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Editors Note: This letter was initially sent to the two local papers here in the Aspen area, though neither paper chose to publish. The issue in question is whether our small community should or should not vote to approve the taxes to fund a killer new rec center, which I believe is sorely needed in our “mid-valley” area. 

Don’t Believe the Greedy: Working Class Residents of the Mid-Valley Need the Crown Mountain Recreation Center

Bro’s and dudettes,
It is with fierce urgencyness that I write to the editors of this steamed journalistic endeavor in high hopes that my personal evacuations can be spiked into the public record.

Rockers, I urge you all to get your reps in like big dogs and vote often to pass Measurables 4C and 4D and let the mid-valley finally have the sweat factory it needs and deserves. It’s time to stop the bitching and start the lifting you Sally’s!

That wet, white stuff is falling again, and with it I find myself seeking an indoor place to push some iron, shoot some hoops, and make some waves. The prob is, to do so, we working-class mid-valleyerianites have to travel from here to Muscle Beach and back just to use the sweet facilities that our bro-munities have built for themselves. That’s a lot of time on the roads, bros!  We loc’s need the Crown Mountain Recreation Center to get our groove on here in our own burly neck of the woods without wasting all of that fuel and GTL time getting to the rack and back.

Call me kooky, but it seems to me that the greedy yup’s writing to the paper to complain about having to pay $2000 per year extra on their property taxes either made that number up, did the math wrong (what with the published $60 per year per $100,000 of appraised home value proposed as funding for the killer new gym) or, if I did their math right, have houses worth millions and maybe not oughta complain about not being able to pay for their kids’ schoolitation. Like, maybe have the kid get a job at the Rec, yo? That should help get their college fund AND their bod’s pumped up!

We regular Joe Old Snowmastadons, Basaltines, Emmaites, and El Jebelinarians have suffered enough from the migratory greed that has flowed DV ever since The Crippler got 86’ed. Give us and our kids a spot and let’s pass these Measurements and build this prime slice of radness so that we can reach our maxes here at home in the MV!

Sensationally,

C. Madison Anderson

Emma, CO

 

  

“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.” – Thomas Jefferson

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*Note- This “article” comes from the Sept. 1, 2008 issue of Roaring Sports Magazine, officially the last issue helmed by Jon Bastian as editor. The magazine died a few weeks later. This submission was my way of thanking him for the opportunity while jabbing the powers that were to keep it going in his absence….

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“Make it as weird as possible!” Those were my marching orders, direct from the top office of the Roaring Sports corporate HQ, where their newly ordained first Editor Jonathan Bastian was taking this snorting bull by the tail and whipping it into finely sliced tri-tip.

I made it very clear, right from that first phone call, that I had no experience as a sports writer, or really as any kind of writer, unless you count long screeds to the editor and several past girlfriends. But that didn’t matter to Jon, not at all. He believed in me, he saw a storyteller where others saw only an endless chain of words. I am not sure why, but Jon trusted me to be one of his new magazine’s columnists. I became, along with Andrew Travers, one of Bastian’s Boys – a writer (yes!) in search of a good time, a bit of adventure, sprinkled with a dash of sportiness.

For a year now, I have scrambled over, maneuvered around, schemed under, sped past, and bribed decent people in order to file my story, knowing that Jon would find a spot for my ramblings. Through Hellish Waters (“Behold the Chicken Raper”) and High Wanderings (‘For Whom Three Belles Toiled”) I have been given free reign over subject matter and firm management when my column was running out of time to meet deadline. Inevitably, I have had to make that Sunday morning call to Jon from some storage closet that I had somehow squirreled myself away in while at work so as to complete the week’s offering on time.  Each time Jon has given me the deadline plus grace and stuck with me as I crank away at the thing in a frantic fashion. To fail to meet Jon’s deadline is a sin to me. As a newly published writer, the only thing keeping me apart from a million slack jawed, drooling bloggers is the real estate that Jon has entrusted to my mind every Monday morning, and I dare not give that up. Now that I have found my calling, to slip back into the realm of the unpublished sports man is a horrifying thought.

Something has happened here. It is notable, in my opinion, that Jon Bastian is moving on down the road, off to squirrel himself away while he completes his first novel. Jon has more than impressed in the efforts that he has made to see that Roaring Sports is a weekly necessity for any Roaring Fork sports fan.

The cover stories that Jonathan Bastian has written over this past year add up to a beautiful and bountiful palate of adventures, personalities, philosophy, pain and triumph that the Roaring Fork Valley’s athletes paint. His writing consistently finds a poetic and factual balance that few writers ever find, let alone master. I expect that sports writing will be but one of the things that Bastian is someday honored for, and I really look forward to the birth of this first novel sometime soon.

Zach Ornitz has published some of the most shockingly perceptive and artful photographs ever published in a small market sports weekly. (My own opinion of course, and unquantifiable for sure. But just you look and see!) Andrew Travers has matched me week for week in exposing the offbeat narratives and unjust bastardizations of pure sport.
Hooper has chimed in from the fringes with his instinctual prose, and so has Damien Williamson, himself a fine sports man with a keen eye for entertainment and fact.

Aspen is one of those places that attracts artistic talent like a funnel cloud sucks up free-range chickens. At any given time, your innocent looking bank teller could be leaving to climb some unknown ice spire in Lower-Puckerstan, the cop who helped you find your stolen downhill bike could spend his off time making avant-garde modern art, the seemingly homeless should be expected to be some sort of inexplicable expert on snow polo and caviar. I think that this may be what has occurred during the first (and hopefully not the last) year of the Aspen Daily News Roaring Sports magazine. The forces of Karma and Fate have come together to deliver small town greatness that may someday, if not already, have international relevance. Present company excluded, the talent well is deep, motivated and relatively unrestrained by threat of censorship.

Now the only question is how to keep improving, how to make every week count more than the last without Bastian’s Buddhist-like faith and patience and wise-beyond-his-years guidance.

I sat down this morning to write a sports column that would serve as some sort of calling card someday. It was to be a funky benediction, a wild romp involving baseball, vanishing politicians, cross-dressing golfers, a new puppy that somehow craps on the ROOF, a missing key and a good-natured firing. But I started to write up a short paragraph thanking Jon and wishing him my best until I had filled an entire column of just that. There is no time for that scandalous crew that haunts my memory now; it will have to wait beyond this week. Perhaps the next editor of this incredible rag will see it fit for print, as Jon would have.

This week, I am camping on the outskirts of Yosemite, filing from the darkened breakfast nook at a Days Inn that I am not a guest of. I performed my first official act of hacking by guessing the access code, and now find myself with a steady link to the world. Thanks to the grace of penalty time from the departing head honcho, and newly found computer genius powers that I never thought myself capable of, once again, I will meet my deadline. Late only counts in periods and birthday cards.  Thanks Jon. Best wishes pal. Stay Weird.

Corby Anderson writes Hang Time for the Aspen Daily News from the cereal bar of the Oakhurst, California Days Inn. When not dodging random death in the form of silently falling giant pine cones, he is reachable at corbyanderson@hotmail.com.

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Dan Sheridan writes beautiful songs. He lives in Aspen, Colorado. He was recently fired for singing his most popular song on the company mountain where he has performed for twenty years, due to content. In the publicity disaster that followed, the Ski Company invited Dan back, so long as he promises not to sing that tune. MOre background here: http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20100106/NEWS/100109909&parentprofile=search

Editor:

Quick now, before the season peaks! Herd the artisans into the caves! The Thought Police have extended their disquieting reach all the way up the very mountains that serve as respite from the typical corporate refuse of censorship, brinksmanship, social engineering, et al.

No longer can a Free Man (this includes women) wander blissfully into an on-mountain drinkery with any hope of hearing uncanned tunes forged and belted by similarly unaffected libertines. Now, should anyone care to spend their precious time and money being serenaded thusly, and thanks to the compromising decision by SkiCo brass to invite Dan Sheridan back to his slopeside stage, sans his best, most important song, we can be certain that all possible artistic content has been scrubbed of any offensive matter.

The SkiCo’s ack-basswards handling of Good Man Dan’s ironic embargo has shoved a spiteful stick into the mouth of the would-be individual who might have a thing or two to say about the Way Things Are Anymore.

So, Bob Dylan, you are henceforth ixnayed from the Sneak-ay. Too much counterproductive craziness and malingering Man-bashing in those hoarse poems of yourn. Boss Springsteen, you too. Nebraska ain’t so far away after all. And while you’re at it, ground the Eagles, for fear of upsetting any visiting California hoteliers! For sure, if that subversive tramp Jim Morrison weren’t worming around in France, he’d be banned in advance of any SkiCo musicale: C’mon, c’mon and CRUTCH me babe, ’cause I am not afraid… And so on.

To restrict the freedom of expression of artists in order to preserve the cherry eardrums of their sensitive clientele (the ones who were not cheerfully requesting Sheridan’s spot-on valley daze lament, “Big Money”) is the right of any property owner. No doubt. Gotcha, chief. There are Standards To Uphold. Lines To Bottom Out on. Empty Spaces to Design. Ticket Prices To Ramp. It is the American way to do with your business as you see fit, and likewise, so shall your clientele.

It is funny to me, this sanitizing of the “messy vitality” that has made Aspen an interesting, appealing place for a diverse group of heathens and saints alike these past few centuries. In the end, you get what you ask for, and if you want a place where a singer as talented and honest as Dan Sheridan is required to muzzle his reasonable thoughts on things such as his poet’s sense for loss of place, then that is what you will have: a palling loop of Brown Eyed Girl, sung ad infinitum. Though, come to think of it, even that one that might upset the blue-eyes.

Corby Anderson
Marina, Calif.

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