Hey, Spike! encourages our help to get Al home | SummitDaily.com

Hey, Spike! encourages our help to get Al home

Al Goto wants to come home to Colorado — and he needs our help.

The former director of marketing for Copper Mountain Resort, Al started in the ski industry with Anderson and Thompson Ski Company and was a personal assistant to one of the principals. Then he moved on to be an advertising executive with the Lange Ski Boot company in Broomfield, working under the direction of Nick Hock.

Following Al's career at Copper Mountain, he suffered a debilitating stroke, and left Colorado to travel to California, where he became a handicap person advocate for the Golden Gate Transit Authority. His job was to ride the various buses around Marin County and into San Francisco, evaluating buses and drivers for their skill in dealing with the handicapped.

After suffering another stroke, Al became too disabled to continue his work and now resides in a skilled nursing facility in Petaluma.

For some time now, Al has wanted to return to Colorado, but he's lacked the funds to do so.

Led by Friscoite Bill Hyde, a group of Al's friends have organized the "Return Al Goto to Colorado" project, seeking to raise enough funds to cover Al's transportation to Colorado as well as his skilled nursing facility charges during the time that his Medicaid application is being processed. It is estimated that the project will need approximately $30,000 in order to cover all of the costs.

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Bill and Marge Seabourn met Al in 1995 through a brain-injury support group following a car accident, which gave Marge a stroke.

"We visited Al in Petaluma last June as we had lost track of him and spent some time there interviewing his former neighbors until we found where he was then," Bill explains. "Earlier this year, I discovered that Al wanted to move back to Denver and started checking around to see what we could do. We pretty much have all the details now and know what we have to do. All we need now is to close on the place and raise the money."

Bill credits Pat Cook of the Colorado Gerontological Society as invaluable in assisting Al's move.

California attorney Bill Fishman has been doing his legal work (and other things) pro bono. Ray Brandt, who has Al's power of attorney in California, has been working for us there, says Bill.

"Al is impatient to get moving. If he had his way, he would have been on a plane months ago and already in Denver," notes Bill. "Al is one of the most determined people I know. When he sets his mind to something, he's going to find a way despite not being able to walk, being limited to the partial use of one arm … and not being able to speak clearly. He is still able to think though."

Those of us in Colorado may contribute to the project at any First Bank; just ask to donate to "Return Al Goto to Colorado" on their donations list. Checks may also be made out to "Return Al Goto to Colorado" and mailed to First Bank, P.O. Box 347, Silverthorne, CO 80498-0347.

For more info: http://www.gofundme.com/ReturnAl

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Meanwhile, this weekend, Mark Bernie Murphy and his Murphy's Irish Pub in Silverthorne is hosting another reunion of those Alamosa boys of Tennessee Hat Band, Tumbleweed and the Rifters, marking the still-in-our-hearts Old Dillon Inn and Buddy Nicholson. Spike! and some of these musicians and their families and friends go back to 1969 at Adams State College.

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In three recent passings of note:

First, longtime local Warren Gardner, 89, who later moved to Montana and then St. George, Utah, was remembered in services in Glenwood last weekend. Warren was an important entrepreneur and Republican Party leader in Grand Junction before he and Darlene moved this way and worked at RE/MAX with Jim Hayes.

Second, Norwegian sculptor Carl Nesjar, accomplished in the international world of art, visited Frisco back in the '90s during a Frisco Arts Council invite.

"Mr. Nesjar was for nearly two decades Picasso's chosen fabricator — the artist who took the master's drawings and scale models and gave them physical form as immense public sculptures," reported The New York Times of his death at 94.

Third, we learned Thursday morning that Richard Parrish, a popular hairstylist in Breckenridge in the '70-'80s, had just passed away in southern California. Richard had been ill for many years.

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," is a Coloradan since 1949, 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. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com