Here’s a Hey, Spike! column of contrasts
In the first we have a career coming to an end; the second demonstrates the start of another.
Gary Martin is retiring from the Eisenhower and Johnson tunnels on May 31 after 18 years of service with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
Gary’s family had a second home in Dillon since the town was moved to its present site, up from what is now the bottom of Lake Dillon. He came to Summit County permanently in 1985 as the secretary-treasurer of then-Mountain Motors, which built the building that now sits vacant below Mesa Cortina and is the land that Lowe’s has acquired.
Gary, 65, and “Miss Debbie,” a preschool director whom he affectionately calls his “child bride,” met while attending Western State College in Gunnison. They have two grown children: Stacy Moore of the Denver Public Schools, and John Martin of Copy Copy, both Summit High graduates. Stacy and husband Aaron Moore are expecting a son this summer, making Gary and Debbie grandparents for the first time.
He has seen Dillon Reservoir before it had water in it, Summit Boulevard with only Antlers (still there as Breeze), and a two-lane road (long gone) over Vail Pass, well before I-70 and the tunnels eliminated a drive over Loveland Pass (still needed sometimes).
Gary remembers “Frisco when you could fire a shotgun down Main Street and not only would you not hit anything, but no one would hear it.”
When Mountain Motors suspended operations, Gary went to work for Resort Express as a computer tech and then managed the Copper Mountain Resort Amoco service station until 1993, when he went to work for CDOT up at the tunnels as a maintenance worker.
Through the years, he was promoted numerous times and is retiring as the office operations supervisor, on the staff of another long-timer, Mike Salamon, the superintendent of the “Ike and Ed” bores.
As for the future, Gary will keep skiing (43 years, so far), ATV-ing, Jeep-ing, fishing, camping, and Googling – “I read until my eyes get sore.”
A sailor with dad Harvey many years ago, Gary is now a powerboater, zipping around in his SeaRay runabout.
The Martins plan on staying on The Summit, because they “cannot find a place we prefer over Frisco – it is mountain living plus.”
Meadow Creek Discount Tire owner Gary Bergman just beams when he talks about daughters Felicia and Karinne.
The eldest at 23, Felicia, just returned to Silverthorne after graduating from Ohio’s Miami University with a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education.
Felicia graduated from Summit High in 2005, and then attended Colorado State University from 2005-09, graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology.
“During my time at CSU,” she reports, “I served in the Office of Orientation and Transition Programs, and through this three-year experience I developed a passion for working with students in the college setting.”
While in her senior year at CSU, Felicia was accepted into one of the nation’s best student affairs in higher education master’s programs – at Miami University. Immediately after working her last CSU orientation session, she moved to the Midwest to start the two-year master’s program.
At Miami University she served as an assistant first-year adviser and graduate resident director, while also working in the athletics department as an instructor for a student-athlete development course and academic coach for the Men’s RedHawks Basketball Team.
“In between my first and second years at Miami, I traveled to Boston and worked as the National Orientation Directors Association graduate intern at Bentley University,” explains Felicia.
So what’s next: “My plan is to obtain a career in intercollegiate athletics, serving as an academic counselor at a mid-major NCAA Division I institution,” says Felicia.
Sister Karinne, 20, is at the University of Central Oklahoma, in Edmond, going into her third year, majoring in early childhood education.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years.
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