Telluride Mountainfilm. Sus can tell that story later. We've been off the radar for a while now, partly because we've been moving fast, partly because internet connections have not often been dependable.

We may have been off the radar, but that doesn't mean we have not been having a good time. We left Telluride on 3 November, watched the election returns on 4 November with a number of sympathetic people with Telluride local Jo Schernoff at her Denver condo. The next day we left for Santiago, Chile, where we were met by our young friend, Tomas Correa. Tomas came to Telluride in the Northern Summer, 2006, and stayed with Damon and Elaine Demas for nearly two months.

IMGP2130 The ostensible reason for our trip was to celebrate the 60th birthday of our hostess, Vivien Jones, combined with an early birthday for me, at Residencia Historica de Marchigue, a new resort in the Colchagua Valley wine growing region of Chile that Vivien and her partner, Silvio Castelli have created from the ruins of an old monastery.

"Come to Telluride for break - I'll fly you in." It had sounded like just the distraction I needed after having going through a monumental breakup. Dropping down below the level of the surrounding fourteeners, the approach into the blind canyon was the sort of bumpy that was disconcerting to the women talking architecture near me. I just admired the skill of the pilot; seeing the runway ahead of us and more mountains beyond, I remember thinking it would be a good idea to make the approach a good one the first time.   

The late Steve Butts, who fell victim to an avalanche while skiing in Canada in 2005, dreamed of introducing people to the unique lifestyle of Telluride. Telluride Properties became his means to that end. Steve’s spirit remains top of mind as his brokers/friends continue to carry the torch he lit.

Now 22 years old, Telluride Properties has long been recognized as a marketing innovator among industry leaders and its peers. “Truly Telluride” is the company’s award-winning publication.

The magazine began modestly as a 20-page booklet. Today, “Truly Telluride” features 50 pages of the region’s finest real estate offerings and candid stories about residents who spice up the town.

For its fourth issue, Telluride Properties’ marketing director, Wendy McKeever, asked me to write about three part-time locals: Richard Holbrooke, Ed Barlow, and Bonnie Cohen. “Full-Time Change Makers, Part-Time Telluriders” profiles three extraordinary individuals, who have lived very different lives and have strikingly different personalities, but share an understanding that blessings come with obligations: each is a dedicated philanthropist/activist committed to making a difference in the world.   

Look for “Truly Telluride” on the newsstands around Thanksgiving.

African_children_5 The news we get out of Africa is generally one-sided and not good. In America, “Africa” spells “t-r-o-u-b-l-e”: AIDS, malaria, genocide, impasse in Zimbabwe, fighting in the Congo, slavery in West Africa. Although the continent is comprised of 54 distinct countries, we tend to think of it as a monolith conjoined to the word “darkest,” suggesting a backward, dangerous, remote corner of the world where hope disappears in dense jungles. But hope is not dead – far from it. Signs of hope are headed our way in the form of The African Children’s Choir.