And the Fishwit goes to | AspenTimes.com

And the Fishwit goes to

Joel StoningtonAspen, CO Colorado
Late Aspenite Freddie Fisher, musician and irreverent writer of letters to the editor, inspires an annual party to pay tribute to his memory, and to honor a present-day writer of worthy zingers. (Mary Eshbaugh Hayes)
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ASPEN The Freddie Fisher Irreverent Wit (Fishwit) Prize is set to make its third annual appearance Monday. This year’s winner, Gaylord Guenin, will likely honor Fisher with a glass or three, partying being a significant impetus behind the yearly award. The highly coveted golden bass trophy of the Fishwit prize is given to a local writer of letters to the editor who shows a talent for firing off zingers. It will be awarded sometime after the party begins at 5 p.m. at the J-Bar.The Fishwit is presented every year on Freddie Fisher’s birthday – this year, he’d be 103 – in part to remember Fisher’s letters to the editor, as the Fishwit committee puts it, “letters that were irreverent but not nasty, off color but favoring dignity over vulgarity.” “Freddie Fisher was an iconic aspen figure,” said Fishwit prize founder Greg Poschman. “He could get everyone’s dander up and get their skirts up. He partied hard and played jazz. Probably the only place he could fit was Aspen Colorado.”Before moving to Aspen in the early 1950s, Fisher enjoyed an illustrious career as a jazz musician and Hollywood actor before growing tired of the lifestyle. In Aspen, Fisher ran a fix-it shop operation to stay afloat, and wrote letters to the newspaper week after week.This year’s winner – Gaylord Guenin – will be celebrating his own birthday along with Fisher’s. The celebration could reach significant proportions with Fisher’s friend Walt Smith playing live jazz at the J-Bar and the bartenders mixing up Aspen Crud, a favorite old Aspen drink. “Guenin, since his days at the Aspen Illustrated News,” wrote a member of the Fishwit committee, “through various tenures at Mountain Gazette, a spate of some of the most original ads and T-shirts since the days of Fisher himself for the Woody Creek Tavern, an epically long-running ‘three-part series on Woody Creek’ in the Times, occasional missives for Aspen Sojourner and now as editor of The Woody Creeker, has offered up some of the cleverest, most sage and reasonable pronouncements and observations on a consistent basis that I’ve seen anywhere.”Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com


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