Windstar’s spirit lives on
Once upon a time, two incredibly brilliant and high-visioned men thought to create an environmental utopia, where new ideas and new concepts of peace and sustainability could be developed for the good of humankind.
It was a lofty and extremely well-designed idea and, as they say, “made a difference.” People came from around the world to participate and contribute and took good ideas home with them. Biodynamic gardens were planted, highly efficient domes were built, and children (and adults) were given the opportunity to learn and grow in this pristine setting.
It was called Windstar, the two men were John Denver and Tom Crum, and it was a beautiful place. Together they were an amazing pairing of strength, intellect and creative talent – and their work was a major success.
Years passed, and they were called to a more global stage. Leaving the direction to others, well intended (for the most part), the people in charge were just not as capable as Tom and John, the energy, so magnificent in the beginning, slowly dissipated, and the power of the project fell away. For the record, just weeks before John’s tragic death, he had begun closing Windstar down and had moved the archives and business operation to Carbondale.
The land is now for sale, and much is made of the loss. It is to my thinking that much should be made of the success Windstar had in its day and the good that still vibrates through the land everywhere, not just on a site in Snowmass. John’s brother Ron has done a superhuman job trying to sustain the project as John’s legacy. John’s music is perhaps enough; it carries his spirit and hope for all time.
There is no fault here, no judgment to be rendered, no lack of effort on anyone’s part.
Hopefully the land will be put to good use and left accessible to those wanting to use it.
It is to be noted that the vision remains intact to this day. It lives on in John’s music and Tom’s Aiki Works. It is alive in the Earthbeat Choir (which Tom and John brought to Windstar from California), in the environmental consciousness of the valley, in the work of John Katzenburger and Ellen Stapenhorst and in the lives of dozens of other brilliant people who moved here to be part of Windstar and moved on and out to do other good things in the Roaring Fork Valley.
One of my favorite lyrics of John’s is from his song “Autograph.”
“Say a prayer and open your heart again/You are the love and the life that we all need to see/Always willing to shine and then/Peace on this earth is the way that it always can be/To be always with you and you always with me.”
And so he is.
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Lift-Up has helped feed hungry families in the Roaring Fork Valley for 38 years, but experienced in a surge in demand this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is making changes to meet the demand and address allegations of incidents of discrimination.