25-50-100 years ago …
A century ago, The Aspen Democrat-Times reported regularly on the ongoing revival meetings taking place nightly at the Wheeler Opera House. At one of the gatherings, the guest evangelist condemned professed Christians for taking part in cards, theater or dance. The newspaper reported:
For nearly two hours last evening, Dr. Hamilton spoke to the largest body of people ever assembled for worship in Aspen.
Among the things Dr. Hamilton had to say in his discourse were:
“I am speaking especially to the professed Christian people because they have pledged loyalty to Jesus Christ. There may be some who would say ‘I am a member of the church, I do not care whether my life is for or against Jesus Christ.’ This is my message to them: You are a disgrace to your church, your pastor and the Christ whom you falsely profess to follow.
“I have never known one card playing, dancing, theater-going church member who is winning souls to Jesus Christ. Happiness is not the result of doing things wrong or questionable, but true happiness is the result of holding oneself in check and in not doing these things.”
Dr. Hamilton then took up the discourse of the evening: “Cards, theater and dancing.”
• • • •
Athletics, presumably, were not an affront to Christianity. The Aspen Democrat-Times, at least, gave an upcoming basketball a front-page plug:
Hurrah! Hurray! Hurroo! Did you ever hear anything to beat it?
Next Saturday evening at Fraternal hall, the Aspen people will have the greatest opportunity of their lives to see the fastest games of basketball ever played in the state.
The first game will be a contest between the eighth grade girls and the girls of the freshman class of the high school. Both teams claim that the victory will be easy but it remains to be seen which team is calling the turn.
And then will come a game between the lady teachers and the first team of the high school girls. Here again we hear that both are confident of victory and our sym is given beforehand to the losing team.
And last but not least comes the game between the Salida High School boys and the Aspen High School boys.
The visitors have the honor of being considered one of the fastest basketball aggregations in the state, but of course, they will be up against the real thing when they line up [against] the home team.
These days, Stay Aspen Snowmass exists as a central reservations agency. Formation of such an entity was in the discussion stages 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:
A central reservation service is definitely needed in Aspen and should be run as a community effort, it was decided by members of the Hotel Owners Association at their regular meeting Wednesday evening, March 2.
Attending the three-hour session in the Hotel Jerome were about 45 hotel owners and managers, the largest attendance of the year, according to President Mrs. Ed Brennan.
Mrs. Brennan explained that most of the meeting was taken up with a detailed discussion of reservations and of the plan recently adopted by the Chamber of Commerce.
At a recent meeting, the directors of the chamber voted to keep its office open full time and provide a reservation service. They decided to finance this new service by charging a 5% fee to hotels for reservations made.
• • • •
More ski racing was headed Aspen’s way 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:
Plans have been completed here for the country’s most important junior ski tournament, the National Alpine Junior Championships, it was announced this week by the meet-sponsoring Aspen Ski Club.
According to club secretary Ruth Whyte, 185 of the nation’s best boy and girl racers are expected for the next three alpine events scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 17, 18 and 19.
• • • •
The Times also reported on a record elk hunt the previous fall in Colorado:
Statewide, a new record of 10,820 [elk] were taken by hunters during the 1959 season, official figures compiled by the Colorado Game and Fish Dept. revealed this week.
Although statistics were not detailed by county or regional hunting areas, it is assumed that the kills made in the vicinity of Aspen were also higher than in previous seasons. The state lists the Woody Creek and Fryingpan areas as prime elk hunting regions.
Twenty-five years ago, the pages of the then-weekly Aspen Times were filled with articles associated with upcoming World Cup racing on Aspen Mountain. Men’s downhill and giant slalom races were scheduled. Eyes would be on Aspen, the newspaper reported:
The most significant impact economic impact brought on by hosting the World Cup might also be the most difficult to measure, according to local officials.
During the average minute of last year’s CBS Sports Sunday program, which included coverage of the World Cup Aspen visit, some 8.1 million viewers were tuned in.
CBS research manager Tom Watson said some 10.8 million households watched some portion of the multi-sports event program that day.
CBS will package its Aspen World Cup coverage this weekend with same-day coverage of the World Figure Skating Championships from Japan, according to Doug Richardson, World Cup associated director for CBS Sports in New York.
“It’s the biggest weekend we will have this winter,” Richardson said. “A rough estimate would be that some 17 to 18 million people will be watching.”
• • • •
And, a local magazine cover, though it had nothing to do with World Cup, apparently caused a stir on the cusp of the races. The Aspen Times reported:
The graphic artist who designed the Winternational poster was surprised earlier this week to learn that another piece of his work had caused a bit of a ruckus at World Cup headquarters.
David Ramaley’s cover of aspen, the magazine, which hit the stands this week, prompted Bill Hayes, head of operations at the World Cup headquarters in the Continental Inn, to pull the magazine from the local publications displayed there and offered free to World Cup participants.
The cartoon cover shows a man kissing a woman as a lead-in for a story titled “Life in the Fast Lane,” a journalistic article directed at the question: “Is it possible to create an enduring relationship here?”
“But what if our love fails?” asks the man to himself as he kisses the woman on the cover. “We’ll blame it on Aspen,” is the woman’s response.
Hayes said he regretted pulling the magazine from the table, saying, in retrospect, there was nothing offensive about the cover.
– compiled by Janet Urquhart
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