Goodbye to Tracy
Dear Aspen:One of your own has left you. She didn’t want to, but the powers that be finally had it their way.Tracy Smith sold her house just a few weeks ago and was planning on moving into a smaller, more manageable place. She talked of the Pacific Northwest and South Carolina, but in the end, she realized she couldn’t leave her beloved Aspen where she had lived for the last 30-odd years. She had recently commented to me that the happiest time of her life was when she was a flight attendant and was traveling all the time, and this is what she wanted to do again. She had hopes and dreams, which is such a good place to be.She was happy and busy making plans. We all knew she wasn’t physically 100 percent, but she was trying so hard to be well. Turns out she was having a bad day and knew she needed to go to the hospital. She didn’t want to make yet another trip in an ambulance and called Helen for a ride. The very short of it is, there wasn’t anything else that could be done to help my beloved pal. She, too, knew it was the end. I have never met you, Helen, but from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for staying with her till she closed her eyes for the last time. I thank you for all that you have done, and from what Tracy has told me, it was more than even she could believe.I’m so glad Tracy wasn’t alone at the end … no one should be. It was like Tracy to be thanking her friend before she left this world. What a hole in my heart, in all of our hearts and lives, that girl has left. Some think she led a sad life, but I know better. She was loved by so many, an amazing amount of people touched by her neverending well of kindness. She wanted the world to be happy, herself included. And, honestly, is that asking too much? I think not.She had a personality and a matching heart that were bigger than life. She was always too much, no doubt about it, but she was an incredibly good and generous soul. She was, hands-down, the most generous person I have ever known.Keep her in your heart, Aspen, and raise a glass to her spirit now and then. After all is said and done, we were very lucky to have been counted as “friend.”Jo MangoGarrison, N.Y.
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To commemorate Earth Day 2021, the Aspen Times Weekly asked six Roaring Fork Valley leaders on how we are and aren’t being good environmental stewards.