25-50-90 years ago | AspenTimes.com
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25-50-90 years ago

Aspen citizen E.W. Henshaw was concerned about the lack of support for Aspens many churches in 1917. In 1921, a Sunday school class stands in front of what became known as the Community Church (thanks to Mr. Henshaw?). (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)
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Several months are missing from the microfilm of our newspapers 100 years ago. These news stories are from the 1917 Aspen Democrat Times, as The Aspen Times and The Aspen Democrat merged in 1909. We will run excerpts from newspapers 90 years ago until the microfilm picks up again in June 1907. A wire story with a London dateline proclaimed,Definite plans were launched today to make America’s Decoration Day, May 30, a general memorial day throughout the allied countries of the world.Overeating was a concern in 1917 but not for health reasons, rather for frugality during wartime. The paper published this wire story from Washington, D.C.Three courses will be the maximum, even for formal dinners in the United states, while the nation is at war, if the ladies follow the lead of the first lady of the land.White House banquets, in the past noted for their extravagant excellence, have been placed on a war footing. Instead of the usual seven to ten courses, only three were served to the visiting English and French commissions at two dinners rivaling in importance and formality any served in America. The menu for both dinners included an appetizer of tomatoes with anchovies; plain soup, fillet of beef with peas and potatoes; salad; ice and coffee and cigars.The dinners were in line with the policy of economy recently announced by Mrs. Wilson and the wives of the cabinet members.

A reader, E.W. Henshaw, wrote to the citizens of Aspen that in spite of the Quiet Years, “What Are You Going to Do About the Lack of Interest in Our Churches?” (see photos)Today in Aspen there is only one church supporting a minister (that is among the Protestant denomination) that is doing business all the time. The rest have only one service a month. Now the school system could not be run on that basis, if tried it would be stamped a failure. Aspen can and should support a live church system, but fairly then why not adopt the Community Church plan? Get together, Aspenites, this is not a plea for any denomination. The writer long ago wiped out of his Creed all denonminationalism. He believes that “the Church” – not a church of some particular creed – should be a vital factor in the life of the community, not taking from but adding and giving to the people as a whole, a real spiritual, and social service. Pull for a church in this city that will not only be a place of worship on Sunday, but a public institution seven days in the week.

The paper reported the launching of a great adventure by four intrepid Aspen men.Having become “mean and hardened” by sleeping for three weeks on hardwood floors, Aspen’s four canoe voyagers shoved off from Denver on Wednesday, May 1.Aspenites Ed Vestal, Red Soderstrom, E.G. Rickers and Jerry Hewey plan to paddle 4,500 miles retracing historic inland waterways from Denver to Old Town, Maine.They expect the unusual trip to take six months.After signing an exclusive picture-story contract with Life magazine, the four young men studied the intricacies of photography with Denver’s Bill Leoffler of the Hughes Sound Film Co. prior to their take-off.In addition to the Life contract, several other publicity coverage arrangements have been made.Radio station KOA in Denver will follow the expedition’s progress by arranging interviews at major cities along the route.AP wire service has also made arrangements to cover the journey at intervals. In addition, a Florsheim shoe store at 16th and California in Denver will display pictures, maps and letters covering the trip.In a last-minute move, expedition leader Ed Vestal, known in Aspen for his Tarzan-like locks, had his hair cut just before the troupe left Denver.



Aspen got a plug from a legendary skier, the paper noted. The world’s top skier has named Aspen as America’s best ski area.In an interview in Tokyo, Japan, Triple Gold Medal winner Toni Sailer, of Austria, said, “I think the best ski grounds in the United states are at Aspen, Colorado.”Touring America for two months last winter, Sailer skied at Squaw Valley, Heavenly Valley, Sun Valley and Stowe, in addition to his time in Aspen. He was in Aspen – along with countrymen Josl Reider, Anderl Molterer and Switzerland’s Roger Staub as the guest of the Aspen Ski School.The Austrian ace named Buddy Werner of Steamboat Springs as America’s best skier.Of the 1960 Olympic site at Squaw Valley, Sailer commented, “It must start building right away if it is going to be on time for the Olympics. Its giant slalom and slalom courses are very good, but the downhill is not the best. Too easy, not enough bumps, just a schuss.”A story about a late-season ski race (see photo) made the news, with the name of a team member, whose occupation was written “janitor,” but could be more aptly described as “ringer.” One of the winter’s most important races was held Saturday, April 20, on Dipsy Doodle.Defeating Pitkin County Hospital nurses in a giant slalom challenge race was the staff of the Aspen Medical Center.Racing for the winning team were secretary Penny Onegian, J. Sterling Baxter, M.D., Robert Barnard, M.D., and janitor Steve Knowlton.Nurses Betty Herman, Ardith Clark, Judy Bradford and Margaret McEldowney skied for the hospital. Edgar Stanton timed the race and Dean Billings was starter.The prize was presented to the victors Monday afternoon at the Medical Center before an interested audience. … Captain of the winning team, Dr. Barnard accepted the prize and graciously offered to display it at the Aspen Medical Center and to permit the hospital a chance to redeem it next winter.

What came to be know as Black Sunday in communities along the I-70 corridor occurred May 2, 1982. Contrarily, there was a sigh of relief in Aspen that day, reporter Susan Pettit wrote.Exxon Corp’s decision to shelve its multi-million dollar Colony shale oil project near Parachute leveled a serious blow to the Western Slope economy, but the pullout may have positive implications for Aspen and Pitkin County, according to some local officials and residents.Exxon, the world’s largest oil company, announced Sunday that it was closing the Colony project, because original cost estimates of $2 billion to $3 billion had doubled while oil prices had fallen.The largest synthetic fuels project in the nation, with 2,100 on the payroll, Colony was to be the first commercial-size project, producing 50,000 barrels of oil from shale by the mid-1980s. …While [Aspen Mayor Herman] Edel acknowledged that Exxon’s pullout will relieve certain worries in Aspen – such as the shale oil industry’s potential to siphon the local work force – he said, “Any gains are offset by my feelings for the impacted communities. I feel very badly for them.” …In Pitkin County, frequently mentioned byproducts of a massive shale oil industry include air pollution, competition for labor, an influx of day skiers from shale oil country, competition for natural resources, particularly water, and the decline of agriculture. …Exxon officials maintain that the need for oil shale still exists and that the synthetic fuel program will survive.It has been stated more than once that another oil crisis will bring the oil giants back to Colorado.There was a bit of a ruckus when the Pitkin County commissioners received a pay raise, The Aspen Times noted,The county commissioners apparently stirred up a bit of trouble by voting themselves a hefty salary increase last week at the same time that the county is facing financial problems, but County Attorney Sandra Stuller says that they, in fact, had no choice in the matter. The commissioners voted to accept a state-mandated raise from their present pay of $16,675 to $22,400, an increase that will not apply to the present commissioners. …County commissioner salaries are generally set by the state Legislature, with commissioners having the limited option on increasing or decreasing their pay by 15 percent from the level set by the state.Those upset by the increase, however, argue that the county’s home rule charter gives the commissioners the right to set their own salaries and frees them from following the state’s lead – if they so choose. Among the critics was Dick Fenton, a member of the county’s Financial Advisory Board and the originator of the tax-increase limitation amendment to the county’s charter. …According to [County Attorney] Stuller, the commissioner didn’t actually need to take any action for the raise to go into effect. The only way the commissioners could avoid the increase would be to go to the voters in this November’s election and ask permission to not accept the wage hike, said Stuller. …Helen Klanderud, the only commissioner to vote against accepting the raise, commented, “This is not a good time to be raising our salaries.” Aspen Highlands, an independent ski area 25 years ago, announced its rates for the 1982-83 ski season.The single day ticket rate of $22 is the same rate as announced by the Aspen Skiing Company for Aspen Mountain and Snowmass skiers. The charge at Buttermilk has been reduced to $19 by the Ski Co. …While the Ski Co is placing emphasis on the idea of ticket packages tailored to the needs of small market segments, the Highlands plan will again emphasize the four area ticket and a small number of multiple day options.”The simpler we make it, the better. People have enough trouble getting their luggage from the airport and so on. They don’t need to be confused with lift tickets,” Highlands marketing chief Peter McMahon explained. Negotiations on a price and administrative scheme for the four area ticket are expected to begin shortly. …If the Ski Co and Highlands are unable to agree on a price and format for the ticket, the issue will be resolved by the same federal district court judge who ordered the ticket to be re-established last season.The ruling establishing the four area ticket resulted from an anti-trust suit by the Highlands against the Ski Co.


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