A show of community | AspenTimes.com

A show of community

Aspen, CO Colorado

Chances are you probably know, or have heard about, someone who lost his or her belongings in last weeks fire that scorched the Castle Ridge Apartments, an affordable-housing complex next to the hospital.All told, 17 residents were displaced by the balcony blaze, which was ignited by a cigarette one of the occupants left behind in a flowerpot. The result was the destruction of the entire 100 building. Theres no such thing as good timing for a life-changing event such as this one. But this fire could not have come at a much worse time right at the beginning of the summer season, when the cut-rate housing market has little or no wiggle room.Last week, we opined that this fire exposed an embarrassing deficiency within our housing program. But today, we encourage locals to attend Wednesdays Back from the Ashes program at the Wheeler Opera House.Billed in radio advertisements as a true locals event, Back from the Ashes will take place at 8 p.m. at the Wheeler and will feature a silent auction and performances by students from the Aspen Music Festival & School, John Oates and the Crowlin Ferlies, among others.That the event is being staged eight days after the June 10 fire demonstrates, as trite as it might sound, that this community still has some backbone. We applaud the management at the Wheeler and the music festival for making this happen on such short notice, as well as the talented performers who are volunteering their time to hit the stage. And, again, we implore locals to finish what the Wheeler and music fest have started. Even if you are unable to donate any money at the door, simply showing up will defy the tired Aspen stereotype that this community is a playground for the rich. Its also a place where people work and live year-round to make this town tick. And 17 of them could use our show of support tonight at the Wheeler. We hope to see you there.