June 17, 2011
We lost two icons of the state this week. Nicholas Helburn and John Litchfield, both men heroes of mine.
Dr. Helburn was a pioneer in trying to encourage teachers to be more geographically oriented in their approach to social studies. He was working to foster more of a world-view away from our cultural isolationism, a continuing problem. And he was a tireless advocate for peace and justice in the nation and the world.
John Litchfield was a huge part of the ski beginnings in Aspen. A Tenth Mountain survivor, a ski instructor under Friedl Pfeifer, and the originator of the Red Onion. When John opened and renamed the downtown bar the Red Onion, it became the center of town, so much so that you could go into “beer gulch” and find almost anyone you were looking for in Aspen during the 1940s, ’50s and ‘6’s. Apres skiing began with bells on at Johnny Litchfield’s Red Onion.
Both men are missed, may their service to this state not be forgotten.
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