Ferrer: Aspen’s still fabulous
Just read Don Rogers column today. As a 72-year-old (among the first of Boomers), I have to say that I profoundly … agree(!) with your observations. Even guffawed as I flushed a bit with self-recognition. Ha ha ha ha. We Boomers are incurably inflexible. About everything. Not just the perceived “lost soul” of Aspen.
I have been coming to Aspen since 1983, and, six-plus years ago, I retired in the area. As admittedly codgeristic as I have become, the Aspen that I see these days is nearly the same as the one I saw when first visiting 40 years ago. I just don’t notice (well, maybe a little) the changes. I do regret the loss of local joints (the Red Onion, Johnny Maguire’s, Shooters), and I do think traffic has worsened. But, the quaint, mining-era buildings are still incredibly charming, the airport is still very manageable, people who work and/or live nearby are incredibly open, positive, and engaging, and the view of Ajax bearing down on the core is, well, nothing short of spectacular. (To say nothing of other views in the area!)
In my 40s, I came upon a “people in the street” column in a Sunday Aspen Times edition. Locals were asked to comment on how Aspen might be improved. Their responses floored me: They were so negative. And, they were not Boomers in their later years. I was moved … for my first ever time … to write the editor and comment. He called and asked if he could publish my letter, which he did. So, the negativity hardly has been the province of us old codgers. (Except, perhaps, my crowd in their earlier years!)
I was a Snowmass ski ambassador for a few years after my retirement. So, I had to be there by Thanksgiving (opening day at Ajax). Although I was 66-69, I could hardly contain my joy at skiing a mere 100 or so acres on Thanksgiving Day. That joy is still here. And, even on some too-dry ski days, I found the attitudes of visitors exemplary.
This is just a fabulous place to live. Thanks for your column on Monday.
Esteban (Steve) Ferrer