Summit Old Timer: Jody Anderson
Jody Anderson was born in Warrensburg, Mo., to Elmer Henry “Dutch” and Isa Alice “Dutchess” Lueders in 1930. Her parents ran the College Shop, a lunch counter where college students could buy plate lunches for 25 cents. “Doesn’t sound like a lot of money,” Anderson said from her Frisco home. “But back then people didn’t have much money. They put quite a few boys through college by letting them work there.”Anderson left home at age 17 and went to St. Louis to become a nurse. She graduated in 1950 along with friend Jackie Zacher, and the two moved to Denver in 1951 to work at the newly opened General Rose Hospital. “They didn’t pay very well and Denver didn’t have many apartment rentals back then. I lived in a place my mother called the ‘chicken coop,’ and I am sure it was a chicken coop at one time,” Anderson said.
That prompted her to move to Fitzsimmons Hospital in 1952, where the pay was good. “That’s where I met my husband, Charles Percy Anderson, who was a Korean war patient.”In April, 1953, Anderson had a double wedding in Boulder with her friend Jackie, who married Harry Scaro – a fellow she had met on a blind date.The Andersons started their family, having three girls – Cheryl, Susan and Laurie.In 1961, Anderson was riding across town with a friend to a Great Decisions meeting, when the gal told her that her parents were selling a lodge in Frisco.
“We drove up here to see it, called about a loan to see if we could afford it,” she said, talking about the Frisco Lodge on Main Street and Fourth Avenue. “It must have been meant to be, because three weeks after hearing about it, we owned it.”It was a fit. A small town to raise the kids, which we were looking for and a place with opportunity. Breckenridge (the ski mountain) was being built at the time, and so was Dillon Dam. We thought we were going to strike it rich, but that didn’t happen right away,” she said. “We didn’t have much money, but we had a good time. We had fabulous parties at the lodge, and everyone in town would come,” she said, a smile on her face. “The kids played back on the creek (Ten Mile Creek). They had a secret swimming hole, a secret hiding place, a secret this and that. There weren’t any houses beyond the creek back then.”Her husband became mayor of Frisco six months after they arrived, “because no one wanted the job,” Anderson said. He wore that hat for nine years, while also driving a school bus and becoming the vice president of Summit County’s first bank – then Summit County Bank, and now after many incarnations, Bank of the West on Summit Boulevard. Later he got his real estate license. All the while, Anderson ran the Frisco Lodge. A room went for $5 when they first took over.In 1981, Anderson retired from the lodging business when both she and her daughter, Susan, got divorces. “She (her daughter) needed a place for the kids and a business to run. I had been in the business long enough by then,” she said.
Anderson moved in with longtime friend Phyllis Armstrong at her home on Second Avenue. They had met in the early 1960s and “did everything together – family vacations, jeep trips, picnics, you name it,” Anderson said.Armstrong, who also had three children, had also been divorced.The two lived together the past two decades until Armstrong developed Alzheimer’s, then had a stroke. “Everything was great until she got Alzheimer’s, then our lives went all to heck.”Armstrong is now living at Brighton Gardens – an assisted-living facility in Denver.Looking back on her move to the mountains over four decades ago, Anderson said, “This became home pretty quick, and I don’t want to leave it now.”
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