Going Cowboy on Yeager with the Aspen Valley Land Trust
Ever drink 4 Yeager shots and then buy a $3,000 horse at an auction with money you didn’t have so you could save money on gas? No? I have.
A little bit ago I went to a benefit to support my brother-in-law who at the time was the Director of the Board of the Aspen Valley Land Trust, an incredible organization with a mission to permanently preserve open lands for agriculture, wildlife habitat, scenic enjoyment and recreation in the greater Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys. Turns out, I overdid it.
On the way up to the party one of my particularly free-spirited, adventurous friends took us on a quick diversion to a local dive bar that I had driven by every day and never noticed was there, Stubbies. I mentioned that we were going to an event that was being put on by a very commendable organization and that we should be on our best behavior. Curiosity got the best of me though and with slight trepidation I followed her in. Time stopped, and so did the half dozen barflys already soaked in their poison. Noticing the Yeager on tap, my ears perked. This was no ordinary pit stop. This place must be famous. To think that I had driven right by it all these years. Then the free shots started flowing to my friend and I, approximately…half a dozen….each.
After about 20 minutes, we stumbled out of the saloon into the blinding twilight, moving as slowly as cherry cough syrup seeping down a sore throat, and headed out to get our cowboy on.
Not a pro at drinking, Yeager gave me that extra mile social boost I didn’t necessarily need, but welcomed. Like a fine wine, my age seems to enhance the buzz on unexpected saturated nights and I quickly become a mischievous wood nymph with an inner light that I’m certain glows out of all of my orifices.
Seating ourselves at an 8 top with my sister, brother-in-law, and my partner in crime, I called forth my inner-calm from deep within. These people helping to preserve our land were stately, elegant and civilized. It was unnervingly quiet.
When my generous mother’s summerhouse in Nantucket came up for auction I leaped out of my chair and climbed up the stair to the stage and took the mic and resorted back to my small sprint in acting back in New York City. The performance went something like this, “How many people out there have ever been to Nantucket?” I asked, encouraged by the small fistful of smiling people raising their hands. I was doing really well bringing in the bids, contemplating becoming Aspen’s top MC, when I got the hook….politely, but abruptly. Exit stage left.
I was humbled and went back to my quiet place, until….the unbroken horse came up for auction. We needed a dang horse! What with gas prices so high this was the perfect solution. Plus we had a barn on our new land in Old Snowmass.
The bidding began. My brother-in-law from across the table was aggressively shaking his head and mouthing NO, while slicing his finger across his neck in disbelief as I continued to raise my hand and outbid everyone. His wife, my sister, egging me on. She had land where we could board the horse. My partner in crime had a brother that broke horses in Wyoming. It would be a fun road trip. And sooooo I giddyonupped and won that dang unbroken horse, for $3,000 that I was going to have to pull out of my ass the next day. All night, I was so excited. I knew ma hoss was out somewhere in them there fields and I wanted to go out there and talk to my new pet under the moonlight, but I kept getting side-swiped by curious “horse people” asking me questions like; “How long have you been involved with horses?; What will you do with him in the winter time?; Were you aware of the costs involved? Slowly, the sober started coming on. The only horses I was familiar with were Spirit and Flicka.
The next morning I woke up not so excited. How was I going to tell Baddy? At breakfast I stated that, once again, I had bought something big at an auction, but this time it wasn’t a week long vacation at a Chateau in Europe. I gave him the choice of hearing the news before or after his pot of coffee. He chose the latter. When he was ready, I announced that I had discovered a way to save money on gas and that WE had bought a new, unbroken, two year old pet for the kids. Baddy and the boys looked at me incredulously with sleepy eyes and told me that they actually have never had any desire to have a horse whatsoever, and Baddy made it absolutely clear that I was to give my little horsey friend back.
I called the Director of the Board, his finger no longer slicing his neck, and burdened and pleaded with him to reverse my actions, the Yeager on tap beckoning back to eliminate the pain I felt for embarrassing my family, this reputable organization, and myself and he graciously arranged for the horse to be taken back with the money instead going to help save our lands. A beautiful ending to a precarious evening.
About Aspen Valley Land Trust