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A Visit to Baldpate Inn
I went up to the Baldpate Inn the other day and had a chat with Don Vick, who owns the Inn, along with his wife Leean. Leean is the grand daughter of Gordon Mace, who built the Inn in 1917, the same year my family arrived in the mountains. I arrived somewhat later.
Leean was having a busy lunch hour, attending to guests who seemed to be enjoying their meal which had been prepared in Baldpate’s brand new kitchen.
It was the first time I had been down the Baldpate road in 27 years. In the summer of 1967 I worked at the Baldpate Inn as a waiter. The staff was small, and the kitchen antiquated. Gordon Mace, who was quite an athlete in his youth, had slowed a great deal, and he died two years later.
My recollections of that summer are hazy now. I was preoccupied by my graduation from college and my impending career. Mostly, I remember Gordon Mace’s sense of humor. There was evidence of it all over, in the many strange objects hulking on the walls, including a jackalope, which is a stuffed rabbit with antelope antlers stuck on it. Gordon had a lot of fun with that.
There was also a hat with a bunch of porcupine quills stuck in it and Gordon had a long and funny story to go along with it. I can’t remember the story, but the hat is still there.
He also had a set of stuffed elk hooves.
When things got a little dull, Gordon would go out into the parking lot and make a lot of prints in the dust, and then tell the guests they had just missed seeing a huge elk. The guests would traipse off into the woods in search of the giant elk while Gordon and the rest of us had a good laugh. The guests had a good time anyway, looking for the elk.
Don Vick seems to be of a like mind, and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that the giant elk is once again prowling the Baldpate Inn parking lot.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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