Fifty years ago this December, two friends in their early 20s drove from Seattle to Sun Valley to spend one winter skiing. That winter, we worked as dishwashers to make ends meet, and that summer we backpacked through the Sawtooths. With no grand plan, we stayed on year to year and the valley became truly home. It was a young, adventurous, laid-back, hard-partying place—a community that was tolerant of eccentric people and of unorthodox ways of doing things. We worked, skied, hiked and gained a close-knit group of friends. Each of us fell in love with a wonderful and understanding woman with whom we raised good-natured kids that reflect the best qualities of this valley. Ours is not an isolated story here. It has not always been easy, perfect or trouble-free, but it has always been interesting.

While things have changed some over the years, it is still a great place to live. Now we are getting a little older and one of us has Parkinson’s. That does not diminish our years or adventures here. It makes us appreciate, in a different way, the support of our friends and the community. So, on our 50th year, we would like to thank all the people we have come to know and those who make up this unique community.

John Stokes and Jim Phillips, Hailey

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