Marolt: Reminiscing is a great dream without possibilities | AspenTimes.com

Marolt: Reminiscing is a great dream without possibilities

Roger Marolt
Cluster Phobic

Roger Marolt

I'm not complaining. I'm not suggesting we should do things the way we used to. I'm not even wishing things could be the way they were. I kind of just want to see if we can talk about the good old days without any bitterness. I want to see if it's OK to simply enjoy an old memory without drawing lines and invoking local politics. They were sweet times. I only want a little taste again.

Remember how great the free Thursday night concerts on Fanny Hill used to be? Not that they aren't fun now, but they were different then. I hope pointing this out isn't a slap in a newcomer's face or an accolade to old-timers. It's just the way it was.

Those concerts were free in every sense of the word. There were no bag- and coat-search stations to pass through. You could bring in anything you wanted to eat and drink. Some people packed a bottle of wine to go with a charcuterie platter. Others brought beer and fried chicken. Those who really wanted to keep it simple sprung for an overpriced Silver Tree burger charred slope-side or went down into the mall for a slice of pizza.

There were no fences around the venue. An occasional mountain biker or hiker would pass by on the ski area service road, making his or her way through the crowd in the process.

The community was in the middle of the big Base Village debate and it was easy to find a friend to commiserate with or a foe to fight with. People were passionate and I know a lot of feelings were hurt and grudges formed, but a deep massage by the hands of time makes it all come back as a supple twitch of community verve now.

That was the last meaningful, truly impactful issue our town has dealt with since. When you are forced to envision what your town might look like in the future, you actually feel like you live in a town.

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Going to a Thursday evening concert now brings back recollections of people you used to see there all the time, if nowhere else. I can picture them, what they would likely be wearing and knowing whether they might come over and sit down for a few minutes if I made eye contact with them.

A lot of those people are gone. Some left after the Base Village issue settled and then sunk in financial quagmire. Some died. Others just found someplace else they'd rather be. That happens here more often than visitors guess or locals admit. So many slip away unnoticed until, at something like a Thursday evening concert, it dawns on you that you haven't seen so-and-so in ages, and someone fills you in that they moved, oh, let's see, maybe three winters ago?

We were all younger then. That's the constant in this. We generally felt healthier, I think. Of course our eyesight was better then, too, and that makes me wonder if that isn't why the memories of that time seem so clear compared to what's going on right in front of our faces now — the pictures etched in our minds are sharper than the reality we look directly into with stronger prescriptions.

Ten years ago we barely had iPhones and mp3 players were amazing. We thought all kids were getting addicted to video games. Being a real estate millionaire was easier than being a stock picker in the dot-com boom. Everyone seemed to be continually preparing for his or her almost guaranteed 15 minutes of fame. I almost forgot about the best reason for heading out to Fanny Hill every Thursday evening of the summer back then — our kids were still kids! Man, it was a nice thing to let them run wild while we had a little time with the other adults. So many of us were in the same boat. Everybody and nobody kept an eye on the kids at the same time. Don't ask me how it all worked out, but it did. It was like we were a family more than a village and everybody cared and it was all just some miraculous gift that ended up smack dab in our little isolated corner of the world.

OK. We're not going back. We're not even going to try, because we know we couldn't recreate that if we did. It's just nice to go back and remember. We don't have to wish about anything. It was all already granted to us.

Roger Marolt likes the idea of being excited about the future, content with the past and sentimental over fond memories. Email at roger@maroltllp.com.

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