25-50-100 years ago
September 19, 2006
Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.It was harvest time (see photo) in the Roaring Fork Valley, as the paper reported with a Woody Creek dateline,The Bourg Bros. have now completely rigged their fine threshing machine with patent self-feeder, wind stacker, self-bagger and some very effective contrivances of their own make which will greatly improve their already excellent outfit. Everyone has had the boys do work for them. They are all expert workmen and with the above improvements they will be able to do better and more work than ever. The headline read “A REVOLVER AND A KNIFE,” and the subhead, “Created Considerable Excitement Last Night – Bedlam Turned Loose in the City Jail”:Early last evening, Miss Elizabeth Gordon, a hand-painted beauty, for many years a resident of that eminently aristocratic section of Durant street commonly known as the “red light” district, accumulated an elegant “jag” and went to the barbershop of Chas. Sistig on Hyman avenue and drawing a revolver attempted to take a few shots at the proprietor. Luckily for Mr. Sistig the gun missed fire [sic]. Several customers in the shop seized the infuriated woman and held her until the arrival of Marshal Irving, who conducted her to the city jail. An examination of the revolver showed that Miss Gordon had snapped the hammer on two empty shells.After being placed in jail, Elizabeth amused herself by breaking the lights of glass and a small window and screeching so loudly that she was heard several blocks away. The language she used would make the most hardened roué turn green with envy or disgustLater in the evening she was released on bond and immediately “hiked” to the rear of the barbershop where she had another spasm. When the police arrived she had disappeared. At a late hour she had not been rearrested.At about 10:30 last night two young fellows got into a scrap over a pool game.The story as told by eyewitnesses is that when the scrap was well on, William Connors interfered to stop the fight. As he was separating the combatants Frank Mize objected to Connors stopping the mill and attacked him. In the mix-up it is alleged that Mize struck Connors several times in the face and on the head with the butt end of a pocketknife, the blade being closed.Deputy Sheriff Michael McNichols stepped up and stopped the fight, arresting Mize.Both fighters were covered with blood. An examination showed that Connors had received several bad jabs on the cheek and on the forehead, and Dr. Guthrie was called who found it necessary to take several stitches in some of the wounds.Deputy McNichols turned his prisoner loose and made him promise to be good.
The Aspen Hose Team (see photo) did the hometown proud at the Mesa County Fair. An article – with the dateline Grand Junction – reported,The wet hose contest, which took place here at 10:30 this morning, was rather a tame affair. There were but two teams contesting, the Grand Junction and Aspen teams. The local team made the first run. They got away in good shape and ran over the course in 30 4-5 seconds, but fell down on coupling, resulting in a blowoff connection. They were allowed no time and were down and out.The Aspen boys ran with the Grand Junction hose cart and went down the course at an easy gait, made fine connections and got water through their nozzle in 38 seconds and were awarded first money. They had no time to beat and they took it easy being assured of first honors.Tomorrow the teams will contest in the straight run, and it is anticipated both teams will make fast runs.The paper addressed an issue 100 years ago that’s still a concern today for local merchants.Four hundred and seven catalogues from Montgomery, Ward & Co. were received in the city yesterday, addressed to Aspen people. It is to be hoped that none of them will be used to the extent of purchasing goods from this Chicago house that does nothing for Aspen, the town in which we are making our living. Look at the pictures dear people but buy not. You can do just as well and better with the home merchants, and besides you will see what you are buying.
Although it was still September, the ski-race calendar was filling up, the paper reported,Thirty people attended the Aspen Ski Club’s [see photo] first meeting of the fall. …Club members set up a schedule of races to the Southern Rocky Mountain Ski Association for sanction and approval.Under the proposed schedule, Aspen’s first race of the winter will be the Intercollegiate Meet, sponsored by the University of Wyoming on Dec. 15-16.Planned for Jan. 19-20 is the Aspen Junior 3-way Invitational and Western Regional Junior Championships.Aspen’s famed Roch Cup races are tentatively set for Feb. 22-24. This represents a change on the National and International competition schedule.Last race for the winter in Aspen will be the National Alpine Championships which are slated for March 1-3.The Aspen Ski Club will host the annual meeting of the Southern Rocky Mountain Ski Association here on Oct. 6-7.The Music Associates of Aspen had split off from the mother ship, the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. The new organization proudly announced,According to Music Associates of Aspen chairman Courtlandt D. Barnes, Jr., for the first time in the history of the Music Festival, there will be no end-of-season deficit. …Aspenites and out-of-towners increased their pledges and contributions for 1956, box office receipts were up and the school enrollment was considerably larger than other years. …Mr. Barnes emphasized that, until now, the MAA has operated on an austerity budget. …At present, pianos are rented for the summer, and the shipping costs in themselves are very high.He went on to say that the musicians have received no salary increase in six years, while their living costs, notably rents, have increased by an average of 50 percent.
Unlike the results of last weekend’s Ruggerfest, the BATS beat the Gentlemen of Aspen in 1981 (see photo). Mick Ireland reported,A good team and a bad call put an end to the Gentlemen’s dream of a Ruggerfest championship Sunday, but Aspen players are already looking forward to another season.Though most of the 1,000 fans watching the finals of the Ruggerfest were untutored in the laws of the game, even the observers more than 100 yards from the scene of the decisive play felt something was amiss when one of the visiting BATS [Bay Area Touring Side] picked up the pigskin and walked by Aspen scrum half Hugh McHardy unmolested for the decisive try. …Though Aspen was playing its best rugby of the game, the BATS drove to within 2 yards of the Aspen goal, setting up the decisive call by the referee. The BATS offensive was ended when referee Russell awarded Aspen a free kick. Under the laws of rugby, the defense may rush at the kicker and his team as soon as the kicker’s foot touches the ball.The kicking team, in this case Aspen, has the option of kicking the ball deep or tapping the ball with the foot and initiating a running play.Captain Tony Bell explained later that Aspen … was planning to initiate a running play after McHardy faked the kick. McHardy had moved up to kick the ball but stopped. A BATS player charging the kick picked up the ball and backed into the end zone and was awarded the try.Confusion reigned not only among the spectators but the Gentlemen as well. Bell and McHardy, the only players allowed to talk to the referee, questioned the call, pointing out that since McHardy had never kicked the ball, play had not started and therefore a try could not be scored.Bell said he was told that if he questioned the call again, he would be ejected from the game.Thus Bell was unable to explain the play to the Gentlemen, although the effect of the call was quite clear to all: The game and tournament were over.
So many things have changed in Aspen, but this hasn’t. Cinephile and reporter Andy Stone wrote about Filmfest ’81.While other film festivals in other cities concentrate on stars, celebrities, sneak previews of major releases, and massive invasions by New York, Hollywood and European film fanatics, the Aspen Filmfest is more interested in being a community affair. Scheduled for the off-season, the festival generally eschews the glitter and the glitterati and simply offers a solid dose of films for the folks who live here.And, with most of this year’s films sold out before the doors even opened, the community clearly appreciates both the festival’s attitude and its films.Night after night the Isis was filled with familiar faces, and night after night the faces were the same as people did their level best to attend all 10 shows, all 25 films.”I was pleased, really, really pleased and delighted,” said Ellen Kohner, and -although the fest lacked any one, single knock-’em-dead, unforgettable blockbuster – she, quite clearly, was not the only one.The Times crack movie review squad (although tending to be more alcoholic than filmaholic) made an all-out effort to see as much of the festival as possible.Although disease and social inevitability interfered with that effort to some extent (“When my dinner date broke out the Quaalude for dessert, I knew the Saturday late show was not going to get reviewed,” admitted one of our stalwart squad) we did manage to hit 18 of the 25 films.Compiled by Sara Garton