Kudos & Kindness (Jan. 17, 2021) | AspenTimes.com

Kudos & Kindness (Jan. 17, 2021)

Praise for the Gillespie Street Angels

In this difficult time of pandemic, incredible financial inequality, and a divisive/dysfunctional national government, it is inspiring to discover a well-organized health operation serving the citizens of Pitkin County.

Due to my age, I was among the first to be treated at the Gillespie Street makeshift medical outdoor facility set up on the Aspen Music Tent parking lot. All those wonderful young people working in freezing weather were extremely efficient, polite, and well-rehearsed for performing their various duties. Indeed, their performance was just as outstanding and inspiring as any given in the Music Tent during the summer.

Furthermore, their commitment to doing a professional job will save lots of lives. For this reason I call them “The Gillespie Street Angels.”

I strongly urge health personnel from the other three counties in the Roaring Fork and Crystal valleys (Garfield, Gunnison, and Eagle) to get permission to visit the Gillespie Street operation in order to replicate it in their own counties.

Clay Boland Jr.

Retired CMC professor of Communications and Humanities


Better days ahead

Judy and I, as septuagenarians, just got our initial vaccinations against COVID-19 in the drive-through center in the Music Tent parking lot. We’d like to thank Pitkin County Public Health and all the staff and volunteers — including our SkiCo friend Auden Schendler — for a smooth, pleasant, professional, efficient, impressively organized experience. We look forward to a happier time when everyone will have this protection, so we can all start to put this pandemic behind us and get on with rejoining each other in community and living fully in this beautiful place.

Amory B. Lovins



A shot in the arm for Pitkin County

Last week I got my first COVID-19 shot, for which I am deeply grateful and proud.

I’m proud of my community and particularly county and city government for running the vaccination process so professionally and efficiently. No pain, no sweat, and it took maybe 15 minutes. Nurses, doctors, deputies, cops, firefighters, road-and-bridge crew, and probably others conducted the process as if they’d been doing it for months.

No drama, just shots and good wishes. What a stark contrast from the current president’s deadly intransigent incompetence.

And I’m grateful to everyone at the vaccination center for making it happen. I did nothing to deserve the shot, besides surviving for seven decades. They worked hard and well. We should find a more tangible way to thank them, maybe throw them a big party after COVID-19 is over. I’d gladly write a check for that.

Michael Kinsley

Old Snowmass


Vaccination process seamless in Pitkin County

Kudos to Pitkin County and everyone else who was on board this morning when I was one of the lucky people to my first COVID-19 vaccination. I was more than pleasantly surprised how well planned and smoothly everything went. I received an e-mail on Tuesday night informing me that my name had been chosen to receive the shot.

Included in the e-mail was a link to hit and make the appointment. Every detail was explained to the nth degree. The process this morning probably took about 20 minutes and could not have run any more smoothly. Thank you all for standing out in the cold from me and so many other folks.

Susan Bernard



Looking forward to next shot

This is a heartfelt thank you letter.

This morning, Jan. the 14th, I was one of the lucky recipients of a COVID vaccination at the Music Tent property in Aspen. From the moment I reached Gillespie and 3rd, to my exit a scant 25 minutes later, I was amazed at how efficiently the entire affair was. Aspen Valley Hospital nurses and staffers, Aspen Police, Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies, EMTs, even Road and Bridge employees… all joined together in providing an efficient, courteous, and thorough process step by step.

My wife and I first came to Aspen in the late ’60’s. As the former Aspen assistant chief of police, I understand the pressure and expectations of the public. After living in Pitkin County for over 50 years, I took great pride in the work of these caring men and women. Well done. I can hardly wait for the second shot.

Michael Chandler



We salute you

To our neighbors off Hooks Spur: Thank you for the wonderful display … and your flag!

Happy new year and God bless you.

Dwight and Sally Ferren



Being a Buddy a source of community pride

Each week the most rewarding thing I do is mentor my Little Buddy. The way we mentored in 2020 looked a little different than the past. Despite that, being a source of fun and adventure for my Little Buddy has brought me so much joy this year! Kids have an amazing way of seeing life through a different lens. Sometimes, as adults, that lens gets narrow or foggy. Being with my Little Buddy makes me see things a different way and helps remind me to find the good in things.

My 9-year-old Little Buddy and I have been together since October 2018. Can I tell you how good it feels when a young girl looks at you with such light and says, “You’re my best friend and I mean it!” That is how far we’ve come in two years. That’s why mentoring is so important. Life comes with a lot of complications. If we, as adults, can share our experiences and lend a guiding hand as they grow up, why shouldn’t we? The wait list of Little Buddies outweighs the Big Buddies available. We can do better and feel better simply by giving our time. Please, consider helping the youth in our valley. The Buddy Program is an amazing organization and offers a great way for us to give back!

Chessie Stokes

Snowmass Village


Football makes life better these days

My name is Luca Rizzuto. I am 11 years old and in sixth grade in Aspen Middle School. As everyone knows, this year has been very abnormal and challenging. Kids have been on computer learning for most of their days.

A lot of my sports were postponed or canceled or looked very different than usual seasons. Participating in flag football this year was very fun and a great distraction from the virus and these weird times. I was not thinking about the virus whenever I was playing flag football and it made me really happy to be around my friends.

It made me focus on the sport, and it made it easier to get through the days on the computer, knowing that I would get to see my friends and play football. I had a lot of fun playing flag football this year even though everything else felt weird, that felt normal. I can’t even imagine how much work it took to arrange the flag football program this year with all the different rules and restrictions.

I really want to thank Alexander Shrempf, Desiree Whitehead, Aspen Elks Lodge #224, Aspen Youth Football and Ron Morehead, Gridiron Golf Tournament, and all of the parents and coaches that volunteered to make this season happen for us, especially my team’s coaches, Brian Welker, and Todd Hoeffner. You all made life for kids feel a little better and more normal in a very challenging and weird year. You all gave us the chance to play football and connect with our friends.

Luca Rizzuto

Woody Creek


RJ Paddywacks lifts Roaring Fork Audubon

Roaring Fork Audubon extends a big thanks to RJ Paddywacks for supporting RFA with its annual bird seed fundraiser. Locally owned Paddywacks donated 20% of its sales towards this important fundraiser, helping our all-volunteer board bring awareness to local conservation issues facing our native animals, especially the birds.

Our hope is that awareness and education transfer to protection. Please join us in supporting RJ Paddywacks!


Mary Harris

President, Roaring Fork Audubon