Aspiring to be like Donna | AspenTimes.com
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Aspiring to be like Donna

Dear Editor:I once asked Donna Dowling Robinson, seasoned reporter and Roaring Fork Sunday founder and editor, “What is the most compelling story you ever covered?”Her answer came quickly. It was one of the last stories she covered for the soon to be media merged Roaring Fork Sunday in the spring of 2001. The story was one that garnered national media attention, but only for an instant.There had been a large private jet crash in Aspen. Immediately, the national media folks assumed there might have been someone “famous” killed in the crash. When they learned that actually, there wasn’t anyone “famous” on the flight, the story faded quickly.Donna, however, remained unfazed by the notoriety or lack thereof by the unfortunate regular people, who were the casualties of the crash. She recognized the immense human tragedy for what it was. As I recall there were 17 fatalities.No, they were not locals. No, they were not movie stars. They were mostly young employees of a California company, taking a once-in-a-lifetime very special vacation.She carefully and thoughtfully researched each individual. She learned intimate details about who they were and whom they left behind. She reported what she learned because every one of them meant something to someone, and unfortunately they lost their lives here.Her combination of integrity, intelligence, sensitivity, and humanity are a legacy we could all aspire to.Carlyle KyzerBasalt


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