Leave them be
Back in the old Aspen we claim to revere, it was considered impolite to “notice” celebrities. It was clearly understood that the rich and famous were just “normal folk” when in Aspen, and new locals were promptly corrected if they gawked or called attention to a celebrity.
This attitude made for great fun as when I caused Alan Alda – then at the height of “M*A*S*H*” fame – to turn around and stare at me. Seeing a man who looked like Alda coming towards me, I suddenly realized it was him, and saw his face register he had been recognized. But in Aspen tradition, I greeted him as I would any respected gentleman, with a polite “good afternoon, Mr. Alda” and continued past. To my amusement, he turned and gawked at me, a smile lighting his face.
So what’s with last week’s headlines heralding the rental of the Hotel Jerome with a follow up-story disclosing the name of the celebrity? Mrs. Paepcke and Bil Dunaway (Aspen Times owner/editor/publisher) must be turning over in their graves at such uncouth and impolite behavior.
Life has changed since the Aspen of the 1970s and 1980s and some of the changes can’t really be helped. But we can hang onto our manners and traditions.
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