Surprised By History

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a condo in Silverthorne, Colorado.

The paperwork is enough to make my head spin.  Maybe not as alarmingly as the scene in The Exorcist.  But plenty enough for me, who is a real coward when it comes to scary movies-and to reams of incomprehensible legal forms.

I was plowing through the title insurance documents the other night.  The title dated all the way back to a hand written land grant signed by President William McKinley on January 10, 1901.  An anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, assassinated McKinley in September of that year.

But while this was was interesting, it was not what caught my attention.  It was an assignment of wages from a Charles and Laura Anthony to an E.A. Theobald that caused me to sit up and take notice.

I went to Graland Elementary school with a Robin Theobald.  And I knew that his family had roots in the Breckenridge area, just up the Blue River and across Lake Dillon from Silverthorne.

I knew that the Theobald in the land deed had to be one of Robin’s ancestors.

I remember very distinctly a “hobby fair” that we had in second grade.  The assignment was to bring to school a display of what you did as a hobby.  Since I really didn’t have one other than reading, I was at a loss as to what to do.  Then, in desperation, I stayed up until the wee hours the night before the fair putting together a card board diorama of our school library and hammering out a couple of book reports.  One of which was “Stuart Little,” complete with my childish drawing of Stuart’s sail boat gliding over the Central Park pond with little “v” shaped gulls floating overhead.  I still feel that, somehow, I pulled one over on the judges when they awarded me second prize.

First prize, hands down, went to Robin.  He had a display of mining gear that would have done many museums proud:  old picks and shovels, head lamps, pans, sluice boxes, candle holders, cast iron skillets, gas masks and hard hats, rock drill bits, worn rocking chairs.  It really was impressive.  And he collected it in his summer rambles through the hills of the Breckenridge gold mining district.

So, I googled Robin.  Sure enough, in the Summit Daily there was at least two articles about him and his wife Patty; they still live in Breckenridge.  In fact, they pretty much seem to run the place.  He has done everything from working in an underground mine, to managing the local radio station, to restoring historic buildings, serving on a local planning commission, and organizing 4th of July fireworks.  A real home town guy, and proud of it.

I plan to look him up when we finally get this crazy loan closed in Silverthorne.




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