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Grateful to be here

Dear Editor:

This is my experience with unconditional love of friends and community.

There have been many years that have passed – birthdays, holidays, celebrations. We have lost loved ones, and we have been blessed with new lives.



Knicki: Anybody who knows Knicki knows she is all in, and you have a friend through thick and thin to the end, for life.

Jeff: We worked together, and we had a lot of great laughs together in and out of Lather. I have a great respect for you. You work so hard and deserve the great success you have.



Kathy: Being from the West Coast you will understand. Thanks for keeping the bow in the wind and a strong anchor even when “you” had to handle the days when you had to explain why James is not here today, always with a smile and grace that never faltered in the storm.

My dear Romana: Although we spent our time together behind the chair, you will always bring a tear to my eye, and I know you understand. You always dressed so well. Thanks for all the great laughs.

Lita: Your friendship means more to me than I care to express here in words. The day on the Harley in the parade is one of my most cherished memories. Thanks for all of them.

Kelli. I do not know if it was by word or by letter, day or night, but I could spend a lifetime apologizing and it would not be enough. Thank you.

There are people I do not know by name, wonderful guests of Lather or maybe we passed on the street and smiled and said “hello” or shared a chair lift up the mountain on a bluebird day.

I do know when I became very ill and had to leave the beautiful valley I called home and the people who live there, I was devastated.

I would not had survived without the out pouring of love and support from all of you. I would not have had the food, roof over my head, or the cab fare to get me to my appointments wit out the help and unconditional love I received.

Aspen is a part of me. Just like they say, “Once you have been here it is a part of you.” I never was bothered by the s-curves. I always felt like I was saying good-bye to an old friend when I drove through them, and coming back, if I had to slow down and wait I realized I was looking around at one of the most beautiful places in the world and how fortunate I was to be a part.

Thank you to my brothers and sisters of the Eagles Club.

Thank you for everything you did for me. It saved my life.

James Downing

Glenwood Springs


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