Peter Shelton

The Old Ridgway Bijou

Posted in At the Movies, Watch columns by pshelton on August 29, 2013

The Film Festival is coming to town! The Film Festival is coming to town!

Actually, the festival’s worker bees have been in Telluride for weeks now, setting up for the 40th “SHOW.”

Ellen and I had just moved to Telluride in August 1976 when the third TFF raised its curtain, with tributes to Bugs Bunny creator Chuck Jones, the original King Kong, and director King Vidor. That year we met Bill and Stella Pence, festival founders along with James Card and Tom Luddy. The Pences will be in town this week to help celebrate the 40th.

All of this sends me back to a time when our two families, ours and the Pence’s, got together at a place we fondly referred to as the Ridgway Bijou. (more…)

The Need for Speed

Posted in Ski history, Ski racing, Watch columns by pshelton on August 8, 2013

[In honor of the recent speed skiing exhibit at the Telluride Historical Museum, I found this article in my files, written for Diversions magazine, back in 1982.]

Marti Martin Kuntz hops down out of the helicopter and unhooks her skis from the struts. They are not powder skis, though the chutes and bowls here in Colorado Basin above Silverton sparkle with 18 inches of fresh powder snow. These skis are 235 cm long, almost seven feet, nine inches, straight and slick and heavy.

Marti’s ski suit is like a second rubberized skin stretched white over her body. Slashes of red identify the manufacturer, Snofox, and Marti’s sponsor, the Telluride Ski Resort. She’s carrying a teardrop-shaped helmet under her arm and has turbulence-cutting, Styrofoam fins, called fairings, sweeping back from her calves. She wears yellow kitchen gloves, and her poles have so many curves built into them they could represent a traditional ski descent.

But Marti’s not going to be making even a single turn on the snow. The Telluride ski instructor is going down straight, trying for a new women’s speed skiing record. (more…)

Old Bailey, Yard Ornament

Posted in Personal History, Road Trips West, Watch columns by pshelton on August 1, 2013

One of the last times I drove Bailey, our 1977 Jeep pickup, I headed up Buckhorn Road to scout for oak firewood. I hadn’t gone two miles though, when I noticed wisps of smoke emanating from beneath the hood. I pulled over and popped the latch to find a squirrel’s nest, made up mostly of stripped juniper bark, blazing away atop the engine block. (more…)