I was lucky enough to photograph an incredible corporate job in Vail, Colorado. The adventure began with a reception at the Larkspur Restaurant just on the base of Vail mountain. It has a great patio overlooking the ski resort:
After a bite and cocktails, the group took a short and GORGEOUS walk down to the Gerald Ford Amphitheater to listen to the New York Philharmonic play Tchaikovsky (I DEFINITELY had no idea how to spell that…thank you google.) Talk about a place to hear a concert!!!…Nestled into the mountains, it is breathtaking and I really recognized (again) how lucky I am to get jobs like this!!
The next few days were filled with speakers at the Four Seasons Resort, and they ranged from inspiring, to educational and motivating! My favorites were the Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer (who was hilarious), Stephanie Nielson (heart wrenching and motivational) and Richard Over (a charming man from the 10th Mountain Division):
It’s truly difficult to put into words a description of the opportunity to hear Stephanie’s story… The words hope, triumph, and strength come to mind, but unfortunately, barely scratches the surface. Overall, I am left with the reminder of how lucky I am… Stephanie and her husband Christian were in a plane crash. Luckily, their 4 kids were NOT on the plane with them at the time. Christian was burned over 30% of his body, and Stephanie over 80%. She was in a coma from the time of the accident in August until November. She is truly lucky to be alive and shared exactly that message as well as her recovery process and the interactions with her children. She has since even had another child, so there was a happy ending and smiles after all of the tears throughout her story. As shown in the picture, she has written a book called “Heaven is Here” sharing her journey.
Richard Over is a World War II veteran and shared his experiences as a member of the 10th Mountain Division. It was fascinating! The 10th Mountain Division was started because the German Army had mountain warfare divisions. So “Camp Hale” was created in the mountains of Colorado where they trained in mountain survival, skiing, snow shoeing, rock climbing…etc. Richard Over brought slides (and the slide projector shown) to show images he had taken of training! The group ended up seeing battle and had to scale a mountain AT NIGHT in Italy in 1945 called Riva Ridge to win an important battle on Mount Belvedere. The stories became even more relevant to the group when he shared it was his ‘brothers’ that returned from the war and founded Vail and Aspen ski resorts (among others). They are credited with becoming the backbone of the entire ski industry, designing lifts, starting ski schools, improving the equipment and the list goes on and on! There’s a black ski run at Vail called Riva Ridge, a restaurant called the 10, and numerous other references to acknowledge these men and I thoroughly enjoyed learning the history!!
We rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain for a wonderful dinner at the Game Creek Club. The views and sunset were spectacular!
And tough to beat the final night reception…dinner and a private concert by Burt Bacharach! This 84 year old man is a legend! His accolades include over 70 top 40 hits, 3 Academy Awards, 2 Golden Globes, a Grammy and most recently, a Library of Congress Gershwin Prize. He has so many to choose from, but some of his most well known songs include, “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head”, “That’s What Friends are For”, “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me”, “What the World Needs Now”, “Walk on By”, “I Say a Little Prayer”, “Wishin’ and Hopin”, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”…..and the list goes on and on!!! For the concert, he only sang bits of a couple songs, he did the composing and piano playing and had three singers on stage sing:
Thank you Workshop Events for putting together this incredible few days and for recommending me for the job!!