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Defending Denver fans

Dear Editor:It is unfortunate that Roger Marolt’s article about John Denver in the Oct. 9-10 Aspen Times Weekly received such prominent placement.As a newspaper journalist with more than 25 years experience of reporting and editing, I would advise Mr. Marolt to better check his sources before applying such liberal authority to them. I would also urge him to check his own bias and not be in such a rush to sensationalize a local story. Although he retracts somewhat in his follow-up article, his damage was done. Although he slams the John Denver fans as people with psychological problems and celebrity worship, he does not mention that some of these “fans” also include well-respected organizations, and that John Denver received recognition from such institutions as NASA for his public service, President Reagan for his efforts to eliminate world hunger, the Albert Schweitzer Music Award, a Grammy award, plus numerous other environmental and humanitarian recognitions for his life’s work. Mr. Marolt also touts that John Denver fans have psychological problems and suffer from celebrity worship. While he has a vague knowledge and weak point about celebrity worship affliction, it is unfair to blanket all John Denver admirers with this.I also happen to teach psychology at one of the university sources used by Mr. Marolt in making his armchair diagnosis, and doubt he did any more research than a brief Internet search. He did not talk with those among us who consider ourselves highly sane, have professional jobs and “normal” lives, yet also find the time to support causes that John Denver also supported, such as Aspen’s own Windstar Foundation.Among these “fans” gathered this weekend to celebrate the life of John Denver are doctors, lawyers, dentists, college educators and, yes, even psychologists. We are not all cake-eating, statue-worshiping oddballs. We are proud to wear the label of “tree-huggers” and to associate with the John Denver “family.”In today’s dangerous, troubled and violent world, if John Denver fans are the worst lot Mr. Marolt can find to pick on, he must lead a pretty boring life, or just represent the continuing efforts of Aspenites to throw stones at John Denver, even posthumously. J.P. McDanielLittleton, Colo.


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