John Denver bashing is wrong and unwarranted
August 18, 2011
There are far too many people venting their life frustrations on John Denver. The only theory the folks protesting the possibility of naming a secondary peak on Mount Sopris after John Denver that has any validity is that John himself probably would have discouraged the process.
It’s a secondary peak that does not actually have a name; what on earth is the big deal? Get a grip, folks … if you have spare anger point it towards government partisans who are going to tank our economy for the sake of tanking Obama.
I had the pleasure of knowing John, working for him and sharing his environmental concerns. He wrote many, many beautiful songs and was a sensitive, caring human being. He was also a great skier, fisherman, father and humanitarian.
And there’s a lot of misinformation floating around … “Grandma’s Feather Bed” was written by a lovely Southern gentleman named Jim Connor, not John. He was a good friend of Jim Henson and Kermit, and for you rumor mongers, he did not have an affair with Miss Piggy.
A few of the historic men of our valley who considered him a great asset and a great friend were Stuart Mace, Bob Child, Bob Lewis and Shorty Pabst.
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If you don’t know who they were, you probably shouldn’t be commenting anyway.
If you have ever enjoyed a performance of the Earthbeat Choir or had your children or grandchildren participate in the fine music experience it provides, John deserves a nod; he and Tom Crum invited Earthbeat creator Karen D’Attilo (that would be me) to Windstar in the ’80s to teach music in the valley. The choirs are still singing today.
And yes, he sang Christmas carols on his Christmas albums, and even worse, he was a Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu and a devout believer in Native American spirituality. He wasn’t confused by religion – he was a well-educated, bright spiritual being, and believed in God in all his/her many forms.
He loved Aspen and considered it his home. He was the son of an Air Force pilot and lived here longer than anywhere else on the planet. Buckminster Fuller loved him like a son, and many of us loved him as a brother, mentor and friend. One of my favorite John Denver lyrics reads (and it’s from a Christmas song): “May peace on earth fill up your time and brother/sisterhood surround you. That you may know the warmth of love and wrap it all around you.”
I don’t really care all that much about the naming of a mountain peak, but I do care about people maligning a man they obviously did not know.