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Summit Old-Timer

BRAD ODEKIRKSummit Daily News
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk
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Frisco native Peggy Alexander was born on Nov. 2, 1954, to Chuck and Sue Chamberlain. She was born in Leadville, saying that back then, Summit County kids were either born in Leadville or Kremmling.Chuck’s parents built the Texaco Garage (now Tuscato’s) and operated the Frisco Cafe (now Wyatt West Clothing Company). After they got married, Chuck and Sue took over both businesses. Alexander’s uncle Howard Giberson, Sue’s older brother, owned a ranch between Frisco and Dillon and ran cattle. He was married to Lura Belle, but the couple never had any kids of their own.Alexander said she always loved to go to Uncle Howard’s. “We (she and her older sister Mickie) used to spend the night there, then get up really early and go out with Uncle Howard and feed the cattle,” she said. “He had a team of horses and fed them off a sleigh.”

Alexander went to kindergarten and first grade at the old Dillon schoolhouse, where Susie Randoff (now Culbreath) was her teacher.The first half of her second grade year in school was held in the current Rocky Mountain Bible Church, until the new school was built (the two rotundas at the present day middle school). It was later added on to, and that is where Alexander graduated from high school in May, 1973.”This was a great place to grow up,” said Alexander, who palled around with Paula Carmen, Kandice Young and JoAnne Polhemus. “We walked and hiked all over Frisco. We used to play in a cave on Mount Royal.”Her parents ran the garage until Alexander was in fifth grade, then divorced when her father went to Ft. Garland, then later Monument.”My mom really struggled then,” said Alexander. “She became the hostess at The Antlers restaurant, which was the Continental Trailways bus stop.

“Howard really became mine and my sister’s father figure then,” she said. “He was always there for us and my mom. I have to say, ‘He was the greatest uncle ever.'”After graduating from high school, Alexander worked in Frisco waiting tables at the Red Buffalo (where the gazebo now sits at the Frisco Historic Park), then at Dillon Food and Beverage (which is now Pug Ryan’s in Dillon). There, she met her future husband, Lonny, and the couple moved to Summit Cove. They eventually had two girls: Veronica and Jolene.When the building market declined in the High Country, the couple moved to the Front Range, where Alexander bartended at several different places – the longest of which was at the Holiday Inn near the old Stapleton Airport.Lonny died in 1989, and Alexander moved to Canon City where she lived on a ranch and worked as a ranch hand.In 1996, Alexander moved back to Frisco, where she moved in with her mom and took care of her for two years while she was in failing health.

In 1998, she took a job with Wal-Mart working in the pharmacy, then in 2000 took a job with the school district working as a school cook – first for the high school, and now for Frisco Elementary. In 1999, she married longtime Summit County resident Ron Alexander, who she had been dating for a few years.The couple moved up to Uncle Howard’s ranch in 2000, when his health began to fail – a 188-acre spread north of the Frisco roundabout, which is now part of the Continental Divide Land Trust.Alexander now enjoys spending time with her husband, children and four grandchildren (Justin, 10; Jessee, 9; Seth, 7; and Bobby, 6) on the ranch.”We were always outside as kids, and I want my grandchildren to have that same fondness for the outdoors,” she said. “Once school is out, they basically come up here for the summer and I get to spend time with them.””There’s no place that compares to here,” she said of the ranch, and the atmosphere of growing up on a ranch. “I don’t think anything is sacred anymore, but I hope nothing ever happens to this place.”


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