Although we all knew it was coming, the loss of Dee Richards from this community leaves a big hole that it will be hard to fill. Dee was an original. She has influenced my life in more ways than she ever knew.
When I first moved here as a "newbie," I met Dee when she was walking the beat, getting fodder for the column, "Along the Bounding Main." It was a column that got tidbits of news for the paper from the various businesses up and down Lincoln Avenue and occasionally beyond. I had opened a small sewing shop in the alley behind the Bottleneck. She breezed in and demanded, "What is this place and what do you do here?" She was rather intimidating, like she owned the town and didn't want it messed up.
In your own article, the headline on page 12 heralds Dee's authorship of "Steamboat 'Round the Bend." It was published the year after I moved to Steamboat and was dedicated "to Margaret Bourn Crawford and James Harvey Crawford - who built a thoroughfare for freedom across the wilderness:and to Marianne, who will never read this book." I read the book and it gave me the foundation and the love I have for the history of Steamboat Springs. When I went to open my copy of this book, to write about the dedication, several pages fell out. It is old, but it is still relevant.
I will miss Dee. In a note I wrote to her friend, Sheri Steiner, I talked about Dee's spit and fire. I also talked about her willingness to ask the tough questions. Her spunk is alluded to in the articles written about her following her death, but until you have experienced that spunk for yourself, you have no idea how she helped to keep people on track. She was a moral compass. I also mentioned to Sheri that I would love to have had Dee's take on the changes that are happening today in Steamboat. I think she would have said that change is inevitable. But I also think she would have said to "Take care. Honor the past, and respect the future." The history she wrote about in her book talked about the huge periods of growth at the beginning of the last century. This is not the first boom we have experienced.
Dee, you will be missed!