Thursday, September 9, 2010

Colorado High

Remember John Denver? I happened to hear Colorado Rocky Mountain High the other day and frankly, it blew me away. I was such a fan in the '70s and '80s, but his music faded in the flurry of my busy life. His music didn't seem relevant in the hustle and bustle of the '90s.

His passing in 1997 had little impact on me at the time. I did pause to reflect on a fabulous concert he did in Tucson, Arizona, that I attended. Thank, God, I did. It was the last time I saw him in person. While his band took a break, John continued playing his twelve string guitar and singing his own songs with passion and honesty rarely seen anymore. He didn't need stage props, makeup or pyrotechnics.

I spent many summers in Aspen, Colorado, working construction. You could always find me after work and on weekends, sitting outside on a bench, playing my guitar, and imitating John Denver, rather badly I might add. His music blended perfectly with the tall aspen tress swaying in the wind while mighty pines whistled soft, fragrant background music. I can still smell the fresh air laced with the smell of wild flowers and green grass. The sky was so blue it took my breath away.

Sundays in Aspen were always exciting. Softball games were a tradition in Colorado mining towns. After spending brutal winters working the mines, a summer baseball game was pure heaven on earth for the miners. Modern Aspen still keeps the tradition going and John would play softball when he was in town right alongside bartenders, shop owners, construction workers, city workers, and just about everyone else in town. He would drive his Jeep down from his house in Snowmass and join in the fun. Always a gentleman and always just one of the guys.

I am truly missing him today. I really don't know why, except that maybe my own mortality is causing me to reflect on good times gone by. They are not lost as long as I can reminisce and still hear the honest, reflective and passionate music of musicians and songwriters like John Denver.

I'm just saying,


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