Toni’s Aspen has no limits
Where does Toni Kronberg live?That’s easy: Aspen.No, I’m not trying to jump in and answer the question that the City Council ducked (in an amazing display of bureaucratic cowardice that makes a mockery of the election).And, no, by the way, I’m not endorsing Toni for Aspen City Council in the runoff election.I’m just saying there’s no question that she lives in Aspen – even though the Aspen she lives in may or may not match up with the specific legal “Aspen” described by city limits.Is she having trouble proving exactly where she lived and when she lived there? Well, of course she is. That’s a part of the very real Aspen she lives in.Toni Kronberg lives in the Aspen of people who love the town, who are committed to the town, who scrape and scrap and fudge and fight to find a way to stay here. It isn’t the Aspen of the millionaires (or billionaires) who cruise in and buy whatever appeals to them. It isn’t the Aspen of the rich kids who write home to their folks for a little help with the rent while they “find themselves.”Toni lives in the Aspen of those who do what they have to do to get by and put a roof over their heads.In the first couple of years I lived here, I slept on the couch (sometimes the floor) of a house on Cemetery Lane that was being rented by two women whose names and faces I have long forgotten, but who put up with half a dozen newcomers sleeping in their living room, slept on the floor (sometimes the couch) of a condo that belonged to the parents of a college friend. shared a house on the outskirts of Snowmass Village for a couple of months with four or five friends, slept on the floor (never the couch) of an apartment at the Airport Business Center that the ex-sister-in-law of an old friend was renting, shared a house on Highway 82, out by the golf course, with four or five (or was it six?) friends, lived in a cabin up Conundrum Creek, shared a room with a friend in a now demolished lodge whose name (and location) I have now forgotten, shared a ratty, singlewide trailer in Smuggler with two or three friends.And those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. There were more.I never had a lease. I never had a post office box. I never had a phone.I lived in the heart of Aspen, on the outskirts of Aspen, up in Snowmass and out in the wilderness. And if anybody asked where I lived I would always answer – loudly and proudly – that I lived in Aspen.And that Aspen is the same Aspen that Toni Kronberg lives in.Now I’m not saying that Toni should be on the City Council. That’s a political choice, followed by a legal decision.Is Toni a bit of a wacko? Well, sorry Toni, I guess she is – but Aspen’s had some brilliant wackos in residence … and on the council.Is Toni difficult, demanding, maybe even a little obsessive? Well, again, I guess she is – but, again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing (unless you’re stuck in a meeting with her).But would Toni represent a very real part of a very real Aspen? Hell yes.Toni’s commitment to Aspen and her determination to stay here are second to none. That’s how you wind up bouncing from caretaker unit to caretaker unit to trailer to eviction notice. And that’s how you wind up staying here through it all.And “here” – for Toni and for me and for so many other people who live or have lived wherever they can for however long they can make it last – is Aspen.And to hell with city limits.Andy Stone is former editor of The Aspen Times. His e-mail address is email@example.com
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