Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Key to Family History

Good afternoon Key Lovers!

Today I want to look a a very special key. It did not belong to a famous musician, or unlock a secret passage. It is not a key to a city the White House. This key is not hung on our walls or kept behind glass. This key hangs on the ceiling, with all of the other keys donated by people who have stayed at the Baldpate Inn over the years. It belongs to a regular family who enjoys visiting Estes Park.

This key is actually a bright yellow bubble wand in the shape of a key. It was originally donated July 9th 2002 by Jolene Andolsek. It is labeled as the key to Teamwork at North Colorado Medical Center. Since then, this family has visited the Baldpate Inn Key Room twelve times. Sometimes when they visit, they leave a new tag with a note explaining what is happening in their lives. The earliest date (other than the donation date) is May 31st, 2008. Next to that date it states "Our 6th yearly visit. Laura just got braces. She was 16 on the 27th." On May 29th, 2009, they wrote, "Our 7th yearly visit. Laura gets wisdom teeth pulled on June 2. Laura is now 17." On May 28, 2010: "Our 8th year. Laura graduated May 21. Laura 18th Birthday. She starts at UNC in the fall. I am so proud of you. -Mom" May 27, 2011: "Laura 19th BD. 9th year. Mom passed away March 24 5:07pm at NCMC. Laura will be a sophomore at UNC. She likes Jeff Huffman." October 1, 2011 simply says, "With Jean." May 27th, 2012: "Laura is 20 today. She is dating Jeff. I have lost 62lbs. since Nov." May 27, 2013: "Laura 21 today. Where has time gone. Lost 96lbs. NCMC optimization. Laura dating Jeff." May 27, 2013; "Laura engaged to Jeff. Laura to teach first grade at Penrose. Move to Pueblo with Jeff." The last entry, dated Jun 5, 2016 states: "Laura in North Glenn. Stopped working Oct 24, 2015. Love retirement. With Laura and Harmin. Amazing year and many changes for us." On a separate tag, one that Laura left when she came without her mother, she wrote "Hi Mom! I'll see you in 2013. Love you! -Laura"

Many times we look at keys that have significance to state history or national history or unlock significant building. It is just as important to remember our own history. I'm thrilled to know that families have used our key collection as a way to track their own history and I cannot wait to see what else they will write.

Until next time,