A Snowmass Village dissident’s lament | AspenTimes.com
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A Snowmass Village dissident’s lament

Roger Marolt

I hereby renounce my Snowmass Village citizenship.Lest you think me insane, I assure you, dear reader, that I fully understand the implications of this drastic measure for which I accept all consequences. By way of explanation I feel compelled to tell you of the events that led to my decision. It all started last week when some unexpected heat was cast upon me from the Sun. More specifically, the Snowmass Sun newspaper took exception to me claiming an Aspen byline for a temporary appointment I have with The Denver Post. After all, in geographic truth my personal residence sits on soil within the defined borders of Snowmass Village.To this criticism it would be easy to pass this slip off as some sort of joke, typical for my sense of humor, which would set all issues at ease. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The best excuse I can muster is that this error was inadvertent.But, in most inadvertencies there is truth, which I must admit to at this time. The reality is that I no longer associate my being with the name that belonged to the small mountain town that I loved. That town no longer exists and I refuse to beat the drum blindfolded for what it has become, to beat my head against the wall for what it could be. They needn’t rely on me to extol qualities that I cannot see. Perhaps the virtues of the Village can henceforth be expressed by the intellectually inspired seasonal workers living in ski company housing who saw fit to steer local elections with their vote in exchange for cheap rent, an $8-an-hour job, and a belly full of free beer at the post-election rock concert.The new voice could be that of the developer, whose extensive knowledge about the area caused them to list on their water permit application that East Snowmass Creek is the drainage they are constructing in, when in fact it is Brush Creek, resulting in a one-year delay for building. It might even be the Mayberryesque politicians who, so stimulated by the attentions paid to them by big, out-of-town developers, are caught in a perpetual orgasmic ecstasy of self-importance so that they can only moan “yes, yes, YES!” to each and every request of their suitors.The retired second-home owners who thought it wise to temporarily change their voter registrations so they could have a voice in pivotal elections could possibly provide the desired cheerleading. However, now that that Rubicon has been crossed, mightn’t they finally realize that most of them are likely to reside in the real heaven before the transformation of the one they envision at Base Village is complete? One might even appeal to the ringmaster of this newly launched construction circus. But alas, Pat O’Donnell moved his home and offices from Snowmass Village nearly as soon as the plans to “rebuild” it were drawn. For all I care, appeal to those pseudo-local bling-slinging sharers of time whose ideas to improve their crustless, three-week thin slice of paradise include adding half a dozen new bars, building a gondola to nowhere, and finding a more convenient location for the gas station.All things considered, though, I believe that the new voice of Snowmass Village should come from the very editor of the local newspaper who, on issues of any significance, has consistently planted herself securely in the middle of the road, much like a skunk flattened by an oversized, runaway truck without the driver even noticing. Fault me if you will, then. Although my house will remain in Snowmass Village, and I in it for lack of feasible options, I will distance myself from a town now buried under a pile of construction debris and choked in dust. I will not participate in processes that are tainted and foul.Yes, I will still vote in the elections, as it is my duty as a U.S. citizen and this is my registered polling place. I reserve the rights to have a membership in the new recreation center and use the trail system, as I am a taxpayer and must get something for the government dun. As I will surely die if I don’t ski, you will see me occasionally on the slopes. Out of gentlemanly courtesy, I will not refuse invites to play golf on the local course. Gatherings with friends will not cease since those are the occasions we have left to air gripes. I will continue to apply for and cash my annual sales tax rebate check, as it is every person’s obligation to stick it to the man on every possible occasion. I may even take in a free concert or rodeo now and then in order to keep in touch with my fellow plebeians.In summary, I will continue to appreciate with joy all of the amenities the Almighty has bestowed on the area, including many wonderful friends, but will remain profoundly suspect of the recent alterations man is making. In as much, I beg of thee, oh Aspen, mother city of my birth, take me back, if only in spirit! Forgive me for pledging my allegiance to the lovely and quiet Snowmass Village that now only exists in history. How was I to know when I came to it in 1992 that its beauty was temporary? Can I be blamed for lacking foresight? Surely I cannot be held accountable for things I fought valiantly against.Oh, model burg to which Snowmass Village owes its entire existence, I long for thy quarrelsome politics where your leaders at least have balls. If my body cannot reside there take my heart in its stead. Relegate Snowmass Village to the place I pine in respite for your shops, restaurants, schools and superior entertainment venues.To my antagonists I only offer this advice: On any summer day within the next 10 years, go to the middle of your town. If you are not summarily run down by a dump truck, perhaps, in searching for something you used to know, you will become sympathetic. The Snowmass Sun shines on Roger Marolt no more. But, he can still be reached at roger@maroltllp.com


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