Stella Olsen passed away Thanksgiving Day. A member of our community for almost 92 years, her passionate nature was expressed in all her living moments. She loved books, and devoured them, in her later years. She read adventure novels, detective stories and bodice rippers without discrimination, and all the Harry Potter books. She amassed a lot of cut-glass crystal, which decorated most of the spaces in her home. Mostly, she loved her diamond rings. My memory of Stella is sitting in her chair by the window of her little log home, built by her beloved Frank, on Williams Street. A book is propped on a pillow on her skinny legs. The light from window catches her diamonds and crystal; the dancing sparkles surround her.Few people in the community know Stella worked for the government during World War II. She was part of the Verona Project, decoders. Called “Verona Girls,” she and many others lived in the “Verona House” in Washington, D.C., decoding messages intercepted by operatives in the field. Her group was responsible for breaking the code that ended in exposing Soviet espionage in the United States. Sworn to secrecy, when asked what she did during the war, Stella would always respond, “I painted camouflage on pigeons.”Stella liked to dance, and fondly recalled attending the dances at the old Cardiff Schoolhouse. “The dances out there were always good ones,” she said. “I never missed any. They always ended with the men going outside and getting into a good fight. Ah, it was just good-natured fun.” Then she’d deadpan, “Of course, I was shocked.”Stella was proud she was always chosen to be included in the football games. “The fellows would argue over whose side I was on. I always thought it was because I was such a fast runner. In my 80s, one of the old boys told me that they wanted me because I had big boobs,” she said, without much disappointment.Stella cast some colorful stories in our community. Please give her a thought once in a while: she deserves to be remembered.Marice Doll Glenwood Springs
Rezoning the Cattle Creek property on Highway 82 for 979 houses is the biggest mistake this valley has ever seen. I am truly, truly sad to see this land changed from 230 homes up to 979. It is almost unbearable.Five reasons that the area should not change zoning are: 1. permanent losses of prime riparian habitat and important elk migration; 2. unthinkable car congestion; 3. an unsustainable fragmented community; 4. the county commissioners’ use of vague and misleading language and insufficient time for public comment; 5. “Pave paradise and put up a parking lot!” This project makes Aspen Glen look like Wyoming to me.Please call your county commissioners, John Martin at 945-7056, Trési Houpt at 384-3665 and Larry McCown at 625-8095. Nobody can expect these people to do the job they were elected to do if people can’t be expected to talk to them about how they would like to see growth developed. The next meeting is Dec. 12, a very short time away. I urge everyone in the RoaringForkValley who has to drive Highway 82 and see the dead elk all winter long to make these calls.Jennifer VanianGlenwood Springs
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