“Aspen’s incredible growth and the effects it has had are both good and bad,” says Pat. “As Aspen’s popularity grows, so do the property values and we’ve really increased our arts community considerably. It’s also still a great place to raise kids, and there are lots of really caring people here,” she says. “I have the same friends as when I moved here in 1970. There really are two Aspens, the one you read about in People magazine with all the movie stars, but there’s a whole other Aspen made up of wonderful volunteers who care about the community and the people who live here. The majority of people who run the community are regular people, not celebrities.”
Pat grew up in northeastern Oklahoma and she describes her childhood as a summer camp. Her parents owned a resort on Grand Lake where she grew up mostly outdoors, riding horses, swimming, boating, and surrounded by lots of animals, from cats to cows.
She was raised with a strong sense of personal obligation to give back to those less fortunate, which she credits to the example set by her father, a local doctor. “We lived in a very economically stressed community and my father treated people for free if they couldn’t pay. My parents were always helping to raise money for somebody in the community if they needed help,” she says. “My great grandfather was also one of the original participants in the constitutional convention when Oklahoma became a state. So our family was always involved in politics, civic affairs and helping others. I grew up thinking that was just the way life was.”
Pat says she is most proud of her involvement with Aspen Theater in the Park. “I was the first board president and I have watched it grow from a very small organization, with a small budget, into one of the major art organizations in Aspen,” she says. “It’s the only place that produces professional theater in Aspen.”
In the future, Pat would like to travel a bit more and expand her five-year-old counseling practice as well. “I’d also like to get into group facilitation, coaching, board facilitation and development for retreats,” she says.
What are your volunteer activities? Currently she is the Treasurer of Aspen Theater in the Park, president of the Aspen Hall of Fame, VP of the Aspen Sister Cities Committee, the State Coordinator for Sister Cities International, president of the Red Brick Center for the Arts, on the board of the City of Aspen Open Space and Challenge Aspen.
She also serves on the city of Aspen Civic Master Plan Committee, the City Grant Review Committee, and just chaired a campaign called “Helping From the Heart” to retain some no levy taxes to be given to non profits for a grant fund for health and human services in non profits. She is also a member of the Aspen Campus of the Colorado Mountain College Advisory Committee.
Her past involvements include Aspen City Council, Vice Mayor and the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission, VP and President of the Colorado branch of the League of Women’s Voters, and when her kids were in school, Pat served on numerous Aspen School District committees. She was also on the board of the Aspen Art Museum.
Which social event is your favorite? The 24 hours gala, which gives funds to thee non-profits, one of which is Challenge Aspen.
Favorite Restaurant: The Little Nell
Who is your hero and why? People I make my role models are those who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place to live. And people who open doors for those behind them and for those who can’t open doors themselves.
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? I’ve met President Bill Clinton, he was pretty interesting. I met him when he was the Governor of Arkansas and Senator George McGovern.
Do you have any pets? Not now, because I live in a place where I can’t have pets, but I’ve always had and love black labs.
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? That I like simple, straightforward décor and that I was a very uncomplicated, straightforward person.
What one word describes you best? Compassionate
How would you like others to describe you? Energetic and caring
What was your first job? I was a basic swimming instructor for children and adults through the Red Cross.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Narrow mindedness
What is your greatest indulgence? Travel
What is your current state of mind? Open, happy and accepting
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Having a life that I can look back on with no regrets and having raised two really great kids.
What is your most treasured possession? My children, although they’re not really possessions. I don’t have any possessions that I couldn’t live without.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Caring, open to new ideas, accepting of people with all their quirks and not measuring their lives by material things.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Same
Favorite books / Writers? I read a lot of Larry McMurtrey books and I like history books and books based on psychology.
What is the best advice you have ever received? I guess from my father who told me “You can do anything you want to do.” And this was instilled in me at a time when girls weren’t given that piece of advice.