I just wanted to thank you for this year's Best of Denver issue. It is absolutely the best guide there is to Denver, and I'm sure I will enjoy it for a long time to come.

Helen Franklin

I was just reading your Best of Denver and had to stop myself from laughing to death. Y'all don't have anything that could constitute you as the best. This place sucks. I come from Austin, Texas. That's a place that is the best. We have SXSW (South by Southwest), Freedom Fest, Pecan Street Festival, Best of Austin unsigned bands, 6th Street, Al Jourgensen, Jello Biafra, KNACK, KROCK, etc. So when you guys can compare and not give the rest of the world the image of a Cold War eastern bloc country, then y'all should publish a Best of Denver. Until then, I wouldn't humiliate myself again. Why don't you just sit down with the kiddies and let Austin lead?

Anthony Rivas

Editor's note: The Best of Denver's award to Lenny Jaramillo for "Best Deathbed Confessions" now seems particularly prescient. The 37-year-old Out Front columnist, who'd written so movingly--and candidly--about his daily battle with AIDS, died the day before the Best of Denver went to press. In the June 22 issue of Out Front, he had warned: "i'm afraid the end is coming i went back to my doctor and I have lost another four pounds i'm down to 118 at this rate I won't have to commit suicide the disease will kill me...i was talking to a friend and told him i was afraid i was going to die and he replied "if that's what you want" at which point i told him to fuck off and hung up on him more of that new-age bullshit..."

Jaramillo actually lived to write one more column, which was published posthumously on July 6. It's reprinted below:

"It's been one thing after another lately. I was supposed to be hospitalized for a blood transfusion, but I've decided not to do it. I'm very tired. I feel like things keep piling up.

"It meant a lot to me to listen to Elton John's `The Last Song' while my Dad, Kathy, Gilberto and Donaciano gathered around me and comforted me. That song has a lot of relevance to PWAs, particularly when it comes to winning and losing battles and about the love between a father and son.

"Donaciano, you're gold. You remind me of my mother. I want you and Kathy to help my Dad make it through this. There's some things he can take care of and other things he can't handle by himself.

"It's almost hard to believe I'm slipping away so fast, but a lot of this is a result of decisions I've made.

"One last request before I go night-night: Play that "Chant" CD by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Solis. That was a gift to me from Ronn MacGregor.

"I'm thirsty. I'm not thirsty.
"I won't be around to wear that sage crown that Gilberto was going to make for me.

"This is my last column. I'm ready to go.
"See ya.

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