Letter: Shelter from the storm

“Volunteers with the Aspen Homeless Shelter hand out hot apple cider and sing carols on the downtown mall Saturday to raise awareness and money benefitting those without shelter in Aspen.” This was the caption to a photo published by The Aspen Times (“Shelter from the storm,” Dec. 15).

I love that Bob Dylan song. It’s one of my favorites. It truly was a storm Saturday, a winter storm, and there’s more to the story:

Thanks to Jim Ward, a longtime Twining Flats resident who loaned his utility trailer for the piano move to the walking mall and insisted on also loaning a big umbrella that turned out to be indispensable; thanks to a nice lady in Colorado Springs who sold a Baldwin upright for a steal because it would be used for charity; thanks to Amanda Pointdexter at the Aspen-Basalt Campground, who loaned her dirt-bike trailer for the piano move to the valley; thanks to the Aspen Community Church for housing a rather homely looking piano on a dolly in its fellowship hall; thanks to local piano tuner Reed Martin for loaning the piano-moving equipment; thanks to Julia with the city of Aspen Special Events for approving an acoustic piano on the walking mall while fretfully conveying the Fire Department’s concern that “you’re gonna freeze!” Thanks to Debbie Weldon from the Aspen Community Church and an unknown gentleman with a guitar for singing carols along with the piano. Thanks to Vince Savage, who runs the homeless shelter, for organizing volunteers from Aspen High School to hand out hot cider to passers-by. Thanks to Aspen residents J. and V. for jumping into the action to lift a 400-pound piano into and out of a trailer in freezing temps and a driving blizzard and for tying a bowline or two to keep it from falling out. Not a big deal for them because they are used to the weather; the homeless shelter in Aspen didn’t open until Dec. 1 this year, so I guess they must have camped outside during snow showers in October and November.

That’s why there are so many to thank and a whole lot more — there’s more to the story: It’s about a whole community coming together because we want the homeless among us to have a warm place to sleep a few more weeks out of the year.

We’ll be out again at 3 p.m. on Saturday to sing some more Christmas carols, “heedless of the wind and weather”! Stop on by to fill up on hot cider and sing!

Kevin Kaukl