1966: ’65 permits set building record
In celebrating the 125th anniversary of The Aspen Times, we are printing a story or two from each year the newspaper has existed – 125 historical selections in 125 days. This series is in conjunction with the Aspen Historical Society. ’65 permits set building recordAlthough the value of building permits issued in the Aspen area during 1965 did not reach $8 million as anticipated, it still broke all records for this area at $7,837,258.The 1965 figures were released this week in a year-end report issued by Hank Thurston, Pitkin county and city of Aspen Building Inspector.The report also showed that during the month of December area building permits amounted to $260,660. Of this, $57,385 worth of permits were issued in the city and $205,275 in the county.A breakdown of the annual figures show that buildings in the county during 1965 were valued at $5,265,119 and those in the city at $2,572,139.Also setting new records was the value placed on permits for one-family houses constructed in the county last year. This reached a total of $2,564, 105. similar figures for the city showed a $373,203 value.Most valuable single category in the city was the one for hotels, motels and lodges. This came to $784,920 in Aspen and $719,600 in Pitkin County.An increase in building activity was also noted for apartment houses with a $553,000 value in the city and $428,600 in the county.Value placed on building permits for school construction during 1965 was $696,000 in the county and $132,404 in the city. (Jan. 27) FBI arrests one of most wanted menOne of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives was arrested in Aspen last Friday by federal authorities.James Robert Bishop, 47, was working here under the name of James O’Shea. He was employed as a kitchen helper at Guido’s Restaurant.According to FBI officials, Bishop arrived here by bus on Thursday, Jan. 20. He was told to register with the Aspen police department by his employer when he arrived for work and Friday and reportedly told a cook that he was going to leave town rather than be fingerprinted.Law enforcement authorities, acting under a federal warrant charging unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for robbery, traced him here and arrived only hours after Bishop did.Bishop is charged with a 1963 gunpoint robbery of a Phoenix supermarket manager. He was unarmed at the time of his arrest and offered no resistance.He was transferred to Denver from the Pitkin County jail Friday evening and arraigned before the U.S. Commissioner on Monday. (Jan. 27)National curling tourney in Sept.Enthusiasm generated by last weekend’s curling competition here between Denver and Aspen teams has resulted in a larger-scale return match April 15 through 17 and plans for a national bonspiel at Aspen Sept. 1-4.In the weekend tilts, Denver sweepers won three out of four contests at the Brown Ice Palace. Saturday, they posted 8-4 and 9-7 victories.On Sunday, the Carbondale Quik Brooms registered the only local win, an 8-7 triumph. Denver bested Aspenites in the final 13-5.Aspen’s shoemaker humiliated, angry An interpretive reportAspen May lose its shoemaker. After 10 years Joseph Herczeg is ready to give up: not because business is bad or he no longer wants to work, but because he is humiliated and angry. For the first time since he escaped his native Hungary during the abortive revolution of 1956 he feels that he has been cheated by an American; and mistreated by an American court.Herczeg risked his life to escape Communist suppression. Born and raised in Sentgothard, Hungary, 59 years ago, he has been a leather worker and shoemaker since the age of 14. When he escaped the Russians and their Hungarian minions during the Freedom Fighter uprising he brought with him his wife Maria and their daughter Elizabet. They chose Aspen as a place in which to settle and work. And Aspen benefited. It has never had a friendlier, more had working family. With the aid of a few donations he bought shoe repairing machines and took his place in the community. During the past 10 years he trusted his customers and they trusted him.His faith was destroyed in March. A young woman brought him an old pair of boots to repair. She was in a rush and asked if they could be done the next day. Herczeg worked into the night to finish the boots. The next day a young man came; identified the boots and took them. He said he was the owner’s boy friend.Two days later the girl returned and asked for her boots. Herczeg explained that they had been picked up. She left without further comment. Several days later she returned and again asked for the boots. Mr. Herczeg does not speak or understand English very well, but he tired to explain again that her friend had the boots.In April he received a summons to County Court. On May 11 he appeared before the court. The girl claimed her boots were worth $25. She was not asked for a repair ticket or proof of the boots’ worth. Herczeg was required to pay her claimed value for the boots plus the court costs. He did not understand the proceedings or that an attorney might have aided him.Now he is upset. Not because of the money. He has been thrifty and can afford the loss. But because he feels dishonored. He feels that his trust has been violated and he no longer wishes to ply his trade in Aspen.Aspen needs a shoemaker. It needs Mr. Herczeg. We would like to apologize to him for the shoddy treatment he received. Unfortunately, humans are not all honorable. We hope he will consider his decision to close his shop. (May 26)
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A recent survey of Aspen residents shows that people are happy here, feel safe but are financially insecure.