Hello sweet friends! Most of the time when you land here, you can expect to hear from yours truly…but today we are swapping it up a bit! Many of our new readers may not realize that Everyday Living Blog was the brainchild of my sweet hubby! He bought the domain several years back, and due to his very busy schedule, I decided to take it and run with it in 2014! I often refer to him as my Renaissance Man because he is truly multi-talented…a gifted singer, songwriter, and guitarist to just name a few! He chimes in and writes a post every once in a while, and you’re in for a real treat today as he takes over! Butch’s unique gift of storytelling sheds much light on our everyday living!
“Music makes pictures and often tells stories”….. The pictures we share today were inspired by music as it was music that recently brought us to Aspen, Colorado. Music is a major part of our everyday living and perhaps this is true for you as well. We all likely have songs that stir within us sweet memories and immediately transport us to another time and another place. There are special events, occasions, and seasons in our lives where moments are relived through music. For us, a few days in Aspen for the John Denver Celebration was as close as we can get to going back in time to the 1970’s and our early years together. John’s music was and remains very special to us. We love his music as much today as we did back then.
I was 12 when my grandparents took me on a trip to visit my great aunt in Colorado Springs. It was the summer of 1963. I had never seen anything like those mountains and it changed me forever. It was late June and Papa drove us to the top of Pikes Peak. My shorts and tee shirt failed me since it was about 30 and snowing. I never dreamed I’d ever get to go back. But in 1975, Pam and I were blessed with an opportunity to return to Colorado and made our way to Aspen. We had been married a little over two years and had heard John live in concert for the first time only a couple of months prior. We heard him numerous times over the next 22 years, including once in 1997. His music had impacted our lives and would forever be a part of things we love and things we share. We even made our way to Starwood in Aspen but decided we should not hang around long for fear of getting in trouble for being on private property! Young and foolish might describe that trip but it’s a wonderful memory.
The John Denver Sanctuary is a very unique and special place dedicated to John’s memory on about 4 1/2 acres along the Roaring Fork River northeast of downtown. It’s open to the public and there is no charge. Come along for a short tour.
The Song Garden features a number of Johns song lyrics engraved in large stones placed near the river. While we walked among the lyrics, a visitor pulled out a guitar and seated on a rock by the river began to play and sing. We understand it happens often. I didn’t have a guitar, but if the stranger had offered his, I would’ve taken him up on it. I do know a few of John’s songs. (Maybe more than a few).
The ski runs were quiet but will be alive with activity in a few weeks. The surrounding beauty and fresh air does indeed fill up your senses. I can see how a gifted songwriter like John could be inspired to write Annie’s Song in 10 minutes while riding a ski lift. It’s a beautiful love song that I’ve sung at many weddings. And, it’s my ringtone when Pam calls my cell!
Sunshine is one of my all time favorite songs. I was asked recently to sing on the spur of the moment by a singer-songwriter who was performing for us and others at a resort near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He handed me his guitar, so what can you do but sing “Sunshine On My Shoulders”.
Pam surprised me with a Guild guitar in 1976. John played Guild at times and Pam had heard me talk so much about that. I treasure that guitar and have probably played John’s songs on it a few thousand times-no exaggeration. I’m protective of it and mainly play my Taylor these days. (John played Taylor also). Of course the first song I would play on the Guild was John’s signature song.
Former band members, long time friends, co-writers, recording artist, and other special guests graced the Wheeler stage each evening in grand style to fill the house with John’s songs and share memorable stories.
This picnic table in the John Denver Sanctuary tells us a story. It sits alone, the seats are empty and the food has long since been taken away. We were in Aspen for the 20th anniversary of John’s tragic death in a plane crash on October 12, 1997. This scene instantly reminded me of verse 14 in the fourth chapter of James in the Bible. Life is fragile and fleeting. The verse says, “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes”.
I am awestruck and without words to describe the beauty of the Colorado mountains. I feel all of you would agree. If creation is beyond our words, how unimaginable is the greatness of our Creator who made it all ! We experienced a Rocky Mountain High and more as we paused to worship and thank the one true God who made everything and allowed us the privilege of seeing and being a part of it. Speaking of Jesus, Colossians 1: 15-17 says: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Musicians, singers and songwriters are plentiful. John was all three, and one of the best at doing it all. But he possessed something that is a remarkable gift that not nearly as many have. He had the ability to communicate a song better than anyone I’ve heard. There’s a real difference in singing a song and communicating the message from your heart to the heart of the listener. It’s unique, it is rare, it’s a gift, and it was John. He left us his autograph.
It’s Pam again…thanks for coming over to read about our time in Aspen…we had a wonderful trip! We always love your comments! Don’t forget to check out all of the beautiful tables on our Thanksgiving Tablescape Blog Hop!
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