Clapper a true local
August 2, 2010
Along with Roger Marolt, I am in Tommy Clapper’s camp. I can attest first-hand to his many fine qualities. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, I was a city girl whose parents would drop her off for two months in Woody Creek, where I boarded my horse at a family friend’s place. I struggled to fit in with the local kids. I was a too-tall tomboy who was in love with my mountain summers here in the Roaring Fork Valley, and Tommy Clapper always greeted me with a big smile and a kind word. He was, and still is, enthusiastic and caring.
I was the youngest of four, with three older brothers; I was not familiar with the kindness and generosity of teenage boys. On one occasion a group of us was playing “wolf” up at the Vagneurs, and I suffered a nasty fall and Tommy took me inside to the kitchen to see to my hands and knees, which were fully imbedded with gravel, dirt and blood. He cheerfully told me it was nothing that his Mom’s spaghetti dinner couldn’t fix and helped me keep my tears at bay.
Tommy has always been a giver, and as the years rolled by I continued to observe him donating his time and energy to local causes. In the early years of the Susan G. Komen race, Tommy would be there bright and early on a Saturday morning setting up the running course. As a runner, he would cheer and support me as I ran by and he encouraged all the runners in the race. Then after all the hoopla was over he would stay on to take down the course.
When I read Roger Marolt’s column on Friday, it did not surprise me a bit to learn Tommy was valedictorian of his Aspen High School class, or that he stayed on his senior year to support his teams and play sports. Tommy is not just a great guy, he has devoted his life to this valley with tireless acts of volunteerism. He is a fine citizen who has fully invested himself in his community.
Even after his recent brush with death and the long struggle to recover and rehabilitate, Tommy remains dedicated to Aspen and making it a better place for all of us. Not only do I consider Tommy Clapper to be the number one candidate for Pitkin County commissioner, I also happen to think he is a number one member of the human race. Thanks, Tommy, for all you’ve done for me and anyone else who has been lucky enough to know you. It’s gestures like Tommy’s that one never forgets in their life.
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