Letter: Myopic, untimely and callous
I was saddened and angered upon reading Rick Carroll’s piece on Will Graham (“Graham had legal struggles before Punchbowl episode,” The Aspen Times, June 9). While our community is coming together to show their its and support toward the Graham family, the Times’ article, which was myopic, untimely and callous, only seemed to vilify Will.
Will was a kind, loving and sensitive son, brother and friend; much more than just the court profile that your article depicted. He attended the Aspen schools as stated by The Aspen Times, but he also was a graduate of Aspen High School’s class of 2002. Will was a proud member of the Aspen hockey community throughout his life. It may have been on and around the ice that he found his greatest joy. During his childhood and adolescence, one would often see the Grahams, with Will in tow, going to and from the ice rinks at all hours of the day. One couldn’t help but notice the sparkling eyes and the warm, impish smile plastered on Will’s face. This face bore no resemblance to the mug shot shown in Carroll’s article. Upon graduating from high school, Will enlisted and served our country in the U.S. Army. After serving in the military, he returned to Aspen where he did have some bouts with alcohol and the law; however, he was trying his best, and with success, to figure things out.
What I found most disconcerting about this article was why one would choose to present this perspective on Will while his grieving family is waiting to find out about a missing loved one who is presumed deceased? I am horrified to think of how the family felt during this tragic time as they viewed Will’s picture and recent article in The Aspen Times. In a follow-up letter, (“From the General Manager and Editor of the Aspen Times,” June 10) Samantha Johnston and Lauren Glendenning stated that the article, “Sought to address the larger picture of a young person’s struggle with substance abuse …”. If this were the case, I would expect the tone of such an article to be one of empathy and compassion. Carroll’s piece had no such tone; it read merely as a glorified police report.
Aspen is a small community where we try and take care of our own. During tragic times such as this, I would hope that our local newspaper would show respect and compassion toward the residents of our town. The Aspen Times failed to do so this time.