Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Treat Sun Valley with care

     I am writing in memory of my father and my concern for the future of Sun Valley.

     The year was 1936. I visited Sun Valley with my family. I was 16 years old. Averell Harriman asked my father, John E.P. Morgan, to be the project manager for Sun Valley. They were business associates in New York City. My father was an avid ice hockey player and skier, and later on was one of the founders of the ski patrol and co-inventor of the chairlift, and was inducted into the Ski Hall of Fame. This was a dream job for Dad. He and Harriman shared a vision for Sun Valley.

     I thought I had found Paradise. I remember knowing Roberta Brass, whose ranch became Sun Valley. I remember the Austrians yodeling to each other as they swooshed down the mountains, and I remember swimming in the hot springs, camping in the Sawtooths and the arrival of the movie stars for the grand opening. Good grief, what a memory! But most of all, I remember the spectacular natural beauty in the hills and mountains surrounding Sun Valley.

     I am 91 years old now. My husband and I with our five children have lived many places, including South America. I have seen the destruction done by commercialism. I have also seen the positive effects of strict zoning regulation.

     Sun Valley is fragile. Like all fragile things, it must be handled with care. It is easy to spoil something beautiful. Let us remember the vision of the founders, to protect the vistas and wildlife for future generations.

Joan Morgan Rhett

Charleston, S.C.

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