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Letters to the editor

Aspen Times writer

Where are the future fans?Dear Editor: Over many years, including two when I served as associate dean at the Aspen Music Festival and School (1969-1971), I have enjoyed the superb music at the tent in the meadow. This year has been no exception, but for a gnawing concern I have developed about the long-term future of the festival – stemming from the age of the audience. I have no statistics on my side, just the regular observation that attendees (students and faculty excepted) seem mostly well into their 60s and up. As I am 63, this pot is not calling anything black, but I wonder where, say in 20 years, the audience will come from. This worry is not limited to Aspen but to many other classical music venues across the country. In Aspen’s instance, for the sake of this extraordinary cultural resource, I hope those leading AMFS are working on strategies to attract younger audiences. They may want to look at the high price of admission for starters. And nationally, I hope localities everywhere will support music education at all learning levels. Geoffrey Platt Jr. Richmond, Va. Thanks, good SamaritansDear Editor:I should like to tell this story which I think is nothing short of a miracle: My year-old cat was missing for five days, so I had almost given up hope when I called the animal shelter. They said a cat like ours was run over on Highway 82 and was dead. They suggested calling the ABC Animal Hospital. When I did, I received the news that he was still alive, had suffered a head trauma, but was making progress.Apparently some kind person picked him up off the road and laid him out of harm’s way. Then a sheriff’s deputy saw him and went to the trouble of taking him in his car, keeping him warm and comfortable, and taking him to the ABC Animal Hospital as soon as they opened the next day. The hospital took care of him, not knowing if they would ever find his owner.It is wonderful to know how many good and compassionate people there are. Thank you so much, everyone, though I don’t know all your names. Thank you, Scott and Monique at the hospital, for giving Timmy such good care and a ride home in Monique’s car. Thank you also to the good Samaritans who stopped for a little cat on a busy highway. I will not forget the kindness shown by all involved.Anita SeedorfAspenFreedom vs. blame Dear Editor: Before we became a culture of “blame it on someone else,” we had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats (not to mention those possibly overprotective parents among us), those of us who were kids in the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, or even maybe the early ’70s probably shouldn’t have survived. Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat! We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones! Unthinkable! We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 599 channels on cable, videotape movies, surround-sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms. We had friends! We went outside and found them. We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt. We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents! No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever. We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem-solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility and we learned how to deal with it all. I’m proud to be one of them! Ollie Schulz Aspen


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