“He has all of his art displayed on the second floor. Anytime we’re on a tour, it gives them a time to stop and reflect and see his beautiful work. At any given time, he has anywhere from 10 to 15 pieces that are displayed outside,” Estes Park Village Administrator Julie Lee said. “All you have to do is knock on his door and he’ll come out and talk to you about the process of it, he’ll explain the meaning behind it. He’s such a vital part of our community now.”
Grooters’ newest piece is a tribute to Fran that stems from a Valentine’s Day tradition. They would exchange the same Valentine’s Day card for about 20 years. Grooters now is creating a stained glass replica as a tribute to his late wife.
“I always wanted to turn it into glass, but the particular lettering they had on it was pretty difficult. So I just kept putting it off until it was too late to do it while she was alive. I thought, ‘Well, I’m gonna try and do it.’ I got the smaller one done — went pretty good. And then the bigger one, I ended up having to order more glass and it was slightly different. But that was it; it still looks really good. It’s something she would have loved to have seen, and it would mean a lot to her.”
Estes Park Village, he said, is “a good place for me to be.” “I wouldn’t want to go off and live by myself or be too much of a hermit, so it’s a good place to be, even if she’s gone,” Grooters said. “Now it gives me people to talk with, sit with. I try and sit with different people every meal. She had that personality that attracted everybody, and she could connect with everybody. Everybody that met her was changed in some way in their life.”