25-50-100 years ago
November 12, 2009
Twenty-five years ago last week, it was a proposed production at the Wheeler Opera House featuring nudity that made the news. This week, a century ago, much the same issue was a matter of concern for Aspen’s arbiters of morality. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:Last evening the clergymen of this city met with the city council to discuss the advisability of allowing the “Soul Kiss” company to appear at the Wheeler Sunday night.After all had been said and done, it was decided that the only way to decide upon the morality or the immorality of the show would be to attend the performance and adjournment was taken to the Wheeler Opera House where an interview was had with Manager Stallard. This morning the clergymen decided they would ask for an injunction to prevent the performance Sunday night as there is an old law on our statute books prohibiting shows of any nature on Sunday. However, before the clergymen could get action through Judge Shumate, Manager Stallard, learning that there was such a law, voluntarily called the show off and telegraphed the management of the “Soul Kiss” company not to come to Aspen. … In any other city in the state they have Sunday night shows and the people go to them. Something should be done to stop such sacrilegious action, and the good example of Aspen should be followed.
The success of local hunters was regularly in the news 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported: Although many local hunters reported good luck this year, unofficial honors of the season go to restaurateur Werner Kuster. On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Kuster bagged an eight-point buck in Wheatly Gulch near Snowmass which weighed 220 pounds minus head and hide. According to Al Bishop, this is the “biggest buck ever processed by the Beck and Bishop Food Locker.” It weighed 180 pounds when dressed. Hunting with Bert Simons and Bob Smith, Kuster also shot a four-point bull elk. His companions also took elk. Kuster explained that his prize deer was too heavy for a horse to carry out of the mountains in one piece. He said that he did not keep the head for a trophy. An unoccupied Red Mountain home was badly damaged in a spectacular blaze 50 years ago, according to The Aspen Times. The newspaper reported: Flames plainly visible from town consumed a major portion of a Red Mountain residence Friday, Nov. 6. However, fast action on the part of the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department prevented a total loss at the home of Francis Stanton, Chicago. The blaze “had a good head start,” according to Chief Clyde Clymer, when the firefighters raced to the scene at 4:20 p.m. Neighbors had already removed most furnishings from the dwelling and were using garden hoses to arrest the flames. Firemen wearing masks and air packs soon exhausted the contents of the 500-gallon water tank on the firetruck in an attempt to extinguish burning portions of the roof and ceiling where the blaze was the hottest. … Clymer said the building would have been a total loss if the firemen had arrived five minutes later.
“Past rhetoric” was delaying the expansion of Highway 82, according to a headline in The Aspen Times 25 years ago. It would take the better part of the next two-plus decades to get four lanes built as far as Buttermilk, along with two lanes plus two bus lanes up to the edge of Aspen. The final piece, of course, remains unbuilt. The newspaper reported: The four-laning of “Killer” Highway 82 has been mandated by over 80 percent of the population of Pitkin County. But that doesn’t mean construction begins tomorrow. It means the county must effectively cajole the State Highway Department into putting up the money, activating the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and prioritizing the highway into its crowded construction schedule. Optimistically, the four-laning of Highway 82 could begin as early as 1988. That is the word from Jim Golden, District 3 Highway Commissioner, who met with the Pitkin County Commissioners at their regular meeting Monday. “In the past we were told in the crudest of terms not to proceed on Highway 82. It was like getting hit over the head with a baseball bat,” said Golden of his previous experience with Pitkin County. Unseen, rotting walls, revealed this past summer beneath the exterior facade of one building in the Centennial housing complex in Aspen, have residents of the complex worrying about a broader problem and the cost to fix it. Twenty-five years ago, the building’s developer was advertising an open house at a model condo in the new project, and offering hot-spiced wine, champagne punch, hors d’oeuvres and door prizes (10 fresh turkeys) to entice potential residents to have a look. Read the advertisement in The Aspen Times: Centennial is now open for your inspection and admiration. It has been built for the working people of Pitkin County with all the care and pride we promised. These townhouses meet the highest standards, far beyond normal construction requirements. Our reason is to insure lasting value so that your purchase will be an outstanding investment with assured re-sale value. Centennial’s siding is all redwood for beauty and durability. The roofs are standing seam metal for ease of maintenance. And we didn’t scrimp on the insulation either. Walls and ceilings are insulated far beyond the norm. This keeps your townhouse warm, cozy and quiet. The windows are insulated with silicone that lasts longer than the standard caulking. – compiled by Janet Urquhart