Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Chris Stiepock, executive vice president of ESPN X Games.
My name is John Baker, and I am one of the Homeless Bums of Aspen. Don’t get me wrong: It’s a band made up of me on the guitar and James on the harmonica. We recently posted on YouTube our signature song, “The Homeless Bums of Aspen.” Check it out. It’s fun and yet telling at the same time. It’s a minute and 47 seconds.
I would like for you to consider airing it during the 25 hours you are airing the X Games. Your sound editor will have to bleep out a few F-bombs, but otherwise it’s entertainment at its finest and its worst. YouTube: “The Homeless Bums of Aspen.” We’re not all millionaires here in Aspen, y’know.
And Chris, if by chance you ever find yourself homeless, with nothing left but the shirt on your back, you will truly find out what you are made of as a person, something you will never be able to find in the executive boardrooms at ESPN corporate headquarters. And if the sky does fall on you, I would recommend you come back to Aspen and head straight to the Aspen Homeless Shelter. They will feed you, clothe you and help you get back on track without any questions asked.
Finally, bring the X Games back to Aspen. Not only are they good for the community, but they provide much-needed jobs to the homeless here and put a little jingle in their jars. To paraphrase Martha Stewart, “That’s a damned good thing.” Good luck with the X Games.
John William Baker
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The city of Aspen’s office building is exempt from paying encroachment fees, yet private developers have to now pay $9 a square foot, per month, starting in 2020.