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Pure joy at Main and Aspen

Dear Editor:

People love Aspen for a lot of reasons. I love it for the park at Main and Aspen. Every time I travel here, I get something I shouldn’t eat and a couple of cups of coffee at the Main Street Bakery. Then I go over and sit on David’s bench. I look out at the mountain beyond the lawn ” green lawn, big blue sky, and this season, golden trees on the big hill ” I know it’s tired to say it, but it doesn’t get any better than that.

I’m always grateful to David, though; of course I never knew him or anything about him. It’s enough for me that he has a bench with his name carved in it in this beautiful place. I always sit off to the side in case he wants to join me. Maybe he is always sitting there.

The park is a place owners bring their dogs to cavort. And cavort they do.

This Thursday afternoon, because the sun had switched, I was sitting on Dan’s bench. To the left, there was a medium size dog. This dog was the definition of pure joy.

He had a big blue toy, maybe a deflated football. The dog’s master threw the toy out there and the dog chased it around frenetically, as if unable to catch up with it. The dog bumped and chased it out there maybe 70 yards and then back again. The dog chased it in circles and counter clockwise and back again. The pooch got it underneath between its legs and then encouraged it with a bump to escape again and again.

Finally the master had enough and started to walk away. The dog dropped the toy and stood watching, carefully feeling. “Is he serious?” You could see the dog wondering. You could see the dog thinking, now this is really fun but it isn’t worth losing a meal over. At last, the dog broke top speed to catch up with the master, leaving the precious toy behind.

Reaching the master, the dog was told to go get the toy. The dog raced out there 60 or so yards to retrieve the blue toy. Reaching the toy, the dog couldn’t resist a few more bumps, a few more twirls then raced back to the master.

That dog knows how to have fun and not a care in the world. The master must be a man of joy no doubt expressing his joy in some other setting. There’s no way the dog could have that much joy without an owner with at least that much joy.

So, thanks to the brown dog and playful master. They reminded me what pure joy looks like. And, thanks to the park at Main and Aspen. It’s a jewel maybe unnoticed by the thousands who drive by it everyday. It’s a place of rest and enjoyment, the embodiment of what I think of when I think of Aspen.

Dennis Sullivan

San Diego


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