A ‘true JD fan’
Dear Editor:I am shocked over the scathing letter written by Christine Smith (Aspen Times, Sept. 9). I know Christine personally and am appalled at her audacity and snobbery! I cannot believe she would condemn others who admire John Denver and his work just because she had personal bad experiences with, as she put it, “so-called fans.”To proclaim her celebration as the “world premier” John Denver celebration is self-righteous to say the least. Do not get me wrong, the yearly celebration in Salida, Colo., is wonderful, and the causes Christine Smith has formed to honor John Denver’s memory are worthy to be sure. Those involved with the Windstar Foundation, which was founded by John Denver, and obviously does not include Christine Smith, are not “statue worshipers” as she so crassly put it. There may be “insincere” John Denver fans, but that is not to say that they could not attain to philanthropical and environmental endeavors encouraged by the work of John Denver. Besides, who is to say what is and is not sincere. What is the definition of a “true John Denver fan” and who is the judge thereof? I am truly saddened by what horrendous experience led a lovely person like Christine Smith to be so bitter and vindictive against any causes other than her own. I fear in her bitter, spiteful hatred of some who did her wrong in the name of John Denver, that through the process of non-forgiveness, Christine Smith has become what she hates most – an insincere John Denver fan. Tragic, because one of Christine Smith’s many charitable works is on the behalf of inmates who, despite heinous crimes they may have committed, are looked upon by Christine Smith as due certain humanistic treatments. Treatments, it seems, she is not bestowing upon John Denver fans who are not approved by her personally.As an active contributing member of the Windstar Foundation, Murie Center, Rocky Mountain Institute, Nature Conservancy and many other environmental institutions, I’m afraid I don’t live up to Christine Smith’s notion of a “true fan” of John Denver, whose music has proven to be a springboard to my many environmental and philanthropical endeavors. John Denver said: “You do not have to do it all, you do what you can, I’ll do what I can, we will encourage others to do what they can, and together, we will make the difference.” To which I might add, no one person, not Christine Smith, not even John Denver, has the monopoly on how to help others and the Earth we live upon. John Denver knew that, and spent a lifetime learning how others worked to save their little corner of the Earth. His power was in the fact that he could take that information and share it with the masses via his music, inciting others to work to love one another and the Earth home we live upon. That is John Denver’s legacy – that is the legacy of us all.L.J. AlbeeColorado Springs
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