Palisade Peach Fest a perfect way to celebrate big anniversary

What are the chances three of four couples seated at random around a table at one of the Palisade Peach Festival’s signature events, Feast in the Fields, would be celebrating wedding anniversaries?
    Odds might not be quite as high as for stopping to grab a six-pack in Clifton and winning $2 million in the lottery, but they’re plenty long enough.

Looking for something different in the way of a night out when our Aug. 9 anniversary rolled around, I decided it’d be worth waiting a week for our annual celebration of Bonnie’s ongoing tolerance and stubbornness. That’s how we found ourselves guessing which fork to use as courses came one after another out at Z’s Orchard on that Friday night, Aug. 16.

Two of our companions were also a few days past their early August anniversary. Jim and Dixie, from Manitou Springs, saw our 44 years and raised us one. Palisade Public Works Director Frank Watt and his wife trailed by about a decade, but they were celebrating on their actual anniversary date.

Any event that starts with Steve Smith pouring free wine and with appetizers featuring two of my favorite food groups, chocolate and bacon (slathered over a peach slice) is my kind of celebration. Add courses consisting of peach-based soup, pork belly (and peaches) and duck (and peaches) and finish things off with peach dessert accompanied by peach wine and there might be good reason to fear impending arterial blockage might halt our anniversary string at 44.

I’ll let my doc, Andy Mohler, and Wine Country Inn chef Marcelo Marino sort that out. I’ll be rooting for Marcelo.

Then there was the wine.

Pat Kennedy explained every variety poured, providing details of sugars and acids and other supposedly important stuff. That rolled off those of us whose idea of adventurous imbibing is to periodically fill a case at the local liquor store with the best that a $10 per bottle limit can procure.

I will say the local vino poured by attentive servers like Paul Nelson, Amy Nuernberg, Mary Lou Wilson and Sandi Cooper went down easily.

Thankfully, another host, Joanna Feather, warned us early on of the perils of frequently filled glasses. Words such as “just like in college” may have been an indicator of personal experience. Or not. You’ll have to ask Joanna about that.

Some of us paced ourselves. Some set a pretty fast pace. One of us let the other drive home. A good time was had by all.

I had another reminder of our long marriage on Sunday, one that takes us back 43 of our 44 years.

What’s a young couple, grossing a combined $1,300 a month in their first 1970s-era, post-college jobs to do but leverage the sense of humor at what was then the Mesa County Teachers Federal Credit Union into a brand new Porsche? Or two, the initial silver one being traded in after a year on a more powerful green one.

Bonnie drove it daily in Phoenix heat and Evergreen snow. It earned us trophies at racetracks in Arizona and Colorado, got Bonnie her stripes as the first female Porsche Club driving instructor in the Rocky Mountain region and garnered a People’s Choice award at a regional Porsche Club show.

One quick trip home found me jailed in Bluff, Utah, awaiting a verdict by the local justice of the peace on a game warden’s citizen’s arrest for the fact I was ever-so-slightly exceeding the speed limit.

Then life interfered.

While a teenager, our daughter set a new standard for accidents, having one in the garage when the open door of her Ford Escort scraped the side of the Porsche. Boxes and other stuff piled on it didn’t protect from items falling off shelves. The last service receipt for the Porsche is dated 1997.

I washed it last Sunday for the first time in years. The sticker on the right side of the “Rare 6” vanity plate now says ‘14 instead of ‘04.

It’s now at AJRS in south downtown, where Porsche guru Al Johnsen will get it roadworthy again.

We’re hoping for a fall trip or two, then body and paint rejuvenation over the winter.

With luck, we’ll ride in style to Feast in the Fields when we celebrate our 45th anniversary next year.

Jim Spehar’s promised to quit saying “44 years, most of them happy.” You can say whatever you want at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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