Letter: A concert for the community

If you think that Aspen’s lost its soul or that it’s all about glitz, then you may not have been looking in the right places. The Aspen community is still very much alive and well in the same streets where we now indeed pay for parking (if we can find it) while people wander across ice-slicked lanes daydreaming or chatting or texting as if there weren’t just a community missing but there were also no 4,000-pound vehicles aimed at them, some also skippered by daydreaming, chatting or texting pilots.

And to prove that community is alive, here comes something we look forward to silencing our cellphones for every year. It’s right up there with Kristen Maley’s Christmas eggnog, the Winterskol Torchlight Parade and the first big powder day. At 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21, the 25th annual Winter Solstice Concert will be performed by our local musician team of Jan Garrett and J.D. Martin at the Aspen Community Church. But it’s more than a concert. It’s locals entertaining locals (and anyone else paying close attention), bringing light to the year’s longest night in an intimate setting, welcoming winter with music and verse and a heartfelt community spirit of friendly fellowship.

The moment you walk in, it feels comfortable, easy, familiar and welcoming, like you know everyone even if you don’t, almost like it’s a weekly thing — yet maybe a secret thing. You don’t need to pick a seat or even have anyone save you seats, because you want to sit beside anyone; it’s that kind of comfortable. You’re talking, then listening, then singing, then laughing and then listening again. To everyone. To your friends.

J.D. and Jan are like our insanely talented brother and sister, just in to sing and chat together for a while, to remember why we love it here so much, even though it can be cold and crowded and callous and complicated. We can never get enough of the Aspen that feeds our souls, the Aspen that inspires us, that is us.

Go ahead. Miss it. You’ve probably got a very important text coming. Or you could trust us — this is traffic you want to stand in.

Michael and B.J. Adams