Sopris is sacred
August 17, 2011
I would like to comment on the attempt to add John Denver’s name to Mount Sopris. The comments by J.P. McDaniel about the opposition and in general the reasons for adding the name seem innocent. But they are in the traditional flat-lander way of not considering what the people here want.
While John Denver may be liked, Mount Sopris is revered and respected. A friend of mine from Aspen High lost his life on that mountain a very long time ago. I have climbed many of the fourteeners in the Elk Mountains – Mount Sopris has beat me back on two occasions. The people here speak of the mountain as a lady and call her Sopie and she is a constant reminder to us that live here of just how small we really are as we stand before the magnificent beauty of that creation. Generations before me who are long gone called her Sopie.
My children and grandchildren call her Sopie. I do not want that to change. I liked John Denver; I grew up in Aspen long before John Denver came there and he did good things for Aspen but so have a heck of a lot of other people. Three thousand supporters from the metro area may think it’s cute to just name a mountain on a whim but the people here have a different feeling when it comes to changing the names of our mountains. They are family to us.
If there is so much support for a John Denver Peak, then why not Green Mountain or Lookout Mountain? Then everyone in future generations from Denver can look up and say that’s John Denver Mountain high above the city named after him.
I’ve got news for J.P. McDaniel: The minority is growing and I have about 3,000 cousins in Colorado and generations of political involvement. I intend to let everyone know my opposition to this change. I liked John Denver and his music and his name is on the state song, and that’s enough. Maybe J.P. McDaniel could go to Boulder next and change the name of the Flatirons to Larry, Mo and Curly to honor the Stooges. That would be just as fitting because Larry Fine was from the great city of Boulder and indeed already has a park named after him at the base of Boulder Canyon.
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The people of Boulder would not like that much because it’s their mountains and the Flatirons define that area and the memories of those mountains should forever remain the same.