Dear Editor:I was surprised and saddened to see the letter to the editor on Sept. 9 from Ms. Christine Smith about John Denver fans and her opinion of what are “true fans” and “pretentious fans.” I do believe that John himself would be very upset and appalled at her opinions and her demeaning and discrediting of others who do not see things exactly the way she does. For her to say that true fans (like herself, I am guessing) go out and “use our time and money to do humanitarian and environmental work year-round” was nothing more than a hearty self-pat on the back. Well, God bless those who do that and do not brag about it to the newspapers, but instead do it for the sheer joy and fulfillment that it gives them in their hearts.In some parts of her letter (aka advertisement), she even tries to promote her book. If that is what a “true” JD fan does, then I will remain one of the “shallow, cake-eating, statue worshipping” ones that she speaks so negatively about.It sounds to me that Ms. Smith has a case of the green-eyed monster. Hundreds of fans flock to Aspen around the 12th of October each year to pay tribute to a man most of them never met (unlike the lucky Ms. Smith, who seems to have known him intimately). She has her events earlier in the month so there should be no conflict, except that people who travel from all over the world have to choose whether to come early in the month for her events or come in mid-month to attend the “major events” that even Annie; John’s brother, Ron; Uncle Abe and mother Erma attend. How can these events be so meaningless if John’s own family members attend? I think Ms. Smith’s comments about these events being attended by “silly celebrity worshippers” was very offensive to not only myself and hundreds and thousands of other John Denver fans, but also to his family who attend these events every year and seem to enjoy that John’s music touched so many lives. Shame on anyone who can only make themselves bigger and more important by demeaning and criticizing others. I think John Denver himself would say “live and let live” and he would be ashamed that Christine Smith wrote such a letter and broadcast it to the Aspen area in order to promote herself, her book and her own “major events.” But in the spirit of memory of John, I will close with a quiet “peace, my friends” and hope that Ms. Smith will take the time to listen to John’s music and words. She may come to realize that she made a huge mistake in calling John Denver fans ugly names.Mendy ThompsonLetart, W.V.
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