The Big Read a big success | AspenTimes.com

The Big Read a big success

Dear Editor:

In Harper Lee’s classic American novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the benevolent yet mischievous Dill states, “I think I’ll be a clown when I get grown. Yes, sir, a clown … There ain’t one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I’m gonna join the circus and laugh my head off.”

On a brilliant Halloween afternoon a few days ago, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation closed the book on the 2009 Big Read Roaring Fork Valley at the Red Brick Center for the Arts, surrounded by enough clowns, ghouls, goblins, thrill seekers, bon vivants, swashbucklers – and one oddly familiar ham – to offer a swirling, fanciful and fitting tribute to Dill, Scout, Atticus, the mysterious Boo Radley, and the unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis that rocked it.

Our heartfelt appreciation and admiration goes out to the 800-plus Roaring Fork Valley community members who joined us for our “Boo Bash” on that festive day, especially the local characters who braved the ice-cold waters of the dunk tank; the Aspen High School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Basalt High School and Roaring Fork Valley High School students who tirelessly worked to transform the Red Brick into the spookiest of spots; the local businesses and organizations that never hesitated to donate whatever they could; the nonprofit staff members that contributed their time and ideas; the artists and performers who jazzed up the area with color, music and talent; and the foodies who kept us well-fed and coming back for all of the pies, pizza, cotton candy, quesadillas, margaritas and popcorn we could stomach.

This incredible community carnival seems to have struck a chord with a majority of our local residents, and we appreciate your willingness to join us for a festive tribute to a masterpiece of American literature.

For an overview of The Big Read 2009 and our Boo Bash finale, including photos, audio clips, press clips, and sponsor and community partner information (too many to list here), please visit aspenwriters.org. For those of you who have not yet read “To Kill a Mockingbird”, make sure to pick up a copy and find out what all of the fuss is about!

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Lisa A. Consiglio, executive director, Aspen Writers’ Foundation

Debra Muzikar, executive director, Red Brick Center for the Arts