A life full of music plays on
Longtime Yampa resident Evelyn Pidcock, 91, starts new chapter at care center
Just as they have for 80-plus years, Evelyn Pidcock’s fingers slid across the cool ivory keys of a piano as she played one of her favorite tunes for a growing crowd of residents last week.
“Don’t stop now, Evelyn,” they chided. “You play so beautifully.”
Pidcock, a longtime Yampa resident, has lived a life full of music.
Even at 91, Pidcock can re–member when she used to walk 24 miles from her family’s ranch to the old Nazarene Church in Yampa to ring the church bells and occasionally play the organ, piano or guitar.
“Every Sunday, me, my sister and my mom and dad used to go back and forth from Yampa. We used to walk from Green Ridge to church and then back to Green Ridge for Sunday school,” she said.
Pidcock said she couldn’t remember how many years she made the trip before her family finally moved to Yampa. Regardless, people always were amazed at her diligence in making the weekly walk.
Pidcock is a petite woman with sandy white curls in her hair. She walks with the help of a cane, though at her speedy pace, one wonders why she needs it. She enjoys looking back on her life and recalling fond memories, most of which include her sister, Margarite Nelson, who is 15 months older than Pidcock and still lives in Yampa.
“Besides taking our walks to church, my sister and I used to walk somewhere and camp out. We loved camping out. We used to pick peas. We did everything together,” she said.
Pidcock said that during the past 90 years, she has spoken to her sister at least once a week, a statistic she is proud of considering the different paths their lives took.
“We’re both in our 90s now,” she said. “It’s nice that we’re back together again. The fact is that we were never separated.”
Before moving to the Doak Walker Care Center 10 months ago because of medical problems, Pidcock lived in Yampa near her sister in a house she bought when she was 42.
Pidcock doesn’t remember the recent move to Steamboat, but she said she couldn’t be happier.
“I enjoy being here. You have to be happy somewhere,” she said.
Her church attendance hasn’t waned since her move to Doak Walker, though she can’t participate like she used to.
The self-taught musician can play just about any instrument — stringed or otherwise — she could get her hands on, including the violin, electric guitar, harp, accordion, banjo, piano, organ and auto harp. She took one music lesson as a child before deciding to buy music books and teach herself.
In addition to her music and her faith, Pidcock said the other defining aspect of her life was the countless walks she has enjoyed taking.
“I used to always take walks. I never owned a car in my life. I never even thought about it, because I didn’t see any need for it,” she said.
Pidcock said one of her nephews used to joke with her about the dogs she used to take with her on her marathon walks.
“He used to say, ‘I don’t know how many dogs she’s walked to death.’ I know that they got all the walking they wanted,” she said smiling.
Because she chose not to marry, Pidcock said the six dogs she’s had have kept her company.
“That was my life. I loved it,” she said.
— To reach Alexis De La Cruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail email@example.com
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Things have changed since Joe Ghiglia and Rick Bear graced the stage at the Ratskeller, located in the basement of Inn at Thunderhead in Ski Time Square, in the 1970s.