Tributes about more than J.D.
October 14, 2005
Dear Editor:I am writing in response to the letter to the editor titled “Ode to Denver fans,” which appeared in the Oct. 8 edition of The Aspen Times. I fear Ms. Fenter has an unfortunate viewpoint of these celebrations.The purpose is to honor a man who has brought millions from all over the world together … we are one big family of friends, and these celebrations are, if you will, a family reunion of sorts. What’s wrong with that?Yes, we buy concert tickets for the Wheeler, but that money goes directly to Challenge Aspen (www.challengeaspen.com) … the charity that benefits from those shows. Yes, people buy tickets for the Peace Cloth (www.johndenverpeacecloth.com) event, which allows the cloth to be present at various events all over the world. Yes, people buy tickets for our charity auction/concert proceeds of which went to Hawkquest (www.hawkquest.com) and the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf (www.acsd.org). I would invite Ms. Fenter to visit these sites so that she may learn just what these celebrations are really about. We also had a donation box for the Katrina and Rita victims, which will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. I’ve been coming to Aspen since 1988 when I attended my first Windstar Symposium. I have always felt a certain homecoming when I come back, mainly because I love the mountains and I love experiencing what John sang about. I remember hearing John sing his songs for the first time in the Rocky Mountains, and it was like no other experience … one I will treasure.These celebrations continue not only in Aspen but all over the country all year round. There is one coming up on Oct. 29 in Annapolis, Md. – “A Musical Tribute To John Denver,” which will benefit Maryland Therapeutic Riding … a wonderful organization that offers children of varying disabilities the opportunity to enjoy horseback riding and the outdoors. This show promises to be one of the best yet, as it features the Columbia Symphony Orchestra and a lot of the arrangements that will be used were written by John’s longtime conductor, Lee Holdridge. The same band members and friends who appeared at the Wheeler will be doing this show as well. I will be there, too.So these celebrations are not about being seen or who can outdo the other … it’s about caring and sharing for a better tomorrow. Try it, Ms. Fenter, you might just like it!Mary LedfordGaithersburg, Md.