By Karen D. Lorentz
“Red, it’s impossible to list all you’ve done for this town—all the wonderful projects… and our gratitude.” That was the heartfelt sentiment expressed again and again at a celebration honoring Horace “Red” Glaze on Sunday, April 24.
The Green Mountain National Golf Course clubhouse was packed as friends and Killington residents gathered to reminisce with Red and send him off with best wishes as he moves to Lakewood Ranch, Fla., with wife Taylor.
“Red, we thank you, we love you,” said Mike Young as he presented the Recreation Commission’s George Kenneth Krantz Volunteer of the Year Award to Glaze.
But it wasn’t just his years as fire chief, selectman, town moderator, and Rotarian that people were remembering. It was the many ways in which he helped out the town, Young noted, saying that Red built the dugouts with Rotary and the outhouse at the golf course, eliciting appreciative laughter at the latter. “You deserve all the accolades… God bless you,” Young said.
“Killington is a great place to live, and a lot of it is owed to you, Red. Thank you, we appreciate it,” added longtime resident Kathy Judge.
Life of service celebrated
Just weeks ago, Glaze stepped down from the Sherburne Fire District No. 1 where he served as chairman since its founding in 1979.
Former Town Manager Dave Lewis said, “Red is probably the most public service-dedicated person I have known in this community since I was hired in 1976 at age 26.”
Hired by selectmen Ken Krantz, Monti (Enrico Monti) and Glaze, Lewis recalled, “Red was the fire chief during the most dynamic time in the fire department and a selectman during the most dynamic time in town in the seventies and eighties. It was a time when all the issues from sewage to traffic were being addressed during the town’s boom period. He was there… he was a rock.
“He was my boss from 1976 to this month—either in my capacity as (former) town manager or as the fire district manager,” Lewis said in noting appreciation for all the efforts Glaze made on behalf of the town.
Lewis also explained that as an active member of the Rotary Club, “any time anyone needed anything—rec area or golf course—Red would get Rotary to build it.”
“Red was also influential in the private sector,” Lewis added, noting that Red’s various construction projects in town and businesses had served the town well.
An original community builder
Glaze came to Killington in the ski area’s formative years, and, after he and his partner Jack Robinson bought land from Oren Bates, built The Red Rob Inn, which Red opened for business in 1960.
While the building was small at first, it featured a dramatic two-story fieldstone fireplace and balcony dining overlooking the lounge, fireplace and mountain. With live entertainment on Saturday nights, the Red Rob was one of the first gathering spots for ski instructors and guests and an après-ski hotspot.
The lodging capacity grew to 130 when a wing was added in the mid-1960s, and Red and his (late) wife Lil operated the Red Rob until selling it in 1971. (The Red Rob is now home to the Killington Mountain School.)
Red also utilized his heavy equipment expertise as an independent contractor and bulldozed some of the ski area’s steep trails, including High Line, Conclusion and Needle’s Eye.
He told his well-wishers that he got bored after selling the Red Rob and bought a bulldozer and built Conclusion (1973) for ski-area founder Pres Smith. Glaze regaled the crowd with a story of how “Pres said he wanted it 100 feet wider. I said here’s the key (to the dozer).” Glaze then explained that Conclusion was so boulder strewn, it was an impossible task to make it wider. Calling it a “great mountain,” Glaze said he skied most of it, admitting there were “a few trails I didn’t like so well.”
He also built many roads and homes in town.
Leo Denis recalled that when he joined Killington as a ski instructor, he tended bar part-time at the Red Rob and helped Red frame his home. “He taught me how to construct buildings and even how to build stone walls,” Denis said, noting that Glaze had a formal construction background prior to coming to Killington. “He’s a dear friend,” Denis added appreciatively, a comment echoed by many others.
In addition, Glaze served as a supervisor of construction of the Ramshead Base Lodge when it was built in 1962. In 1983, he began Glazebrook, a 44-unit townhouse project and also built the nearby Glazebrook Complex, with his last addition to it being his family’s restaurant Domenic’s, run by stepson Nick Chiarella.
The irony is that Red came to the area “to retire from the construction business” as he told me in the 1989, noting he hadn’t succeeded in that but that he did enjoy his work in town.
And, of course, that included his volunteer work, as so many noted—fire chief, selectman, Town Moderator for 29 years, and a charter member of the Killington Rotary Club, receiving the honor of being named a Paul Harris Rotarian.
Another joy was playing golf with buddies Ken Lee, Leo Davin and Ted Olencki—a foursome dubbed the “silver foxes”—at the Green Mountain National Golf Course. He was instrumental in bringing the municipal course to the town, making the clubhouse a fitting scene for a fond farewell.
As one of the first wave of town pioneers, Glaze, 85, said he always found Killington “a great place to live.”
As he thanked his wellwishers, Red also noted that Taylor, a longtime dear family friend whom he married after Lil’s passing, was taking good care of him as he navigates the medical care route in Florida, where they now reside.