Life after death: "A Hard Hit," the January 24 story about the short but meaningful life of Eric Scott, rivals any piece of investigative journalism I've read. Eric Scott was proof that a young street person can turn his life around. That he helped so many others along the way, with everything from food and clothing to HIV medication and financial advice, reveals what an astonishing phenomenon he was. He chose to have Pan instead of Sisyphus tattooed on his lower back in what would appear to be a deliberate expression of his determination to overcome every obstacle fate threw his way.
My own children are older than Eric Scott was when he died, but as a longtime denizen of central Denver, I have seen the easy mix of youth and drugs. Eric Scott touched friends and strangers with his success in choosing a new life. Shame on the police and other "public servants" who failed him so miserably. Kudos to David Holthouse for his fine writing and fearless investigating, and to Westword for printing the story.
Practice what you teach: I just wanted to take a moment to compliment you on "A Hard Hit," one of the best articles I have read in a long time. As an ER nurse in Denver, I often meet the "kids" in this article. Eric Scott sounds like an angel, even though he didn't always involve himself in angelic businesses. But anyone who can beat the odds he faced and pull himself up the way he did deserves a few allowances. More important, he taught others what he had learned. If everyone in this world took the time to teach others what they knew...well, just think where we might be as a society. Anyway, thanks so much for such an inspiring article about such an inspiring man.
Credit report: As a non-regular reader of Westword, I am contacting you in appreciation of "A Hard Hit." As I looked at the cover, I thought to myself, "How is this kid (my probably wrong assumption regarding everyone working at Westword) going to spin a drug dealer into a fallen angel?" I found myself engulfed in David Holthouse's writing style and pleased, to say the least, that he wasn't trying to justify Eric Scott's occupation by highlighting his righteous daily life; rather, he was reporting a newsworthy story. I do not condone or condemn Scott's lifestyle or his occupation, as I believe there are later judgments that will happen in a person's life. I am simply expressing my enlightenment to your paper and applauding Holthouse on his investigative style and report.
I haven't ever written to a newspaper editor or anything of the sort in my life, but upon reading this article, I felt compelled to write and give credit where it is due, for a job well done.
Straight to the heart: Let me start by saying I have never read an article that has moved me as much as this one did. I have read it over and over, and still it makes me cry. I was very sorry to hear what happened to Eric Scott. He touched my heart, and I never even met him. I am sorry that the Denver Police Department did not listen to those who knew what he wanted done after he passed. Also, it seems that they are not trying to bring his killer to justice.
Damn the asshole who took this incredible life from our world.
Setting the scene: I just read the piece on Eric Scott and wanted to compliment you. I used to work at the Spot, and my best friend lived at Urban Peak. We were those kids ten or twelve years ago. I'm a magazine editor in New York now, but it brought back memories, good and bad, and David Holthouse described the scenes artfully. Just my two cents, but I thought the piece was great.
New York, NY
Like a good neighbor: Thank you so much for your very well-researched and very poignant tribute to a remarkable young man. Although your article detailed the youngsters that Eric Scott touched and helped, he was also a good friend and neighbor to all with whom he came in contact, regardless of their age or lifestyle. I had the privilege to live in the same house as Eric (the former Crystal Palace) for a year, and next door to him for an additional seven years. Not a kinder soul was there to be found. For all the "unconventionalism" of his lifestyle, he was truly a wonderful human being. His death absolutely devastated our neighborhood. I do not fit the description that one would usually think of as Eric's friend. I am a 36-year-old travel agent (until September 11...I now work for Frontier Airlines) who has never taken drugs except for some very minor experimentation with pot in my early teens.