Enjoying a scenic drive down a private Evergreen lane, heavily ladened with twisted pines and treasured memories, I instantly recognize the man who gifted Evergreen with Serenity Magazine walking ahead. He arrived in Evergreen in 1977. I arrived in ’85. Our paths have crossed numerous times because of our mutual love for our mountain communities. We both believe stories from the past as well as the present need to be shared, preserved and treasured.

As a realtor, 30 years ago, Doug Kinzy cunningly crafted a black and white newspaper he named Colorado Serenity to bolster both his listings as well as his real estate finesse. Jeff Green, owner and founder of Palm Beach Real Estate Investors Association and PalmBeachers Realty, claims, “In real estate, you make 10 percent of your money because you’re a genius and 90 percent because you catch a great wave.” Doug definitely caught “a great wave” with his creation of Serenity. Not only did Serenity originally attract an influx of realtors clamoring to advertise their own mountain home listings, the little black and white format gradually transitioned into an elegant full-color magazine utilized by a full-range of business and nonprofit advertisers, attracting readers from the entire mountain foothills community.

“I’ve never met Holly’s parents, but I’ve seen many pictures of the Hilbrinks, and each one reveals they are soulmates.”

Doug, always supportive of my writing endeavors for nearly 40 years, asked me to support two of his advertorial clients and presented me with many opportunities to write about our local pioneer families. When he purchased the iconic Stone House in 2004, Doug tapped me to write its memoire as he lovingly preserved the iconic home’s original ambience and historical integrity.

Prior to COVID, Colorado Serenity hosted “Schmoozers” at various sites including Mount Vernon Country Club, Willow Creek, Lariat Lodge, The Woodcellar, Key’s on the Green, and The Wild Game, just to name a few. Business owners, community newbies, social butterflies, and people wanting to meet people enjoyed an evening of great conversation, music, food and drink free of charge. Serenity Schmoozers became an event where community action plans were culminated, lasting friendships were made, and attendees discovered ways to cultivate awareness, compassion and concern for the greater good of both commerce and our communities.

When Holly Jorgensen accepted the post as editor in chief, both Colorado Serenity and Doug hit another stride. Holly’s love of words, her devotion to our community and to Doug created harmony in more ways than one. Doug and Holly publicly proclaimed they were in a relationship on February 7, 2011. They announced their engagement on December 23, 2019, and they became husband and wife in a simplistic, serene and loving ceremony on September 12, 2022.

Revealing my relationship with Doug, Holly, and Colorado Serenity takes me back to where I started, meeting Doug as he took his early morning walk on a solitary road. As we exchanged pleasantries, I noticed a deep sadness in Doug’s eyes. Perhaps sensing my concern, Doug shared the heartache Holly, her family and he are going through as her dad’s life is waning. I’ve never met Holly’s parents, but I’ve seen many pictures of the Hilbrinks, and each one reveals they are soulmates. Mr. Hilbrink, now 94, looks at his wife and daughter with immeasurable love in every photo. Obviously knowing his father-in-law’s life is quickly fading brings Doug to tears. And through those tears he shares, “I shouldn’t have waited so long to marry Holly.” It’s all I can do to hold back my own tears. Silently, I extend my hand to Doug, which he clasps.

My reunion with Doug lasted a smattering of seconds, but it is now a treasured memory because it seared these words into my heart: “The serenity of love.” Holly and Doug have gifted me with the opportunity to write a column by that same name for their beloved coffee table magazine. I look forward to sharing with Colorado Serenity’s devoted readers in Bailey, Conifer, Pine, Genesee, Indian Hills and Evergreen stories how our early pioneers to mountain community newbies embrace the serenity of love.