Paul E. Anna: High Points
Aspen, CO Colorado
Last week when I penned my paean to this paper, I knew that I would be remiss in not including some of the things that I so love and admire about The Aspen Times. Errors and omissions seem to be a strong suit of mine these days so I hope to correct one of the former and delete some of the latter.
Let me start by apologizing for my inane, some would say insane, sense of humor. I attempted to poke fun at the great Andy Stone and his political leanings by referring to them as pabulum. The only thing thin, trite, bland and generally unsatisfying about the column was my attempt at some form of hidden humor.
“A Stone’s Throw,” Andy’s weekly column, helps shape the conscience of this newspaper. It gives it structure, soul and gravitas. Opinionated and liberal, yes. But Andy always has a point. And his point is always, always, well-written, well-researched and never, never, pabulum. It’s not even pablum. My mistake.
So now for the omissions.
That Barry Smith is a fringe festival unto himself. And I say this with both awe and respect for those who live on the fringe. There are people who only read this paper because Barry is in it. I used to not like Mondays, but Barry’s Irrelativity column makes Monday maybe the best day of the week. OK, maybe not the best day, but it usually has at least one laugh in it because Barry, the embodiment of a working artist, provides it.
This week he wrote of new superheroes with super-human powers. My favorite was Attachment Man: Poked in the finger by a radioactive paperclip, Attachment Man has been granted the uncanny ability to never forget to include the email attachment. Along with his sidekick, BCC Man, Attachment Man fights a never-ending battle against hasty follow-up emails titled “Oops … sorry – here’s the attachment, for real this time. LOL.”
I know, right? I could totally relate
Then there’s Thursdays with the Princess. Is it just me or does it seem like we have all grown old…I mean up, with Alison Berkley Margo? I remember her when she had just two names and was living in town doing semi-skanky things just so she would have something for column fodder. OK, maybe it wasn’t just for column fodder but it did give her lots of stuff to write about. Anyway, like many of us, she made the big move to the backcountry and began to make homemade bread. I know right? I could totally relate.
And how could I have left out Roger Marolt. He’s a friggin’ Marolt for chrissakes. There may be no family in the Rockies with as much “on the hill” cred as these guys. And he not only raises great kids and crunches numbers, he takes the time to write, edit and submit a perfect column with a point of view each and every week. I know just how hard that can be. So what if he can’t out-ski Lo Semple (who, by the way, writes a column for the Aspen Daily News that is so good it should be in the Times), I still think he is the best.
Of course Paul Andersen may be the best of the bunch. With a keen eye for the issues that affect our valley and our quality of life, a self-deprecating wit and a way with words, Paul’s stories are always written from the heart and always thought provoking.
That’s just some of the omissions, but there are others that I could write entire columns about. The Purple Building. Dottie, who runs the place from her perch behind the biggest and best picture window on Main Street. Scoop, the blind cat who seems to keep an eye on everything. And course Jeanne McGovern, a woman whom I have known for 20 years and who I proudly call my editor, even though that title represents about one two-thousandth of all the myriad things she does.
Bottom line: errors, omissions, commissions and corrections aside, I love me some Aspen Times.
As Andy Stone would say: Onward.
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Sean Beckwith is taking advantage of his column space this week to inform the public of the Best in Jest.