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A Boomer’s response

Editor’s note: This letter was originally addressed to Josh Nichols, author of “An open letter to Baby Boomers,” printed on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Dear Editor:

Thank you for your letter. I am so glad to hear a young voice speak up loudly and address an important issue … our future. It is one thing that we both have in common. Whether or not we can turn the tide of this tsunami we call “now” around, is up to all of us.

Lately I have been reading some terrible things said against your generation by boomers, which make me angry. Born in 1956, I am on the tail end of the boomer generation. I was the kid sister, watching from a distance the craze for the Beatles, the sexual revolution and open drug use. I wish I could have been at Woodstock.

I went to see Bob Dylan this past summer. It was the first time I’d ever seen him. Although he didn’t play some of my favorite old songs, it meant a lot to me to see him. At 10 years old his words and music were instilled in me by my father and are being resurrected in me now because of my 18-year-old son.

My generation has done amazing things! But many of us have really blown it when comes to being parents. The last 45 years have been a whirlwind. From the Viet Nam war and the depression that came back with our soldiers, to the explosion of technology in our lives, we were riding on a crest that just never ended. We lost our bearings as parents because we were enjoying new decadence. In the process we became addicted to substances and are still abusing them.

My oldest sister died when she was 42 from complications of AIDS. She had an alcohol and drug problem that she just couldn’t kick. Every time I hear that another longtime Aspen local has died because of substance abuse, I feel like I’ve been shot in the heart. Do you think that if my sister knew that at 21 half her life was over she’d have stopped drinking?

Recently I heard of a 22-year-old who died from alcohol abuse. What a tragic loss. This is happening much too often to young adults these days. Your generation Josh, are doing things that are far more dangerous than the things we did when we were your age. You are pushing the limits further than ever before. Some of your feats are simply amazing, but I am frightened by what I read and see young people are doing today regarding substance abuse and violence. It is so intense and could kill your future, and mine. With all that is happening in our world, the big one must be all of us working together, and we have to shake our additions.

This coming spring election in Aspen will be interesting. To me the same people have been hanging around City Hall for way too long. I hope that Aspen young adults, especially those of who were born there, consider this election as an opportunity to get involved. It sounds like you are already. Thank you for speaking up.

Kim Vieira

Aspen


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