Are you NUTS? |

Are you NUTS?

The New Ute Theatre Society would like to pay tribute to a long-time resident of Rifle who passed away on May 14. Jack Tripp grew up in Rifle and was an ardent supporter of the New Ute Event Center.

In his later years, Jack wrote some “memorable moments” — as he called them — to share with his grandchildren. Fortunately, he also shared one of those moments with us.

On a Saturday afternoon in 1956, Jack was standing on a corner in downtown Rifle. He wrote that he was deciding how to spend the rest of his life or the rest of the day, but mainly watching the girls go by. When his sister and her friend came along, the friend told Jack that a girl named Judy Creel liked him. According to Jack, he “immediately raced home, looked in the phone book and picked up the phone.”

When he got Judy on the line, he asked her to a movie that evening. He wrote, “We went to the Ute Theater that night and Judy says we saw ‘Song of the South.’ How do females remember that stuff?”

Jack and Judy were married in 1959 and at the time of Jack’s writing, they had been married more than 50 years.

Jack had many good memories about the Ute, which is probably why he supported its transformation into an events center for our community. In fact, he felt so strongly about the Ute that his family has requested that memorial contributions in Jack’s honor be made to NUTS.

We are honored to be part of Jack’s legacy, and will do our best to maintain the Ute in a manner that would make him proud.

But one man cannot alone support our cause. Memberships to the Ute are imperative for NUTS to continue our vital role of sponsoring events at the Ute, such as the Kids Aladdin Jr. Camp that is coming up in August.

Please consider contacting us to become a NUT yourself. In exchange for your generous donation, you will receive discounts to NUTS-sponsored events and on Ute merchandise.

We also have been working over the past month to raise larger sums of money for continuing improvements to the Ute’s amenities.

By participating in Rural Philanthropy Days in June, we were able to connect with major donors such as the Gates Family Foundation.

We will be submitting grant applications through these connections to raise money for a bleacher-style seating system that will ensure every seat in the house is a good one.

For more information about NUTS, find us on Facebook, visit the Ute website at, or write to us at P.O. Box 84 in Rifle. Event tickets can be purchased at and City Market.

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