Real JD fans don’t do Aspen |

Real JD fans don’t do Aspen

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:I am very amused by the letters from John Denver fan club members upset about the airport closing “just prior to a major event,” as one fan’s letter called it.The pretentious fans continue to behave irrationally and indignantly, as if the world revolved around their cake-eating and worship of a statue at their “major event,” while those whose lives have been truly influenced by Denver’s message use our time and money to do humanitarian and environmental work year-round.John Denver’s legacy will continue despite the shallow fans; his memory will be respectfully honored and his message and music celebrated at an event not for those with a fan-club mentality – but for those who truly appreciated what he stood for.The 6th Annual John Denver Celebration, the premier annual event honoring JD in the world, Oct. 1-3, 2004 in beautiful Salida, Colorado, features musicians from across America, a live hawk and eagle presentation, viewing of rare film footage of John, special tribute displays, thought-provoking discussions, and more. Our guests attend from across America and worldwide for this serious, yet joyful, exploration of his music and message.I also want to share the work of the Dreams of Freedom charity, a nonprofit that has helped thousands in need nationwide for the last five years: prison inmates, nursing home residents, hospital patients, Native American families, homes for unwed teen mothers, families in poverty, and others.Recently, we helped provide electric fans to 400 inmates whose cells were unbearably hot, last Christmas we supplied prisoners in extremely cold cells with thermal underwear and socks, and we provide many women in prison with antiperspirant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. We assist in stopping human rights abuses (sometimes literally saving lives). In addition, we give John Denver’s music to prisons, hospices, nursing homes, post-op surgical wards etc. Everything we provide is free and given in memory of Denver. We invite any facility interested in possibly receiving our music, hygiene items, toys and other provisions to contact us.In addition, I recommend “A Mountain In The Wind – An Exploration of the Spirituality of John Denver,” (now in its second printing). I researched it thoroughly so a book would exist (in addition to Denver’s) sharing the truth of who he was.Those with an authentic appreciation of John Denver are invited to to read about the upcoming celebration, the charity, the book and more.I was once naive, believing anyone who said they enjoyed his music must be good people. But I have learned from painful personal experience of hypocrisy, betrayals, lies, and harassment that the majority of those calling themselves John Denver fans are to be avoided.I felt it was time Aspenites be made aware there are individuals who are not silly celebrity worshippers, but are sincerely motivated persons inspired by John Denver’s example to go out and do their best to make a positive difference in the world.Christine SmithManager of the Annual JD Celebration, LLC; President of Dreams of Freedom, Inc.Howard