Driving through the eastern Utah and western Colorado mountains is a thrill. We have not been here for multiple years and had forgotten how dramatic and timeless the scenery is and how the land dwarfs most of our puny human efforts in space and time.
We recharged on the lone downgrade into Denver while snow filled the air. An electric car brakes by running its motors backwards, thus slowing the car by using gravitational energy to put electricity back in the battery. After an evening of catching up with Carol and Dave in Boulder, we enjoyably brunched with Dottie Lamm in Denver while catching up on her life since Dick’s death.
I-70 manages to squeeze itself into Glenwood Canyon with the westbound lanes above and the eastbound lanes below and closer to the Colorado River. This has led to some terrifically damaging rockslides from time to time. But, thanks to the decision making by Dottie’s husband, Dick, as Governor of Colorado for 12 years, new areas of mountain landscape were not opened for second-home development as the highway remained in the canyon.
For the past weekend, we have been back at our old stomping ground of Colorado College. We have seen many, many old friends – we notice that our old friends, like us, are in fact older but still up and going!
Preparation for this celebration of our oldest friends, Ric and Dorry Bradley, have been underway for a year. Leslie has been planning with Stormy and Laurel with lots of input from Ric’s daughters Jo and Helen and help from sons Rick Jr. and David.
Friday was a celebration of Dorry’s life. Dorry died at age 94, a year and a half ago, though she had gradually left us for several years prior. Dorry died during Covid but not of Covid.
Friday began with a concert by Ric and Dorry’s granddaughter, Mahani Teave, who was born on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) where she divides her time between running a music and arts school she created and performing on the international concert stage. Ric kicked off the event with a long and interesting narrative of just how Mahani came to be and came to be a celebrated international pianist.
Mahani played an hour of powerful and dramatic classical music from memory and then ended with one of her grandmother’s favorites, “Clair de Lune”. Here is Mahani in fabulous form. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church.
This was followed by an afternoon of remembrances by Dorry’s many family members and friends from Colorado College and Colorado Springs.
Saturday was the “BASH”, as Ric likes to call it – Ric’s 100th birthday celebration. This was held in the Physics Department and the atrium of Barnes Hall, with Val and Shane presiding. Lunch was ably coordinated by a volunteer Food Committee consisting of Mary Bruning, Beth Carlson, Carol Kampert, Debby Levinson and Julia Robinson. The repast was delicious, with a beautiful spread provided by the Picnic Basket, and desserts made by the committee. A wide variety of cookies and the signature Rum Cake of Uncle Ric’s Hut Group were served. Several hundred friends and family gathered for lunch and toasts and conversations. Ric kicked it off with a tale of sailboats on windless rivers and the challenge of teaching its physics. We all enjoyed a exceptional celebration of a exceptional individual.
Scott flew in for a quick visit to attend Dorry’s memorial service and then to say some kind words to Ric. Scott said that his parents and he and, now, his kids have received their love of nature and mountains from our 50 years of knowing Ric and Dorry.
Lots of stories and photos of Ric and Dorry were contributed and compiled into a book by Val and Leslie.