Letter: When we were young
As an almost 40-year visitor (part-time “local”) to Aspen, I was fascinated with your last online poll (“Which decades in Aspen suit you best?”). As someone with training in statistics (and being fully aware that the poll is “for entertainment purposes only”), I would love to see this poll with the results correlated by age (and I realize this was not asked). I would predict that there would be a very high correlation between the “favorite decades” and the time when the person was in their 20s. This is human nature — almost everything was “better” when we were “younger” if for no other reason than the fact that we were younger. People’s 20s would pop out because not only were we younger, but now we’re “adults” — but, for most, still rather carefree. The statistician in me also would predict that this correlation would be even higher if one knew the age of the respondent when they first visited Aspen (that is, we would “control” for the age of first visit).
Think of it — we keep coming back because we love this place and were usually completely awed by out first visit.
In my own case, I was 27 when I first visited in 1975. My memories are glowing — probably exceeding the fun I actually did have! But I also would note that there are things and places from every decade since that I loved (and now often must put into the category of “missed”) and also things about every decade that I do not miss. (Note: What I liked and disliked about each decade could form a separate opinion piece — but that will wait for another time.) But on par, I still love the town and mostly look forward to the changes. Aspen — keep on changing and creating new memories for me so maybe one day I will be saying “remember when in the teens” it was the “best of times.”
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