Old Aspen personified | AspenTimes.com

Old Aspen personified

Dear Editor:

For the old timers who knew D.R.C. Brown socially and through the Aspen Skiing Co., this is a moment of recollection and reflection about a man of profound humility and decency. He personified the rugged simplicity of old Aspen and after serving in World War II, he devoted his energies to the town he loved.

Forty years ago when I arrived in Aspen, one could walk into the old Wienerstube any morning and find D.R.C. seated at the community table talking with local patrons. Anyone could have a conversation with this unassuming gentleman.

In later years, I became involved with the then Aspen Skiing Corporation and knew him through my architectural work designing mountain restaurants, various facilities, and ultimately, his log house in Creede.

I have flown with him on numerous occasions in his Cessna while working on his Creede house. I developed a respect for this humble, unassuming, yet accomplished, and capable man whose vision of regenerating Aspen made it the place we enjoy today.

He was not well understood when he analyzed growth patterns in the mid ’70s and suggested that 7 percent is a healthy growth rate. He was unfairly criticized.

DRC Brown personified the old, relaxed Aspen where independence and a love of the outdoors characterized those who came here from within this country and from across the world. I recall a story from his childhood which puts our hurried and frantic lives in perspective. He described, with nostalgic relish, the thrill of going in a horse-drawn wagon all the way to Glenwood Springs. This took the family a whole day with a picnic stop on the banks of the Roaring Fork.

To Ruth and the children, your loss is ours and the community’s as well.

A shining beacon has left us.

Varouj Hairabedian



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