Correction: Turns out “CL” McClure, credited for the historic Dinkel Building photo in last week’s issue, is more likely Louis Charles (LC) McClure (a famous photographer up through his death in the 1950s). 

Monday morning
The night was loooooong. Tossing and turning, thrashing, moaning and groaning. Waiting, waiting for that blessed dawn light. When will it come? It will never come. When will I see the light? You will never see the light.

Finally I fell asleep and collapsed into a fever-dream of a nightmare. I was on my trike. It was black. The road was black. I was black. The landscape was completely white and featureless. Coming up to a black crossroads, I wasn’t really paying attention when off to the right a cartoonish black hearse suddenly appeared, three stories tall and pencil-thin, tilting crazily, hurtling toward me. It smashed me to smithereens! Like a cartoon, pieces of me flying everywhere. I jolted awake, so startled that I tumbled out of bed.

But I was COVID-weak and immediately crumpled to the floor. I struggled upright and found I couldn’t breathe. Breathe in … nothing. Breathe out … nothing. I just couldn’t get a breath in there. Panic! Struggling and stumbling around trying to breathe. It wasn’t a minute. It probably wasn’t even 30 seconds. Twelve truly terrifying seconds, having just dreamed my own death. Finally I got a breath of air and immediately collapsed again to the floor, coughing my lungs out while trying to breathe in. It was such a paroxysm that I puked.

I’ve never been so happy to puke.

Luke Nestler, Downstream

P.S. Luke wants to reassure his friends that this episode was the nadir of his ongoing bout with COVID. Though he is very easily winded, he’s still alive and kicking. He wants to thank everyone for all the good thoughts and prayers and reminds people not to underestimate this virus, like he did.

Re: Democracy 
Our wise Founding Fathers knew the evils of run-away, unchecked, overbearing government — witnessed for centuries in Europe — so they created a Constitutional Republic with distinct rules of law to follow. Never once does the term democracy occur in any of the founding documents. However, there are numerous quotes by the brilliant Founders warning of the inherent dangers of majority-rule democracy. Somehow Mr. Neff (in a letter to the editor in last week’s issue) fabricated a definition of democracy that includes many of the attributes of our Constitutional laws.

Democracy is quite simple in the dictionary (1974 Mirriam-Webster): “government by the people; rule of the majority; …power vested in the people; absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.” Nothing in the definition about free speech, rights, terms of service, etc., as they are listed in the hard-to-change laws of our Constitution.

“Democracy” is one the most misused terms by most politicians, which causes my balderdash meter to vibrate. If democracy were the law of the USA, then women could rule since they are the largest majority. That might work if the ladies were led by the likes of Candace Owens, who understands the Constitution, the dangers of big government and human nature better than 95% of Americans.

But should any majority be allowed to rule over the Constitutional rights of the minority? Fortunately, there are several issues that require more than a 50% majority: two-thirds of the States to change the Constitution; 60% of the Senate for cloture to allow a bill to be heard; 100% unanimous decision of a jury for several cases.

Here are my favorite quotes on democracy to better understand the misconception:

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” -Benjamin Franklin, 1759

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”  -Alexander Tyler (1747-1813)

“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” -H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

“Knowing that a democracy is a government of men in which the tyranny of the majority rules, America’s Founding Fathers wisely created a republic — a government ruled by law.” John F. McManus

On liberalism and democracy: “Moochers electing Looters to steal from producers.” -T-shirt

Democracy is the mob of people telling Pilate to crucify Jesus. Democracy always leads to mobocracy and tyranny.

In summary, we all need to study true history.

…and to the Constitutional Republic for which it stands,

Jerry Law, Glenwood Springs

The Chris Klug Foundation (CKF) wishes to express heartfelt gratitude and deep appreciation for our 2022 Summit for Life participants, sponsors, volunteers, fundraising donors, vendors and staff. This year we were finally fully back in-person, and we are humbled by the incredible turnout of supporters. We had 405 registered participants! 

Thank you to our Summit Level Sponsors: Aspen Valley Hospital, The Aspen Times, Paradise Bakery and Duck Company; our Spar Gulch Level Sponsors: Aspen Square Hotel, Aspen Snowmass and The Little Nell; our Ajax Level Sponsor: Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s; our Support Sponsors: Kahtoola, Alpine Bank and Deep River Snacks; our Community Sponsors: Ute Mountaineer, Donor Alliance, Obermeyer Wood and Aspen Sojourner; Other Sponsors: Bank of Colorado and the Carbondale Farmers’ Market; and our In-Kind Sponsors: Osmia, Yerba Mate, Ledlenser, Point6, Deuter, Rocky Talkie, REI Coop, Ironbridge Golf Course, 5Point Film Festival, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Sundae, Mantis BBQ, Ignik, Bobo’s Bars, Ace Hardware, Ortovox, Maui Jim Sunglasses, New York Pizza, Jen’s Cafe Bars and Scott Fly Rod Company. 

Specials thanks to Joey and Natalie with Aspen Snowmass, Taylor and Chef Matt with The Little Nell, Mark and Dyan with Paradise Bakery, Mark, Scott, Dennis, David and Tom with Midnight Lightning, Joe with Six Productions, Cath and Tyler with CJ Timing, Adam with Brooks Production, Matthew with SMPL CO, Michael Bond, Todd and Melissa with Mountain Creative, Lucas with Social Light Photography and DJ Tenza. 

Huge thank yous to our volunteers who worked tirelessly stuffing racer bags, helping with check-in, loading and unloading the gondola, representing CKF at our info booth, braving the cold at the aid stations, distributing medals and announcing at the finish line, organizing the awards table and working gondola security. We absolutely could not pull off this event without them!

We were honored to present the Michael Wells Inspirational Award to Robbie Wade and the Wade family. Thank you Bob, Genny, Ruth and Maile for accepting this award and sharing such beautiful and touching memories of Robbie. 

Congratulations to our Bounce Back Give Back Award recipients from the past three years: Joelle Atkinson, Zach Brooks and Jen Lentini. We continue to be amazed by the way you live your lives, and your incredible representation of what it means to be an organ recipient. 

Summit for Life 2022 fundraising efforts exceeded $80,000. We would like to commend Denise Zubrod and Team DFL for their exceptional fundraising efforts, raising over $5,000 individually and $15,000 collectively. 

Thank you all again so much for your support, hard work and commitment to organ, eye and tissue donation awareness and recognition. Mark your calendars for Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 for our 18th Annual Summit for Life! 

Anna, Chris and Jessi, CKF