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Are you related to ....?”
Almost as soon as I moved here people began asking me if I am related to Greig Steiner. In fact, we’re not related, but in order to be sure I met him for the first time the other morning.
For those of you who may have been elsewhere for the last 25 years, Greig Steiner owns the Courtyard and is a very successful painter and sculptor whose gallery is also in the Courtyard here in the village. I remembered that Greig had been an important part of the old Dark Horse Players way back in 1959 when they took over the old municipal pool behind the famous Dark Horse Bar.
Although his work with Dave Sterling and then on his own eclipsed his professional theater work, which included the Pasadena Playhouse, Greig has maintained his interest in theater work, including the Fine Arts Guild. At the moment he’s reading scripts for a production he’ll direct next fall.
We discovered that we do have some things in common. Both our families come from the midwest; his from Nebraska, mine from Iowa. We have both been in the military, and we share an interest in theater, and in particular in community theater. Because I don’t know much about the history of community theater in Estes Park, I listened with interest as Greig outlined the familiar pattern of money problems and the problems with various theaters over the years; the frustrations that are a common part of most fledgling community theaters and many well established ones.
As I left the gallery it occurred to me that I have never had this problem before. I grew up in Portland, Oregon and although there were many other Steiners, nobody ever asked me if I was related to them. I went to school with Ann Steiner (which happens to be Greig’s wife’s name—no relation) and her father was a well known Portland ophthalmologist, but I don’t think anyone ever asked if we were related. That may have had something to do with the fact that she was very good looking.
In a small town though, whenever someone moves in with a name like Hix, for instance, they are bound to be asked if they’re related to the well known Hix family of Estes Park. So I have the answer ready when I am introduced to people and I see them furrow their brows and form the question. About half the time I beat them to the punch and let them know that, no, Greig and I aren’t related. Now that I’ve met Greig, it’s even easier.
He’s the thin, good looking, famous one. I’m the other one.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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