Hanging with Elvis, Amory Lovins and Maggie Thatcher | AspenTimes.com

Hanging with Elvis, Amory Lovins and Maggie Thatcher

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Sometimes, when we scan a media database for mentions of Aspen, we need to admit our ignorance and call out the local historians.

Who knew, for example, that Elvis used to hang in Aspen?

We found the following nugget in the Advertiser, an Australian newspaper that ran a story by Patrick McDonald on Sunday, May 4, (they are a day ahead) about the late Elvis Presley’s friend and road manager, Joe Esposito. He met Elvis in 1959 and was there when Elvis died in 1977.

The article notes that “Elvis was famous for giving away cars and handing out $100 notes to people on the street. His generosity extended to buying Esposito and his then-wife a Californian house.

“However, Esposito’s favorite memories of Elvis were the quiet times spent with small groups on holidays in Hawaii or Aspen. ‘I feel very honoured that I was able to do that with him because not many people spent time with him like that,’ he says.”

OK, we want pictures of The King in Fat City. Whose got ’em?

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Lovins finds his Fortune

Fortune magazine has produced a glowing look at the life and times of Amory Lovins, head guru at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Old Snowmass.

The May 13 edition of the business magazine includes a long piece by David Stipp, who describes Lovins as “a balding, mustachioed man resembling a hyperkinetic Hercule Poirot” and notes that most of his brilliant ideas arrive ahead of their time.

“Lovins, a senior statesman of the green movement, is the expert on energy efficiency,” Stipp writes. “Everywhere he goes he sees the equivalent of unclaimed thousand-dollar bills lying around in the form of neglected savings. He estimates, for instance, that the nation’s $220 billion annual electric bill could be halved with measures that would mostly pay for themselves in a year. ‘That’s not a free lunch,’ he quips. ‘It’s a lunch you’re paid to eat.'”

And RMI is likely to eat up Fortune’s coverage of Lovins.

Putting lead in the Bush pencil

Ah, Aspen, always nudging itself onto the world stage, be it Enron or the Gulf War. In Sunday’s Washington Post, Christopher Hitchens reviews a new book called “Iron Principle” about former Prime Minister of England Margaret Thatcher.

In the review, he notes that he “saw her in action on several occasions, of which the most telling was the moment in Aspen, Colo., in 1990, when the news was brought of the Iraqi annexation of Kuwait.

“The elder President Bush dithered, while Thatcher wheeled out the full battery of Churchillian rhetoric. I never doubted that she had indeed put some lead in the presidential pencil, while using the opportunity to outpoint her rival in his affections, the much-detested Chancellor Helmut Kohl.”

The “moment in Aspen” was at the Aspen Institute, when Thatcher and Bush were here to celebrate the Institute’s anniversary, only to have war break out in the gulf. No word available today about how much lead is left in the presidential pencil, but we’re planning to check with Elvis.