Thank God Basalt isn’t Aspen
Dear Editor:I read with dismay Roger Marolt’s column in the June 11 Aspen Times Daily. What a bitter man you must be!It is widely acknowledged that Aspen isn’t the town it used to be, but it is rather pathetic that you must convince yourself that Basalt and the other fine communities in our valley have also deteriorated. There is not one accurate statement in your article, save for the one in which you declare that “Basalt isn’t Aspen,” and we proud “Basaltines” thank God for that.If you had spent any time in Basalt talking to the real residents, you would have discovered a proud town with as much spirit as anywhere I have ever been. The high school seniors still hike up “B Hill” every fall, but they paint their class year instead of a “B.”The “04” has faded now and is due for a new coat, which is appropriate because the class of 2004 has moved on. And sure, we have our share of Aspen “Wanna Bs,” but they represent a clear minority.You can tell who they are. They are the people who find it necessary to send their kids to school in Aspen, thereby unknowingly depriving them of the sense of community and school spirit they would enjoy if they remained in their hometown.Most of the rest of us can’t afford to dine, shop and party in Aspen as you purport, nor would we want to, anyway. Why would we, when our downvalley communities have so much to offer?As incredible as it must sound to you, most of us prefer living in Basalt, because of the exact qualities you claim our town lacks, not to mention the climate, which is more pleasant than that of Aspen. We spend so much time commuting to Aspen for work that people here actually throw parties to celebrate if they find a job in Basalt and don’t have to go to Aspen any more.I suspect that your Aspen “Wanna Bs” are the only downvalley people you associate with and they are responsible for your skewed opinions. And why not? They probably all idolize lifelong Aspenites like yourself. The real “Basaltines” would be happy if all these people moved to Aspen. They don’t contribute much to our community.I suggest that in the future you limit yourself to the geographical boundaries of Aspen and write about those few topics of which you have some actual knowledge. In the meantime, you would do well to discover the Rah-Rah Rag.Oh, and by the way, all of the most obnoxious Aspenites I know live in Aspen – or in Snowmass Village, which is close enough.Mike PetrieBasalt
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.