Remembering Harley Baldwin | AspenTimes.com
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Remembering Harley Baldwin

Dear Editor:I first met Harley when he needed someone to type a term paper when we were at Syracuse University in the mid-1960s. He became part of an inseparable entourage of college buds who scrounged up a lifetime of fond memories during our time together. After school we all went our separate ways, yet an extraordinary number of us ended up calling Aspen home. While Harley and I chose different paths as we muddled our way through adulthood, still we shared pivotal parts of the journey and it is those treasured times that I find myself remembering as I process the news of his untimely death Sunday.Harley came from an extremely modest background, contrary to the popular opinion that he was heir to the Baldwin piano fortune (even if there is a Baldwin piano fortune). What he lacked in capital he profoundly made up for in his ability to promote creative ideas into successful ventures. From his early days flipping crepes in the Popcorn Wagon, to the original Brand Building restoration (he and I physically laid the bricks in the original public space in the early ’70s) to the entrepreneur, art connoisseur and landlord to mega-moguls of fashion that he has become, Harley’s ability to dream big served him well.Harley taught me to believe I could accomplish anything I put my mind to and, in his words, gave me the “equivalent of a Harvard MBA” in the years I worked for him during our early Aspen days. At the time, it was less appreciated because the boast was often followed by a postdated paycheck. Looking back on those years, his gifts to me were many and not related to dollars and cents, but rather to the “yes I can” attitude that always keeps me solution-focused. While he might not appreciate this statement being made so publicly, it is with love that I say the impetus behind Harley’s drive for success was a core need for acceptance – it was important to him to “have arrived.” He certainly did! He made his mark in this world and now he gets to begin a new journey – may we send him off with a salute and our unconditional love.Georgia HansonAspen


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