Aimee with her Dad, Jim
Aimee with her Dad, Jim

Many daughters of doting dads agree that ‘a daughter’s first love is her dad.’ Aimee Browne and her dad, Jim, prove not only that the adage is true, but also confirm the daddy/daughter bond is eternal.

Aimee, a native of Evergreen, loves her hometown equally as much as her dad did. Jim Browne was born in Portland, Oregon, moved to Anchorage, Alaska, then allowed his dreams of becoming a geologist take him to Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado.

“Like I did with my dad, Avery now works with me… ”

“Dad loved nature and being outdoors, which is why he loved being a geologist. He worked for several oil companies throughout the country until the oil crash in the 1980s, which coincided with him becoming a single dad. It was then he started Dastardly Deeds, LLC,” Aimee reveals. “Dad’s priority was raising Josh and me, and loving Evergreen as much as he did, he wanted us to grow up in a community where we could leave the house at dawn and return at dusk. He often took Josh and me to help him, which are some of the best memories of my childhood.”

Growing up on Meadow Rue Road provided Aimee with the freedom she needed to embrace all the fun and whimsy Evergreen provided kids who loved to run amuck. She recalls, “Main Street was obviously a huge attraction for my friends. I lived within walking distance to Baskin Robbins, Blue Spruce Records, and the taffy shop. My idyllic childhood somewhat changed when my parents divorced when I was 12. It was then I started helping my dad, and I actually felt privileged to work alongside him. I was at the end of the rake most of the time, trying my best to create piles of limitless pine needles for him to haul away. I’ll never forget when a baby skunk distracted us by romping about until the poor thing fell into a hole that turned out to be home to a litter of skunks. Momma skunk wasn’t too pleased when my dad flipped her baby out of the hole, thinking he was rescuing the little creature. Momma got her retaliation at the exact time I raced up to see what was going on. Dad and I both got sprayed. Thinking fast, Dad drove us to the car wash on Buffalo Park Road. We walked through many times thinking we’d be de-skunked. It didn’t help, so we camped out in the backyard the next few days. That might have lessened the stench, but only a tad.”

Aimee’s pre-teen and teenage years were idyllically lived out in Evergreen. She reflects, “Those were the days of library index cards, Saturday morning cartoons, rotary dials, phone books, and obeying parental commands to ‘stay outside until it gets dark.’ Kids developed lifelong friendships in those days, perhaps because we didn’t have social media or platforms to distract us. The majority of my early childhood friends are my closest friends to this very day. My daughter, Avery, also an Evergreen native, experienced a different childhood from mine, perhaps due to the influence of social media and computers. Like I did with my dad, Avery now works with me, and at the same time she is studying to go into the nursing field. I fully support her dream. I wanted to be a marine biologist and received my biology degree at the University of Colorado. Reality hit when I obtained my degree; my job would take me away from my dad and my then love interest. That, I didn’t want to do. I found a job in Denver working for an attorney, which was great for a while. I made good money and did a lot of traveling, but my heart wanted to be back in Evergreen. I missed my friends, the community, and especially my dad, even though we often butted heads. I gave him a lot of headaches, but we both loved the Evergreen community, the smell of freshly mowed grass, and doing work that benefitted our clients, the community, and enabled us both to be outside. We worked side-by-side building large natural rock walls and created beautiful gardens that didn’t get eaten by wildlife through his creation of multilevel living spaces. I loved volunteering for the annual Big Chili Cook-Off, something my dad always wanted to do to support our local fire departments. This I still do in memory of him, and last year our team actually won!”

Jim’s work ethic and helping clients with an unending array of dastardly deeds were never ending, but he did take time off to teach disabled children to ski. “Dad taught Josh and me how to ski before we could walk, and he also served as a volunteer at the National Sports Center for the Disabled for over 20 years. Long after his students aged out of the program, they still kept in touch with him, and he kept in touch with them. When dad died in 2015, I knew I couldn’t let Dastardly Deeds die with him, so I have kept the business going, knowing that’s what he wanted me to do. Like we did together, I still volunteer with a variety of nonprofits, and like him, I do it as a labor of love. Dad also had a huge heart for animals and volunteered with EAPL (Evergreen Animal Protective League.) We often found stray dogs and cats, which we brought home, and worked with EAPL to find them permanent homes. Avery and I do the same,” she says.

Aimee reflects on her larger than life father, especially close to Father’s Day: “I used to be embarrassed to work with my dad, especially when we did trash removal downtown. No matter the task he took on, he put forth his best effort and had a lot of pride in his work. He often chided, ‘It’s not about what we have or don’t have, Aimee. It’s about helping people and doing your best. Take pride in that.’ Avery and I put forth the same pride and work ethic like my dad did. It’s a privilege to keep Evergreen’s downtown flower barrels and gardens looking their best whether they’re in bloom or not. Avery and I adhere to my dad’s adage, ‘Do honest work, enjoy working with your hands, put your back into your work, and work hard. Above all, treat people right and always be friendly and personable. You’ll appreciate the rewards you deserve if you work hard, remain honest, and above all, always be kind.’ It’s a demanding job, both physically and mentally, but being outside, surrounded by nature, is an awesome benefit! And perhaps I was to my dad what Avery is to me: my life, my love, and my rock. I’m a very proud mom!”

In closing, Aimee shares, “I thank my dad every day for moving to Evergreen and loving me unconditionally. I still miss him… very much. He was and will always be my greatest hero. I love you. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!”