Steamboat Springs Dr. Curtis Comeau, D.D.S., loves to point out the "Wall of Shame" in his dental office on Pine Grove Road.
"These are all the dumb things we do - anything for a thrill," Comeau said, pointing out photos of himself and partner Dr. Bill Schwartz on various adventures, including water-skiing at Lake Powell, jumping out of a hot-air balloon and even bungee-jumping 350 feet off a bridge in Africa.
"I did that on a dare with my daughter in 2005," Comeau said.
Comeau bases all of his travels from Steamboat Springs, the city he has called home for 31 years. He originally came to town in the winter of 1974-75, when he was ski bumming with a friend around the western United States.
"The first night I ever spent in Steamboat was in the back of my friend's van in the Pine Grove Apartments parking lot," Comeau said. "It was 25 below. We had such a great time, I decided to stay."
And stay he did. Comeau found a bank that loaned him enough money to open his practice in 1975, and he even met his wife - local youth dance instructor "Ms. Karin" - in Steamboat.
"I started from ground zero," he said. "But my story is not unlike a hundred other stories in this town."
Comeau said he has seen countless changes in dentistry over the years. The latest innovation in his office is a state-of-the-art Cerec 3 machine, which allows Comeau to view three-dimensional images of teeth while creating computer-generated crowns and optical impressions of dental work.
"There's nothing I do today the same way I did it five years ago," he said. "Everything we do is constantly evolving."
But it's the patients, not the machinery, who keep Comeau coming into the office.
"I love working with people," he said. "It's all worth it when somebody smiles and says 'thank you.'"
- Story by Mike Lawrence
Photo by John F. Russell