Remembering Sandy Widener, John Parr and Chase Parr
The reminder for the memorial site at muchloved.com came in at 5:01 this morning. I did not need it: Not a day goes by that I do not think about Sandy Widener, John Parr and Chase Parr, the three members of a much-loved Colorado family who died in a horrific car wreck three years ago today.
And of Katy Parr, the daughter who survived.
I think about Sandy, the spitfire I met my first day at Cornell University, every time I'm wrestling with a particularly sticky editing problem at Westword, the paper that three friends from Cornell founded the year after we graduated. Sandy was a smart, tough reporter -- but the pecularities of people she met along the way always tickled her. And I can hear her laughing as I try to extricate myself from the latest tangle.
Sandy met John Parr, an aide to then-Governor Dick Lamm, while reporting one of her stories. I think about John every time I reflect on the incredibly wacky campaign season we've just gone through -- and the one coming up. John was smart, too, with an incredible knack for common-sense thinking and plain speaking. And with every new political development, I can hear his wise and witty counsel.
Chase was their first child, a shining star at East High School who was a sophomore at Wesleyan -- the alma mater of our next governor -- when she died. Had she lived, she would have been just the age her mother was when we all moved to Colorado to start the paper; it's beyond imagining to think what Chase might have gone on to do.
And Katy, the survivor, is now a student at the University of Colorado, building a life in which so many of the familiar landmarks are gone. She's a tiny girl, but with a heart and spirit big enough to carry on for all of them.
No, I didn't need this reminder of the third anniversary of their deaths. I think about them every day, just as we do all the people who've meant so much to us, who've helped make us. And I'm thankful for the time we had -- and the memories we still have.
Sandy Widener's work for Westword predates our web site -- but you can read my initial column about her life and death here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Reader: Pot Shops That Sell to Minors Hurt the Whole Industry and Here's Why
Fri., Oct. 9, 7:00pm
Sat., Oct. 10, 2:00pm
Sat., Oct. 10, 5:00pm
Sun., Oct. 11, 12:00pm
- Bet the Local Record Store Named One of America's Best Will Surprise You
- Dear Mexican: What Is the Bolo Tradition for Godparents?