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John Denver, country boy Part I

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John Denver, entertainer, singer and songwriter, died 13 years ago on October 12, 1997. He was 53 years old.

I saw John Denver twice; one was unplanned. In those pre-cell phone days, one had to find a phone to make a call. I saw John Denver as he crossed E. Durant, heading to the phones near the Silver Queen Gondola. Walking behind me, a man yelled, “Hey, Dutch!” John Denver stopped, turned and looking in our direction, grinned and waved before continuing on. That wave wasn’t for me; I know that. Yet, I still do treasure the memory of his spontaneous grin and his friendly wave.

The other time was at Mesa State College years ago, where he gave a benefit concert for Grand Junction’s St. Mary’s Hospital. We’d climbed up into the packed bleachers, and found two seats in the overflowing crowd of eager fans, all anticipating a night of “John Denver and his Music.” The lights dimmed. The stage was bathed in theater light. Two silent guitars rested on lit stands as he strolled past them, carrying another guitar. He bowed, smiled, acknowledging the applause. The enthralled crowd became completely silent. There was no other sound except John Denver’s clear voice and his guitar. No backup singers. No fireworks. No extravagant strutting back and forth. Only John Denver, plain and simple, but it was perfection itself for everyone there on that magical night.

John Denver, entertainer, singer and songwriter, died 13 years ago on October 12, 1997. He was 53 years old.

I saw John Denver twice; one was unplanned. In those pre-cell phone days, one had to find a phone to make a call. I saw John Denver as he crossed E. Durant, heading to the phones near the Silver Queen Gondola. Walking behind me, a man yelled, “Hey, Dutch!” John Denver stopped, turned and looking in our direction, grinned and waved before continuing on. That wave wasn’t for me; I know that. Yet, I still do treasure the memory of his spontaneous grin and his friendly wave.

The other time was at Mesa State College years ago, where he gave a benefit concert for Grand Junction’s St. Mary’s Hospital. We’d climbed up into the packed bleachers, and found two seats in the overflowing crowd of eager fans, all anticipating a night of “John Denver and his Music.” The lights dimmed. The stage was bathed in theater light. Two silent guitars rested on lit stands as he strolled past them, carrying another guitar. He bowed, smiled, acknowledging the applause. The enthralled crowd became completely silent. There was no other sound except John Denver’s clear voice and his guitar. No backup singers. No fireworks. No extravagant strutting back and forth. Only John Denver, plain and simple, but it was perfection itself for everyone there on that magical night.

John Denver, entertainer, singer and songwriter, died 13 years ago on October 12, 1997. He was 53 years old.

I saw John Denver twice; one was unplanned. In those pre-cell phone days, one had to find a phone to make a call. I saw John Denver as he crossed E. Durant, heading to the phones near the Silver Queen Gondola. Walking behind me, a man yelled, “Hey, Dutch!” John Denver stopped, turned and looking in our direction, grinned and waved before continuing on. That wave wasn’t for me; I know that. Yet, I still do treasure the memory of his spontaneous grin and his friendly wave.

The other time was at Mesa State College years ago, where he gave a benefit concert for Grand Junction’s St. Mary’s Hospital. We’d climbed up into the packed bleachers, and found two seats in the overflowing crowd of eager fans, all anticipating a night of “John Denver and his Music.” The lights dimmed. The stage was bathed in theater light. Two silent guitars rested on lit stands as he strolled past them, carrying another guitar. He bowed, smiled, acknowledging the applause. The enthralled crowd became completely silent. There was no other sound except John Denver’s clear voice and his guitar. No backup singers. No fireworks. No extravagant strutting back and forth. Only John Denver, plain and simple, but it was perfection itself for everyone there on that magical night.


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