Apologies for my absence, I’ve been completely preoccupied basking in the glory of my new and improved self! I’m tempted to bust open the packaging of the 1983 Magnum P.I. whistle from the Aspen Institute time-capsule just so that I can catcall myself… Or maybe I’ll use the 1895 fireman’s trumpet to shout my excitement from the rooftops!
The fan-fair around my completion has been fabulous and really kept me busy. I thought I was popular when a crowd of 75 turned out for my groundbreaking last year, but when over 400 community members showed up for the July party to celebrate my opening I was FLOORED (and they happened to love my new floors, too). There was music, snacks and drinks, and even a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of my new digs. Guests toured “the Vault,” my underground fortress where thousands and thousands of artifacts, documents, photographs and objects are stored, and were as excited about the security features and improved storage as I am.
Since the party, I’ve hosted several archive appointments, visitors, supporters, and even the press! I feel quite famous. And it’s summer in Aspen so… did I already say busy? I don’t mind though, I’m shiny and new and I’m proud.
Speaking of proud, I’m beaming with pride and gratitude at the hard work and dedication of the Aspen Historical Society staff, the contractors, and you! The generous support of community members like you helped me modernize and beautify. Besides my crowning-glory vault, I’m most excited about the energy-efficient features and the community gallery space. If you ask me, the “Aspen’s Storied History” opening display in the new gallery perfectly encapsulates the spirit of this area. Its community-curated stories are an inspiring reflection of the many treasures I hold within my walls. When octogenarian Ellie Spence came for the opening celebrations and stood next to her picture as the first Winterskol Queen in 1951 I just about sobbed. My cup runeth over!
Whew, it’s been quite a whirlwind of a spring and summer and I have to say, I’m looking forward to the quieter days of fall. But as I know best, history keeps happening so I’ll never rest!
I hope you’ll come visit me soon – you can tour my re-stocked archives during one of my free tours, tomorrow August 9 and again on September 13. Or book an archive appointment to find out the answers to your burning history questions. I have so much to show off after this renovation but the AHS collection is, and always has been, the real star.