That’s a take: CMC employee retires after 28-plus years |

That’s a take: CMC employee retires after 28-plus years

Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Shortly after a Colorado Mountain College student named Terry Glasenapp took a job with the college as a custodian and front desk assistant back in 1982, he opened a closet door to discover a curious black box on the shelf.

“I asked one of my co-workers what it was, and he told me it was a video camera,” Glasenapp said of the unopened box. “He said, ‘Why don’t you see if you can figure it out.'”

Little did he know when he opened that box that it would open up a whole new aspect to what became a 28-and-a-half-year career with CMC in Glenwood Springs.

He taught himself how to use that old Sony Betamax video camera, and was soon producing videos alongside his slide presentations of various CMC dance, music and other performing arts shows.

That led to a handful of video projects promoting a variety of other CMC activities, classroom scenes, teacher and student profiles and such that ran as spots on the local public access cable channel.

In addition to his other duties with the college, which have been many and varied over the years, Glasenapp has probably been best known in the public eye as the man behind the camera.

Now 61 and admittedly having a hard time keeping up with all the new technology, Glasenapp said he decided this fall to take the college’s early retirement plan to, in his words, “find out what it’s like to be off the clock.”

So, with the support and encouragement of his longtime partner Amy Levenson and his grown children, he celebrated his last official days with CMC before the holiday break and is ready to move on to other adventures – like spending some more time with his grandchildren, Devvon, age 11, and Emily, 7.

Glasenapp’s first job with CMC was actually when he initially enrolled as a student at the Spring Valley campus in the late 1970s. He drove a shuttle bus that took students from Glenwood and Carbondale up to Spring Valley.

His formal title upon retirement was administration technician, which meant that in addition to interacting daily with students and the public at the front desk of CMC’s Glenwood Center on Blake Avenue, he also scheduled a lot of meetings.

Something like 935 meetings per year, to be exact, involving upwards of 10,000 people, including not only internal CMC meetings but the various nonprofit groups and other community organizations that use CMC’s facilities.

“The best part of it was all the people I met,” he said. “It was always nice to feel like I could be helpful to young people and their parents when things were hard to figure out.”

There were also the people he learned from and was inspired by himself through the years.

Glasenapp recalled that the idea for the college to produce its own promotional videos came from a former CMC board member named John Hazzard.

“I was teaching a video class at the time, and eventually learned that he was one of the pioneers in bringing an artistic approach to television commercials,” Glasenapp said.

In fact, Hazzard produced the very first television commercial for Macintosh Computers, which aired during the 1984 Superbowl.

Another former CMC board member and classroom instructor, Michelle Balcomb, provided the impetus for one of Glasenapp’s first documentary films outside of CMC.

Having moved to Glenwood Springs from Santa Cruz, Calif., Glasenapp had a fascination for whales, and was surprised to find CMC offered an outdoor education class on whales in the Baja, which was taught by Balcomb.

Glasenapp took the classroom portion, but was unable to go on the Baja trip that was part of it.

However, some 20 years later, while visiting the San Juan Islands of Washington state, he ran into Balcomb’s nephew, who happened to run whale watching tours in the Puget Sound. The coincidental meeting led to a guided tour, during which Glasenapp shot the footage for a film he later produced, called “Beauty of the West.”

Then there was a psychology teacher named Bob Whitehouse, who taught Glasenapp about relaxation and meditation techniques using bio-feedback.

“I still use those simple meditation techniques three or four times a week, which has helped me enormously,” he said.

Outside of his work with CMC, Glasenapp’s videography career got a boost when he won a video contest sponsored by the Glenwood Springs Mall in the late 1980s.

He used the prize money to buy new equipment and brush up on his editing skills, which helped with his CMC productions, but also led to some notoriety as a local filmmaker.

In 2003, he entered the Aspen Shortsfest’s local filmmaker’s competition and won “best film” honors for his work, “For Those Who Teach the Art of Peace.”

Among the film’s highlights were a series about a group of Tibetan Monks making sand mandalas, and a segment on an anti-Iraq war march in Glenwood Springs.

“None of that would have happened if not for that black box in the closet,” Glasenapp said.

Among Glasenapp’s community projects over the years have been videos about the many arts organizations in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, including Summer of Jazz and Mountain Fair. One of his projects in retirement will be to help produce a 40th anniversary documentary for Mountain Fair this coming year.

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