25-50 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50 years ago

Stuart Mace, his dog-sled teams and Ashcrofts scenery were all featured in the television series Sgt. Preston of the Yukon in 1955. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Instead of Hollywood stars on Aspen’s slopes, Aspenites and their canines were stars in Hollywood 50 years ago. The paper reported,Stuart Mace and two teams of his famous Husky dogs [see photo] accompanied by Dick Car-Skaden left Grand Junction last Saturday, Nov. 26th, on a special plane for Hollywood where he and his crew will begin work on the first of the winter scenes of the “Sgt. Preston of the Yukon” pictures now being made by the Charles E. Skinner Productions for the Quaker Oats television series. …Stuart will begin the winter scenes with the dogs there using crushed or converted marble to simulate snow instead of crushed ice as has been used in the past.On Dec. 5th Stuart will fly back to Aspen with one of the dog teams to begin shooting snow scenes in Ashcroft, using the real McCoy (snow) and, in all, three dog teams here.

In “Around Aspen” it was noted,Causing much comment is the “Cute,” “Funny, little” Volks Wagon seen on the streets of Aspen the past week and a half. Seems it is the most recent addition to the fleet of Hotel Jerome vehicles, and is capable of transporting around eight persons. The goings-on of Aspen’s popular (and famous) photographer, whose Aspen work from 50 years ago is exhibited now at the Woody Creek Community Center, was front-page news.Franz Berko returned last week from a seven week trip during which he worked on photographic assignments in Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, New York and Texas. Amongst his jobs were industrial photos for the Container Corporation, a color coverage of the Jones and Laughlin Steel works in Pittsburgh, architectural photographs for Pace Inc. and individual architects.

During his stay in New York, he placed photographs of his recent trip to Europe. Color, black and white photographs were accepted by Life Magazine, Colliers, US Camera, House and Garden, Photography and other national magazines. …Sports Illustrated commissioned him to do a color assignment on Andy Mead Lawrence which he did at their ranch near Dillon.For the winter season Berko will work here in Aspen, and the shop in the Opera House basement and the Counter in the Hotel Jerome Lobby will be open for the winter season.

The cover of The Aspen Times for Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 1980, carried this blub:There are those who may talk about the Solstice and try to tell you that winter doesn’t begin until the twenty-second of December, but here in Aspen winter begins on Thanksgiving Day and there’s no need to argue otherwise. If you don’t believe us, just look. It begins today and there’s no point in wondering when it’s going to end. That’s too far in the future to even contemplate. Right now there’s only winter. Enjoy it while you can. Enjoy it while you must.Limited terrain (Aspen Mountain remained closed!) was available for the first day of the 1980 ski season. The paper announced,[Aspen Skiing Corporation Public Relations Director Jack] Brendlinger said, that in the absence of that hoped-for foot of snow, the Ski Corp would open only lifts one, two and three and the beginner’s T-bar at Buttermilk. …Aspen Highlands, facing roughly the same conditions as Buttermilk, is opening Exhibition I and II, Cloud 9, and Loges lifts, the chain of lifts which carries skiers from the base of the mountain to Loges Peak, where an unpacked snow depth of 28 inches is reported. In addition, the two small poma lifts at the base of the mountain, where there is artificial snow, will also be open. …The Ski Corp, says Brendlinger, is ready and willing to open Snowmass, but can’t do it without another eight to 10 inches of snow.

“Conditions up on the Burn are real good,” notes Brendlinger, “but without more snow at the bottom we can’t get people off the mountain.”Before RFTA, it was bad news for valley commuters 25 years ago.The end of county bus service to Carbondale and Glenwood Springs is apparently at hand, according to County Manager Curt Stewart, who says that the county’s financial pinch is going to squeeze the downvalley runs out of existence. …Although the final decision has not yet been made – the county budget won’t be officially adopted until late December – Stewart has already issued a temporary bus schedule listing the cuts he considers inevitable.Most visible among those cuts is the amputation of all bus service below El Jebel. …According to County manager Stewart, the plan for coming years is to put the future of the bus system in the hands of the voters, who must approve any increase in the property tax under new legislation passed by the voters at the last election.

Further down the line, said Stewart, he expects that both the city and the county will find operating a bus system too expensive and that continued bus service will require formation of a separate transportation district with tax powers of its own.A number embedded in our brains is 25 years old this month, according to a half-page ad, which proclaimed,Announcing a new number we hope you never have to dial. 911.

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