The Sun is conducting a series of interviews with folks you may not have seen in the paper before – a sort of introduction to your neighbors. This week we caught up with Amber McMahill at The Marble Hub — the historic bank building that has become the visitor center of the town.
Q: Where are you from and how did you end up here in Marble?
A: I grew up in Montrose and used to visit Marble all the time as a child. When I was 18, my best friend and I hatched this grand plan to move out to California. We ended up out of gas in Marble as our first stop and Pat Kimball, former owner of The Beaver Lake Lodge, found us. Amazingly, she remembered me from when I was younger, she gave us a place to stay in her cabin and asked if we would help her open all of the other cabins then she’d drive us into town for gas the next day. My friend and I agreed and I ended up staying the rest of the summer. I moved back to Montrose for a while and didn’t return for years because seeing Marble and not living in Marble was painful. It’s impossible to leave, once it’s in you, it calls you back. I moved back about five years ago for my son to attend The Marble Charter School.
Q: If someone recognizes you on the street, where is it usually from?
A: The Hub or the [Redstone] Inn. It’s strange being recognized from these places but it makes sense because they are both the first stop people make when they come to Marble or Redstone. There is also strangeness and beauty in how it creates an instant connection to people, I really love that.”
Q: What is your favorite part about living here?
A: The people, having a community and, having such an immediate effect with events and new ideas. You don’t feel that way in a city, everyone’s voices matters and are heard here. Another thing I love about this town is the women. They are all women I’ve looked up to my whole life. It’s beautiful to have such strong pillars in our community being strong women. I feel like I am standing on the foundation of all these women and what they built and I’m just doing my best to continue the tradition of “badass women.”
Q: What is your favorite hobby?
A: I used to love to read, hike, sit in the forest and collect rocks, but now I know creating events and making things happen is my real passion. Bringing ideas to life for Marble, like the other night I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about how we can get a community greenhouse going. We’re also working on setting up a Nordic Center for an ice-skating rink and making cross-country skiing trails through town in the winter.”
Q: Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?
A: I’ve always wanted to travel the world. Since I moved here, I’ve only been out of Marble once and that was to take my son to Lego Land. I promised him when he was four and he never forgot so I kept my promise and we really enjoyed Southern California.
Q: Is there something you’re particularly proud of?
A: I’m proud of my work at The Hub and my son. In fact, I’m most proud of my son and seeing myself in him, even though that kind of sounds vain. You know, The Marble Charter School gives out awards every year and he’s gotten Most Kind-Hearted two years in a row. His teacher said he holds people to a higher standard and keeps them accountable for their actions and that is really cool to hear as a mom.
Q: We have a lot of wildlife around us here, what was your most recent encounter?
A: A bear ate my car … ripped off the door handle and ate the seat. I also just saw a beaver crossing the road in front of me yesterday. Oh, and there are baby birds living in a tiny bird house on my porch! And one time, there was a deer who ate my flowers. I was grateful because I had been forgetting to plant them and they were being neglected. I saw her shortly after and thanked her!”
Q: Do you have any advice for new people moving to the valley?
A: For people coming to Marble, they should know that people either acclimatize or end up leaving. A lot of new people want to “fix” Marble with cell phone service and a gas station, but they don’t realize that everyone who stays here does so because Marble does not have those things. So, I guess my advice would be to get to know the heart of Marble before wanting to change it.
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