Award-Winning Author Laurel McHargue Establishes Leadville Literary League

2018 Calendar Girls of Leadville

When people see my work, I want them to feel joy . . .

When author Laurel McHargue–founder of the Leadville Literary League–was asked how she might help with restoration efforts for an 1800s opera house in her historic mining town, she wondered how she would find support for her idea.

“I was talking with a friend at our local pool and asked if she’d be willing to be photographed for a calendar with other women ‘of a certain age.’ Without hesitation, she said, ‘I’m in,’ even after I told her how the models would have to pose. I figured if she didn’t hesitate, perhaps I could convince others to participate.”

McHargue didn’t know at the time just how many local women would respond. “I presented the idea at a gathering of local business owners and after the laughter stopped, several of the women said, ‘No one wants to see any of this.’ Once I had a chance to speak with them privately, however, I’d see little stifled smiles and I knew they were considering it.”

Elise Sunday, owner of Fire On The Mountain, volunteered her time and talents as photographer for Leadville Literary League’s calendar project before McHargue could even finish asking her. “When people see my work, I want them to feel joy,” said Sunday, “and I knew this would be a joyful project.”

When Karen Onderdonk, Producer and Director at Indigo Media Arts heard about the idea, she volunteered not only to produce a video trailer, but also to create a short documentary about the making of the calendar. “I’ve been blown away by our local talent and willingness to support this project,” said McHargue.

One of the calendar’s models suggested “Leadville Antiques: Uncovered” as a motto because all of the women…

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