Alison Berkley: Readers’ thoughts after a year |

Alison Berkley: Readers’ thoughts after a year

Guess what. Today marks the one year anniversary since my first column was published on June 18, 2002. Over the past year, the response from readers has been tremendous. I’ve heard it all, from praise from old-timers and newcomers to people who think I should take my tiara and shove it up my ass (I am so not into kinky stuff like that!) to e-mails from perverts and lonely hearts and everything in between. The Princess would like to thank the good people of Aspen for this first year of love, support, and taking the time out of their busy day to read the column and better yet – respond. Kisses!

My very first letter:

(Yes, I framed it.)

Oh, puh-llleeeezzzze. Having lived in Aspen 21 years, and now 21 years at points downvalley, I am insulted by reading your new column, “The Princess’s Palate,” and the twit who wrote it. It was pure crap, at least as far as I could get through it. I had an Aspen post office box (30, so there, Alison Berkley) and it made absolutely no difference in what kind of person I was or where I got in the world. Do us a favor and pull that stupid waste-of-paper column from your otherwise fine, accurate and interesting paper.

The Local Authority on Who Should Be Considered a Local:

… you have even found your weekly home in the Times – fittingly enough, as it is no more any longer a local paper … any more than you are a local yourself. You only live here, clearly a guest in a town that, even with all it has lost, has enough dignity to not claim you as one of her own. Don’t mistake the two. Your words can be clever enough, and so can your insights. But let’s call a spade a spade. In your case, a cunt.

The Guy Who Thinks He’s in Love:

I am hopelessly and completely infatuated with your writing. This is a kindred spirit, I said to myself, a partner even. Is this a stupid fantasy? Perhaps, but, I am attracted to a woman without first knowing her cup size. What’s the worst that could happen to this irrational fit of optimism? Another failed attempt at true love. Hmmm, what are the odds of that? But why not take a shot. OK – and I’m a sucker for navel rings, too.

The Pervert:

My Dear Sweet Princess,

I think orgasms are all you need more of. Not that battery driven kind. But that passionate uncontrollable man driven kind. The kind that makes you wet every time you think about it. Too many choices? The odds are good but the goods are odd? Don’t have the courage to go say “Hi” to the man that attracts you? I think it might be time for moaning to subdue the whine. Turn those puppy tears into a passionate sweat. Mmm Mmm Yummy. P.S. That is your picture in the paper, right?

The Advice-Seeker/Lonely Guy Looking for a Date:

I have been completely unsuccessful finding a cool girl to hang with here. I don’t think I am bad guy. Waaaa, why don’t any cool girls like me? What is it with this place? I think it’s all about your company. I have a couple cool friends, but it seems like nothing just flows. I really enjoy reading your column and getting a piece of mind. Bye, Jeff 5’10, blonde, blue eyes.

People Who Love Me:

(not including my Dad)

Ski Patrol (I love them almost as much as rugby players and firemen)

I must tell you’ve got about the best sense of humor I’ve read in the local papers in years. I’ve been here in the old mining town since 79-80, I also really enjoy your writings about “my office” Aspen Mountain … have a great off- season maybe our paths will cross.


You are so right on the mark about your subjects. I look forward to reading the latest every week. Often, it takes me back to my first wild years in Aspen 26 years ago! I hope you have as much fun as I did!

You gotta couple admirers of your writing … what and how … must say this is the first fan letter to either papers in 12 years. It’s just a thank you … one can do that kinda thing at 78 … hang in there … you got the right stuff.

You are not exactly Lou Bendrick (Aspen Times Columnist Extraordinaire of yesteryear) but you are wildly amusing and appear to have good hair.

Someone Who Actually Gets It:

When I first chanced upon your column, I waited on your next effort with trepidation – [could she really be that good?] and was delighted to find that you are consistently excellent. You have a great grasp of black humor [a little known fact is my family actually started this], but even more impressive is your ability to write a nice, tight piece. Perhaps this phrase is a bit too suggestive?

The Last Word :

(at least for this week)

I lived in Aspen in the 70s and 80s and can say it’s great to see a bold stand to continue the tradition of keeping that very wonderful town special. We tried to keep the town unique and as independent as possible, (thank God for Hunter, Jimmy and every independent store and restaurant owner) but it was a tough fight with the likes of Harley Baldwin selling his soul to Fendi etc. More power to him I suppose, but I’m so glad you’re not taking this lying down. I’m glad to read your defiant take on allowing the wealthy crowd to think that what makes Aspen great is the Caribou Club and all that it implies. Cheers to the next generation! Keep Aspen alive. Keep up the good work. You make this girl, who made Aspen home during the wild years, proud.

As always, you can send your uncensored e-mails to

You are not exactly Lou Bendrick (Aspen Times Columnist Extraordinaire of yesteryear) but you are wildly amusing and appear to have good hair.