Man, this place is a real gas. I still feel new to town even though I have been lurking in the alleys and irrigation ditches around here for over a year. There’s still so much to see and do.

I’m slowly ticking things off the list but I feel like I’m just getting started.

I saw my first “Blues From the Top” concerts and will be hanging around this weekend for the 36th annual Winter Park Jazz Festival. Hard to believe that there have already been 35 of these jazz festivals and I never even heard of it.

I moved to Aspen in 1982 and I like to joke with people around here that, “We are Aspen. And we will absorb you.”

You can see some of the telltale signs of Aspenization but y’all do concerts a little differently on this side of the hill. Like all those camp chairs. When I saw mountains of camp chairs piled up at the Rendezvous Event Center I was wondering what the heck was going on. Free camp chairs? Sit yourself down? Classic! Thank you.

I’ve lurked in the Cooper Creek Square in Winter Park for some live music and guess what? Yep. Free camp chairs.

I still haven’t been out to Grand Lake but I’m going this summer and hope to find camp chairs in abundance.

I’m still trying to figure out where Hideaway Park ends and the Rendezvous Events Center begins but that is one heck of a venue. Winter Park has invested in music and it really comes to life at the festivals.

I’m pinching myself because I get to run a camera for the JUMBOTRON at this weekend’s show. The crew is led by Mike Turner of the Winter Park Times and Channel 18 Outside Television. Doing this work comes with great responsibility and challenges. I get to influence what people see on the screen and everyone likes looking at a screen, especially something so big and tempting as the JUMBOTRON.

It’s challenging to watch an entire concert through an eyepiece, especially if you are running the wireless stage camera. There are so many things to trip over when you are walking backward, panning and zooming and following someone with one eye open. Ironically, I often think that I have a really fun or creative shot but end up learning that I really don’t when I look over at the directors chair and he’s shaking his head, “no.”

The stage-cam was particularly intense when I ran the camera for the over-the-top funk-rock Los Angeles band, “Vintage Trouble,” who played at the Blues from the Top concert. Lead singer Ty Taylor was all over the place including all the way across the field and practically over at the hot dog place. There was no following him through the crowd but I kept the lens trained on him, zoomed all the way out. Those cameras are heavy and I was shaking like a California earthquake, and of course, my shot was unusable on the JUMBOTRON. I promised that I would stage dive, crowd surf and run after the artist next time. You gotta give your all.

I like jazz and R&B and this weekend’s shows include the soulful sounds of headliners Fantasia and Keith Sweat. This is going to be just like the big city except with camp chairs and a pretty good chance of a cool breeze.

This morning I was hanging out with Chris Buckley, a Celtic fiddler from the band, “The Here and Now.” They are playing at the Historic Fraser Church on August 8. Chris played a couple of Irish numbers on my radio show at KFFR. Then my dog, “Chooch” cornered a chipmunk at the office. He’s wigging out as we speak. We took the crazy dogs to the Willow Creek Reservoir and let them become soggy doggies. “Starling” got in the water one last time and then jumped in the car and shook it off in my face. This place is a real gas!

Steve Skinner likes the blue camp chairs best. Reach him at