Tuesday, July 7, 2009

June Winner ~ Tell Us Your Boulderado Story

One of the components of the Boulderado's 100 year anniversary is the Tell Us Your Boulderado Story campagn, which is a collection of memories and narratives from the last century about the Hotel Boulderado. Our goal is to collect 100 stories which will be compiled into a coffee table book. The Boulderado selects a monthly favorite, and June's winner are Chuck Gower and Cheryl DiPanfilo. Enjoy their story, "The 17,000 Question."

"Our story begins in August of 1980. I came out here from Newburyport, Massachusettes to visit my sister who was living in Gunbarrel and climb Long's Peak with her friends. No on truly believed a flatlander could make this climb. My now husband, Chuck, was a neighbor of one of the people going on the hike. We were all over there on her deck planning the last details. He was out in his yard skipping rope and had an enormous garden. He offered us some vegetables and we accepted and so the tale begins.

We invited him to come over to my sister's house for a swim and as the day progressed we invited him to accompany us on our climb. He had been up Long's several times before and could perhaps be of help. He and I linked up as hiking partners, the most experienced with the flatlander. We made it to the top and in the eighteen hours that we spent together we fell in love. Over the next few weeks we courted at a feverish pitch. One morning while we were still in bed he called his stockbroker. His broker advised him to sell his gold penny stock, a very hot commodity at the time and to come and get his $17,000 profit. At this stage of the courtship he was always trying to impress me. So we went to Denver and instead of picking up a check, the sensible thing to do, he insisted the bank give us cash. He had me put it in my purse for safe keeping and we proceeded to celebrate all over town. We came back to Boulder with the cash still tucked away in my purse and went to the Boulderado for an evening of blues and dancing on the Mezzanine. The bar was getting ready to close when he surprised my with a room key, room 419. We spent the night and in the morning as he prepared to leave for work, I noticed that I didn't have my purse or the $17,000.

We instantly became frantic and Chuck began to think that instead of me being a dream come true, I was the nightmare from hell. We scoured every corner of the room. No luck. We went to the front desk and inquired if anyone had turned in a purse. No luck. They said there was a remote chance that they locked it in the bar upstairs for sake-keeping but we would not be able to check until late that morning. Chuck left for work, sheet pale. This was a lot of money at the time. I waited anxiously in what is now Q's over coffee with my girlfriend. Chuck returned and we went to the bar. We asked, they searched, and we waited. Alas, the purse was found and returned to us. In our minds we were sure the money would be gone. We opened the purse and shrieked with joy. All the money, all $17,000 was still in the purse untouched. We went back to Denver that day to spend some of the lucky money on jewelry. We were engaged the next month and we have been married 28 years as of June 13th. We still have the jewelry we bought and the rest of the $17,000. To this day we often come and stay in room 419 for special occasions. Top that Boulderado story!"