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ABOUT JOHN DENVER'S LIFE and A Message from John To All Of Us | HOW DOES JOHN'S LEGACY CONTINUE? The TRUE Fans vs. FALSE fans | MEMORIES From The 4th Annual John Denver Celebration, Oct. 5-6, 2002, Salida, Colorado | Written Comments From Guests | *SEE John Denver Mountain* | Memories of the 2001 JD Celebration | NYC Mayor Praises JD Memorial Peace Prize Winner | Weekend Magazine Cover-Celebration | Link-VISIT HAL THAU'S OFFICIAL JOHN DENVER WEBSITE-Info/Music | Photographs | My Father's Page | Quotes/Ideas/Prayers On Living Well | Friendship And Gratitude | Human Spirituality Articles by Christine Smith | Activism to Protect Alaska | The Death Penalty | Dreams of Freedom Charity -helping prison inmates & others | ICC - International Criminal Court | Listen online here to international radio interviews with Christine | THE John Denver Book-Ordering/endorsements/author message | Christine's Bio and Interests | The Outstanding American Award | CONTACT ME
Written Comments From Guests

(Like to see a few photogrpahs from last year's JD Celebration? CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALBUM.)

From Letters To The Editor, cards & letters.


Denver urged a You and Me world
Dear editor:
I am writing to express my thanks to the community of Salida for its support and involvement with the John Denver Celebration event last month.

I had the pleasure of working with John in the past at several of the annual Choices for the Future symposia, sponsored by the Windstar Foundation from 1986 through 1995 in Aspen.

Since Johns funeral in 1997, I have not attended any of the various memorial observances that have been organized in October on the anniversary of his passing. This fall brought a change to that, as I felt drawn to the unique event hosted in Salida.

John Denver was notable to those who knew him well for his idealistic promotion of a You and Me world versus a You or Me world. Over the past four years, it has seemed appropriate for me to let the nostalgic memory of this celebrity artist fade and season a bit, such that the vision and message (rather than the messenger) would become clearer as a realistic and motivating legacy.

For me, it has always been about the Vision Thing. I discovered this years celebration event organized by local resident Christine Smith on the Internet, and its allure seemed properly focused in this all-important regard.
Indeed, my subsequent attendance at the event allowed interaction with so many grounded and open-hearted individuals who were also in attendance with similar motivations to my own.

In this world of contrast, contradiction, drama, and seemingly endless conflict, this event offered a refreshing opportunity to remember and reflect upon the positive possibilities so readily available to each of us in our daily concerns, choices and activities.

For those who may harbor skeptical cynicism over the memory of John Denver, I can only offer hope that with time, such misplaced polarization and fear may give way to a more enlightened realization that there is so much more to life than always choosing sides.

Salida has a good thing here with this event. This event need not be about controversy over those who express a conviction. Its about all of us getting along and working together, despite our differences.

History is brimming with colorful messengers (famous and non-famous alike) in whose message was born a fruitful beauty that long outlived and far outweighed their own human shortcomings. That John Denver was not always as personally strong as he might have been simply means he was no different than the rest of us.

I salute those in Salida with the courage to celebrate the vision of this unique, 20th Century poet whose musical legacy will continue to inspire many to be more caring human beings. I look forward to being a part of future gatherings in this fine mountain town.

We all see the world not as it is, but as we are.

Tim Peterson,

Dear Editor:

We just returned home from attending the John Denver Celebration and wanted to thank all those associated with making this event possible.

This was out first visit to Salida and the surrounding area. Not only was the weather perfect that weekend, but we were most impressed with the whole event. Turning the Steam Plant into a theater was such a unique idea.

We enjoyed the restaurants and gift shops so much, and only regret that we couldnt spend more time there.

We hope to return again, perhaps in the summer-- but especially for the next Celebration, too.

Mr. And Mrs. James P. Kendle
Mishawka, Indiana

Dear Editor:
We love Salida! My husband and I recently spent two weeks in your beautiful state and three enjoyable days in Salida.
We absorbed as much of Colorado's natural beauty and wonderful people as was humanly possible.
The John Denver event in Salida was one of our best Colorado memories. The great entertainment, friends we made and events at the Steam Plant and your park will always be fondly remembered.
The shops and food in Salida were great, especially at the Country Bounty and Bongo Billy's.
The people of Colorado we met were super, down to earth, and we're even entertaining the idea of maybe retiring in your area someday.
We're hoping to be able to return in the future to upcoming John Denver events in your area.
Thanks again for a great experience in your beautiful city. We will certainly recommend the experience to others.

Sandra and Bill Rogers,
Eatonton, Georgia

The 3rd Annual John Denver Celebration-Salida, Colorado, October 13 & 14, 2001

We picked up several copies of the local newspaper The Mountain Mail. In their weekend section was a full color front page of John Denver and Christine Smith and on the back page an article about all the weekends events on Saturday and Sunday.

I contacted Christine and we made arrangements to meet for breakfast very early Saturday before events started. (Ive been corresponding with her for over 3 years, so was very anxious to finally meet!) Then my friend and I proceeded to go shopping in the quaint downtown of Salida. There is a plethora of antique and gift shops that we barely made a dent in, and they werent a bit crowded as this event takes place after the summer vacationers are gone, and before the skiers start coming for the winter sports

We ended Friday with a delicious dinner of Rocky Mountain Trout, and eagerly looked forward to Saturdays events.

Surprise! At dark, on the front of one of the mountains was a big red heart in lights, with a big white J and D. (Meant John Denver, we love you.)

Had breakfast with Christine and her two assistants very early Sat. morning. How wonderful to finally meet. She was full of excitement re the Celebration! Shes a tiny bundle of energy and it amazes me how much she had accomplished towards keeping Johns legacy alive! She had wonderful news coverage and interviews about this Celebrations activities, and luckily it dawned a bright crisp day. We actually did see a few snowflakes, but the sky was again a brilliant blue and the view of the mountains - awesome! No wonder John loved them so!

I dont know exactly how many attended, but I think it was somewhere around 120...

There were around eleven musicians taking part covering a range of Johns songs from Leaving on a Jet Plane to No OneThe lighting and the acoustics were good

I was very impressed with Nancy Trottner/Len Schreiner (who sang Its A Possibility a capallea - try that some time everybody!) and Steve Jones and Christine both had admirable voices and just the right touch for the songs they sang!

There was a lovely John Denver Memorial Peace Prize given to a little eight year old girl, who had managed to collect the huge sum of $48,000 for the families of the fire fighter victims of the Sep 11 tragedyShe was also to receive a letter of commendation from the Mayor of New York, who learned about what she had done from Christine. She and her family also love JD, and she received a big trunk full of toys and his CDs.

The childrens choir sang 3 songs, and they were all as cute as could be! Christine read Johns Peace Poem, and spoke lovingly about his legacy to us all. We had a nice little lunch break at an unusual restaurant right next door - then back to the theater for the second half of the program. More beautifully sung music, some of which the audience got to chime in on. We all sang This Old Guitar, and there was many a tear, as Johns own glorious voice sang The Wings That Fly Us Home. It was just over too soon! (more events were described for Saturday night & Sunday)...

Thank you for your wonderful John Denver Celebration. What a joy it was for me to attend. My first trip to Colorado! I had wanted to see the mountains for along time because of John. I loved Salida, and deeply appreciate everything youve done to celebrate Johns legacy.

I have been renewed.

KB from Indiana

Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do on behalf of John Denvers legacyThe opportunity to hear his music performed LIVE and especially Steve Jones tribute song, made the 6 hours of driving worth itagain, thank you for keeping the music alive.

AB from Colorado


The John Denver Concert was great, your hard work was obvious. I will be there next year

WJ from Colorado


I want to let you know that we had a very good time at the Celebration that you put together. It was wonderful to get together with others who love John. I am so impressed with your sincerity and dedication to preserving Johns memory, and publicizing the causes so dear to him

We had a really great time in Salida with you, thank you for putting it together!

NM from Texas


It's been a week already since the celebration, and I still have John Denver tunes running through my mind (and heart). I can hardly imagine how much work it took to put everything together for the weekend events, but I want to thank you for that. You are obviously very dedicated to the concept of celebrating John's memory, and it showed every time you spoke about him. It was interesting to hear what other people had to say about their connection with John. We enjoyed all the entertainers, especially Steve Jones. And what a surprise to know that you can sing too!

Thanks again for a memorable weekend.

KL from Colorado


First of all, thank you so much for last weekend. It was just what I
needed, and probably I am not alone in that. It was inspirational to be
reminded of what one person can do. Not just John - although of course he
is a good example - but you. Yesterday I was telling my women's group
about the weekend and how you had pretty much organized the whole thing
yourself. I know you had help, but I was very impressed by what a big job
it must have been and how much work must have gone into it.

Next, I would like to come again next year. I don't know how far in
advance you plan the event, but I definitely want to be there next year.
I hope I'm not too late in asking!

I bought a CD while I was in Salida, one of John's which contained the
song "No One" which I had never heard before you sang it. I love it! And
while I'm on the subject, I think you have a really good voice. Have YOU
made any CDs? I would love to have one if you have!

Anyway, thank you again for the weekend. I came home feeling a lot more
hopeful about the world.

LR from Colorado

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