Posted by: Dutch | December 12, 2009

What might have been

After my sophomore year in high school, my parents moved from Denver, Colorado, to Visalia, California. Enroute, we detoured through an almost-deserted, sleepy mountain town to visit my mother’s cousin.

During the course of our 1946 visit, my mother’s cousin informed my father that there were some great property values available in town by merely paying the back taxes; including my maternal grandparent’s old homestead. There were also rumors that some consortium ‘from back East’ was planning to develop a ski area nearby. “Might be a good investment” said my mother’s cousin’s husband.

My father, who had just sold a successful landscape business and planned to settle in California, thought about the prospects and risks for a day and decided not to pursue the matter. He considered it too risky. After all, there wasn’t even a store left in town. We moved on and never gave it a second thought until we heard about ski resorts popping up on the slopes around the sleepy mountain town that was the birthplace of my mother – Aspen, Colorado.

The next (and last) time I visited Aspen was on my honeymoon in 1963. Expensive place to visit even then. One can only speculate what might have happened had my father been a greater risk taker. Would I have had a house near John Denver? Probably not.

– Dutch

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