25-50-100 Years Ago
A century ago, local schoolchildren didn’t have to head back to class until after Labor Day, but they did have to show up on the holiday. The Aspen-Democrat Times reported:
The city schools will open on Monday, September 6. On account of this being Labor Day, no regular work will be done. The children of the ward schools will assemble at 9:00 o’clock, enroll, receive their book lists, assignments of lessons and be dismissed. The students of the high school will assemble at 10 o’clock for short opening exercises, assignment of lessons, and then [be] dismissed for the day.
It is hoped that every boy and girl who is planing to attend school the coming year will be ready on the opening morning. Start with the school, remain with the school, and stop only when the school stops.
Parents will not need to purchase any supplies for the little beginners, but wait for the instructions from their teachers. These little people must be 6 years of age on or before November 1, in order to be eligible for enrollment at the beginning of school. They will be admitted during the first two weeks only.
Resort officials in Aspen-Snowmass recently watched with interest as Frontier Airlines, which serves the local airport, was purchased out of bankruptcy by Republic Airways. Fifty years ago, a new airplane used for commercial service between Aspen and Denver made news. The Aspen Times reported:
Confidence in the future of Aspen and maximum safety and comfort of passengers were among the reasons given by Aspen Airways operator Bert Simons for the purchase of a twin-engine airplane which went into service Thursday, August 20, between Aspen and Denver. The Beechcraft plane has individual seating for eight passengers and has special and expensive modification for good high-altitude performance, Simon said.
“Although twin-engine equipment is considerably more expensive to operate, we feel we owe it to our passengers to give them maximum safety and comfort. Also with our confidence in the continued growth of Aspen, we feel the plane will also help us to expand and attract more passengers,” Simons, a former airline captain, stated.
Simons said he “is more than satisfied with its excellent performance.” On the Friday, August 21 flight from Denver, the plane climbed at the rate of 4,000 feet per minute to 14,000 feet with a large load, he pointed out.
He also noted that the airplane will operate with a heavy load on one engine into Aspen, Denver or airports enroute. The plane is turquoise and brown, with a brown and white nylon interior.
There is no reservoir on the Crystal River south of Redstone, but a dam on the river was under consideration 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:
Placita, on the Crystal River above Redstone in Pitkin County, has been recommended by the Colorado River Water Conservation District as the site of a proposed reservoir, it was announced by the group last week.
Philip P. Smith of Glenwood Springs, secretary-engineer of the water agency, chose the site as one of six given consideration to provide water for the shale industry, which is expected to develop in the Rifle and De Beque area in the next few years.
The Aspen Music Festival recently concluded its 60th anniversary season. Twenty-five years ago, the festival had just wrapped up a financially successful 35th annual run. The Aspen Times reported:
Climbing rapidly out of the financial hole it was deep in two years ago, the Aspen Music Festival and its affiliated organizations are reporting good news at the end of the 35th annual season.
The box office staff, in particular, is gleeful about its figures this summer (figures are from the end of the seventh week of the nine-week festival).
Projected ticket revenues for 1984 are 17% higher than 1983, and the festival, according to Music Associates of Aspen box office records, has stayed right on its targeted figures all summer, and is currently $42,000 ahead of 1983 ticket sales.
Some of the concerts that have shown the greatest increase in popularity are the chamber music events, at which attendance is up 52 percent this year over last, according to MAA figures.
Other records show that Festival Orchestra attendance is up 25 percent this year (witness the line at last Sunday’s Verdi Requiem).
The Tippler was toppled to make way for The Residences at The Little Nell at the base of Aspen Mountain, but 25 years ago, the disco fondly nicknamed “The Crippler” was a noisy place, according to its neighbors. The Aspen Times reported:
Rock ‘n’ roll and trash.
They both make too much noise, according to a civil complaint filed by the North of Nell Condominium Association, 555 E. Durant Ave., on behalf of 42 residents.
Named in the suit was Sirous Saghatolesami doing business as the Copper Kettle, commonly known as The Tippler.
The plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages, but they would like the volume turned down on the music and the metal trash dumpster, according to a complaint filed in District Court.
“In addition to the music, the manner in which the defendant chooses to empty the evening’s trash at the Tippler not only qualifies as a nuisance in fact, but is a display of unparalleled arrogance, contempt for and insensitivity to one’s neighbors,” the complaint states.
The pie-throwing incident involving local bus drivers was in the news for a second week in August 1984. The Aspen Times reported:
Transit system general manager Greg Fitzpatrick has tendered his resignation, citing a recent pie throwing incident and his apparent lack of control over the hybrid system’s motley crew of drivers.
Fitzpatrick, 31, submitted his resignation at an executive session last Tuesday morning. The Roaring Fork Transit Agency directors are expected to act on it next Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 5 p.m. in the Pitkin County Courthouse.
“The board decided that I’m not the manager they’d like to have running their system,” Fitzpatrick said. “The pie was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
RFTA bus driver Will Stuhr planted a coconut cream pie in the face of transit agency board member Dwight Shellman Aug. 9, following a hearing on supervisory staffing and pay levels. Shellman was accused of being insensitive to driver needs and complaints.
-compiled by Janet Urquhart
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Aspen’s dirty downtown alleys are enough of a blight that the city government is taking the initiative to clean them up this week.