Vail versus BB&B |

Vail versus BB&B

Staff Reports

Dear Editor:So I read that BB&B is not on for this year, a decision made by a new breed of stodgy, middle-aged types bent on taking away everything that is fun. We tried our best to keep these sedentary beings out of our mountains, but alas, they are among us, mucking things up as bureaucrats are wont to do.Vail, Vail Resorts, et al., for shame: Agreeing with this Wettstein character puts you as far away from your origins as a wild ski town as you have ever been. While Crested Butte proudly retains a tad of its uncultivated childhood, Wettstein and others of his ilk hope to make the mountain experience in Vail as bland as a trip to Wal-Mart.Drug overdoses, lawsuits? Since BB&B began in the early ’80s, I wonder how many serious incidents have occurred at this festive occasion. The times I attended, people were taking care of one another, more or less (one does have to take some personal responsibility), and the ski patrol and the law would roll through on snowmobiles every hour or so to check on the party. In an age of over-reaching authority and the continuing disappearance of anything jovial, this amount of supervision at BB&B was ideal.But then Wettstein, Ashcroft and others showed up on the scene, spreading a message of fear and lies. Locally, the fear comes from lawyers lurking in the shadows, ready to sue, and this scares the Forest Service and VR. Nationally, it’s a message from the government that mild-mannered AIDS patients who toke reefer are helping terrorists (never mind Reagan’s arms sales in the ’80s). All of this is insane, which is why BB&B was always such a relief. It was a chance to relax, laugh and forget about, if only for four or five hours, the unpleasantness so pervasive in the world.Trash, human waste? Give me a break. Doesn’t seem that hard to me to put out some trash cans and port-a-potties. No, the unfortunate rationale behind the canceling of BB&B is based of litigation trepidation. Which is truly pathetic, because the mountains usually don’t attract mild-mannered accountant types only looking at the bottom line. Imagine if the founders of our great ski areas had given in to fear. Thankfully, they didn’t. But I shudder when I think of what is happening to the once free-spirited ski industry.I do, however, believe there is hope. Despite threats of a police state on Vail Mountain to ensure no FUN on BB&B’s appointed day (that’s sure to impress the tourists), this event has never been sanctioned, sanctified or OK’d. It’s an underground shindig, a clandestine hootenanny, and badges, we don’t need no stinkin’ badges: Let’s have the party in a new, secret spot. Vail, don’t forget your true nature: Skiing and the mountains are dangerous and fun, just like our parties.That’s something a bureaucrat will never understand. His loss.Chad AbrahamCarbondaleEditor’s note: Chad Abraham is a former copy editor for the Vail Trail and currently works for the Aspen Times.Beyond the passI thoroughly enjoyed the article on bi-polar as well as on Jim LaMont. There is a world beyond Vail Pass and we need to become more aware of real life issues and real life people. It doesn’t hurt to raise the valley’s consciousness and awareness.Thanks!Gilda Kaplan

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