(No longer) On the road: Kiss my Aspen g-bye
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
ASPEN ” It’s been a hoot, but after two years here, the car is loaded and I’m on my way out.
Where to doesn’t matter, just that I’m driving past Mount Sopris this week and won’t be looking back (for a while at least).
It’s nothing personal, just time to move on.
But you taught me a lot, Aspen.
A local restaurant owner threatened me on my first day as a reporter. He didn’t want the word out on a health scare at his place (he still looks at me sideways).
And it’s only gotten wackier from there.
Everything from the daily scrap with the other paper for breaking news to the interminable public meetings and Aspen’s regular visitors in county court taught me that the crazy can make a difference, that the wealthy often get their way, and that living in a beautiful place doesn’t necessarily mean you’re happy, or sane.
You also kept me honest, Aspen
When I spelled your names wrong, skewed the facts or reported tabloid-style on something juicy, you drubbed me in letters to the editor.
Your mountains and rivers taught me some humility ” two concussions and a few bumpy river swims will do that ” but I’ll leave here with memories of the best powder days in my life.
People who stay in Aspen seem to win by attrition, going from bus driver to mayor or from getting a real estate license to owning everything.
And it seems living here is not about settling down, but hanging in and praying every month for a highlighter across your name in the next affordable-housing lottery.
I’ll miss the funky Aspen Times newsroom, and ready access as a reporter to everyone from Goldie Hawn to long-winded public officials or Aspen’s finest criminal offenders.
And thanks for all the swag. I’ll be wearing Aspen gear the rest of my life, wherever I go.
I’ll leave you with one request, Aspen: while I’m gone, please do something about the Entrance to Aspen.
Feel free to contact Charlie, now a civilian, with well-wishes, hate mail and job offers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Torre, you still owe me $7.50.
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The city of Aspen is supposed to break ground on 300-plus housing units in 2024 but if Monday’s meeting with elected officials is any indication, the project could take years before coming online.