rocky mountain high

It was a story my friend Ray Finfer–the Texas Tech classmate of my first husband Rich–loved to tell. Ray had been the resident advisor at one of the Tech dorms during the 60s. One of the students, a quiet, glasses-wearing guy who spent most of his time playing his guitar, had stopped by to tell him goodbye, saying he was heading out to seek his future and fortune in the music business.  To which ever-cynical Ray had replied “Yeah, sure you are, John.”

Ten years later, when Ray shared the incident with me, we both laughed.  For John Deutschendorf, Jr., of Texas Tech had transformed into John Denver, and his music was fast becoming the soundtrack for Colorado in the 70s. For all of us transplants, the lyric line “coming home to a place he’d never been before” was a soul-deep sentiment.

Tonight, the Denver & Colorado Tourism Industry Hall of Fame, is honoring John Denver posthumously. It’s one of many tributes paid since the singer/songwriter/environmental activist died in a light plane crash in California. One of my favorites is the sanctuary in Aspen where his songs are inscribed on stones in a place of grass and trees and four-season changes. You can take a 360-degree tour by clicking here.

Thanks, John, for venturing out in such a way that–decades later– you still cause our thoughts to venture in.

Image via Wikipedia


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