Hey, Spike! writes of knees, trains, bottles | SummitDaily.com

Hey, Spike! writes of knees, trains, bottles

Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily
Frisco railroad bridge near Parsons, Kansas.
Jerry Siebenmark / Special to the Daily |

Hey, Spike!’s social business column items come from all over the place. This week’s demonstrates exactly that.

Spike! heard again from long-ago Summit Sentinel editor Brad Johnson, back home in Watertown, South Dakota, where he’s a civic leader and appraiser. Both the Sentinel and Brad left the scene back about 1990.

Brad and his wife, Carol, and daughters were just here for a skiing vacation at Breckenridge, staying at Beaver Run.

“I had a new knee put in two years ago so my ski career has been resurrected,” Brad writes. “We got together with my old roommate Jim Ullrich tonight. He bought the house we shared in Summit Cove and lives there still.”

Brad continues:

“Miles, we are skiing down memory lane at Breckenridge. My, how things have changed since the 1980s. I met my wife, Carol, 29 years ago this month at Keystone. With us are our daughters, Anamarie and Maren. Anamarie is now personal assistant to the CEO and the executive producer of Embassy Row Productions in Los Angeles, and Maren is a sophomore at Belmont University in Nashville.”


In another bit of news, fellow journalist — and friend — Jerry Siebenmark, a veteran staffer at the Wichita (Kansas) Eagle, just penned a story from Parsons, and the resurgence of trains.

“On the way back I made it a point to snap a few pictures of the beauty of southeast Kansas — and my favorite slightly hidden gem: the Frisco railroad train bridge,” Jerry reports.

At one time in our Frisco, we had two sets of narrow-gauge tracks slicing through town, as freight and passengers were hauled back and forth between Breckenridge and Leadville, through Tenmile Canyon.

Here’s Jerry’s story link: http://www.kansas.com/news/business/article4264851.html.


Aspen’s Olympic and X Games snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler and husband Chris Hotell have been busy — as always — since her retirement, with their ALEX Bottle, raising $150,000 on Kickstarter.

Gretchen, an international athlete with entrepreneurial drive, lived here in Frisco for a couple of winters for early-season training, staying in Jeff Davis’ Bear’s Den condo.

Here’s Gretchen’s storyline for ALEX:

“We started ALEX Bottle a few years ago because we were disgusted by the massive amount of single-serving plastic water bottles that were filling up our landfills and devastating our waterways. I had been using a reusable water bottle for years but they were so hard to clean. They would start to stink and you’d have to toss them … that defeats the purpose, right? Standing over a sink full of smelly water bottles, my husband said, ‘We should make a bottle that opens in the middle so you can actually clean it.’ He literally went to the garage and cut a bottle in half with a hacksaw to see what it could be like. And that was how ALEX Bottle was born.”

Her link: http://www.gretchenbleiler.com/alex-bottle/.


Meanwhile, longtime Summit locals might recall Dee Smith, who ended up in Salida, where she’s retiring after 21 years at Safeway.

Dee was born in Wyoming, went to grade school in Frisco and Breckenridge, and attended high school in Leadville. Congrats.


It is with sadness we note the passing of Melissa Jane Clarkson, 56, marathon runner, burro racer, ski instructor and coach, and graphic designer, who worked for the Summit and Vail dailies and us.

Here’s her obit: http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Melissa-Clarkson&lc=2556&pid=173211544&mid=6202876#.VH92oPjDrSw.facebook.

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. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com.

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