Life on the Summit: High fliers and rib grillers
June 19, 2015
When you call 9,100 feet above sea level home — most events are the "world's highest."
Right now, Frisco is holding its 22nd annual Colorado BBQ Challenge, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. This has to be the world's highest level of rib-smacking.
Last weekend, it was Dillon's turn to put on the "world's highest" banner to work with its Dillon Air Show.
Spike! joined thousands of others in and around Dillon for the airplane aerobatics event.
Staged for the third time, handling the announcing duties with husband Bob "Announcer Bob" Stovall was ex-Breckenridger Rosanne Gain. The Colorado Springs couple runs the mics for a handful of shows annually.
"We do about half a dozen shows a year. Smallest is a fun, local event in Alamosa with a few hundred attendees; biggest is the Nellis Air Force Base open house — home of the Thunderbirds — with 80,000 plus spectators," Rosanne explains of their schedule.
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A native of Canada, she came to The Summit in 1981, following a stint in Yellowstone National Park "as a bartender/cocktail waitress for the summer season during the year she was on sabbatical after being a retail executive for more than a decade."
In the Kingdom of Breckenridge, Rosanne, where her brother John lived before moving to Arizona, was active on KSMT radio and did a radio show with Dr. John Warner, helped start Women of The Summit and became good friends with Kate McQuown, who later married the famous Southwest painter and poet Frank Howell of Santa Fe.
Leaving Breck in 1987, Rosanne headed to Santa Fe, where she sold radio airtime, did an on-air personality gig and became the public-relations handler for Frank, coupled with her own company.
As longtime Summiteers may recall, both Frank and Kate have since passed away.
While in the Land of Enchantment and active in Rotary, Rosanne met fellow Rotarian Bob Stovall, a native Coloradan.
"Bob was a lawyer with the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division when we met. He grew up in Denver and remembers when old Dillon, the one at the bottom of the dam, was still there, and when Breckenridge was a largely abandoned former mining town," says Rosanne.
Bob has deep roots in our Columbine State.
The Stovall name was big in the auto dealership community: Stovall Ford in the Denver area.
As for Colorado today, Bob comments on the changes he's seen, like this:
"This is not my grandfather's Colorado. Breck was an old mining town; Aspen was still a small town, but also a popular local ski area. Vail and Copper Mountain did not exist. I went to camp at the base of Crested Butte, where there was also no ski area. But you can't change the mountains — they are as beautiful as ever and more accessible."
The Stovall-Gain team came back to the Front Range in 1997 and became active in Colorado Springs.
"While I am proud of my Canadian heritage, I have lived so many places since we moved from Montreal to Florida in the '50s," she offers. "I loved living in Santa Fe but am pleased to be back in Colorado. I have had an affinity for Colorado since my first visit in 1977."
After coming "home," Bob was marketing director at Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs.
Later, leaving the hall of fame, he did consulting in the energy sector, then worked for the City of Colorado Springs in governmental affairs.
Upon retirement from the city, he joined Rosanne in their PR consulting business, Gain-Stovall Inc.
"We own a home in the southwest part of town and work out of a home office. We split our time between our PR clients and the air show business," says Rosanne.
As always, she and Bob are active in Rotary, and both are past presidents of the North Colorado Springs Rotary Club, along with other civic and nonprofit organizations. Bob loves to do woodworking, and Rosanne does colored pencil drawings, with time left to work on their large, "water-wise" garden.
The town of Dillon, along with the Dillon Business Association, gets kudos for the wowser event with knowledgeable help from Dillon Marina manager Bob Evans, himself a pilot.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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