25/50/75 | AspenTimes.com
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25/50/75

Aspen Times writer

JULY 1929Bears were in the news 75 years ago, but not because they were spotted in town. In fact, quite the opposite was true.A party left the city this week on a bear hunt. They have promised bear steaks to all their friends.Citizens asked for another curve in Main Street 75 years ago!At the city council meeting residents of East Francis street petitioned to have that street opened up to Aspen Street. Residents of Original street petitioned to have their street opened between Hopkins and Main street. In search of a “Trip That Is Unequaled Anywhere In the Colorado Rockies”? Just visit Aspen …Aspen is located on the new Independence Pass Highway, opened in 1927 after years of construction under Federal aid. This road considerably shortens the distance between Colorado Springs or Pueblo and the West and offers an easy ascent and descent over the Continental Divide, reached about twenty miles east of Aspen at an elevation of 12,095 feet.From this point the road drops gradually to Glenwood Springs, some sixty miles west and 7,000 feet lower in elevation. Aspen has an altitude of 8,000 feet. The highway over Independence Pass has a maximum grade of five per cent, making it a high-gear climb almost to the top from either direction. …World travelers have said that nothing surpasses Snowmass Lake, about forty miles from Aspen, even in Switzerland. Here is a Mecca which beckons those who love real beauty.Long before mini-skirts and bikinis were common summer sights, bare legs were considered risqué. The Times wrote,Miss Marie Louise Potter and two guests, Miss Frieda J Durieux of New York City and Miss Marjorie Davis of San Francisco and New York City, arrived in the city Friday night from New York, making the trip overland, the last lap being made, of course, via Independence Pass. Miss Potter drove the entire distance in her Chrysler in five days, averaging 400 miles a day.Miss Potter is one of Aspen’s foremost boosters and never misses an opportunity to spend the summer here and always brings a few guests with her. This year, she says, she is starting the vogue in Aspen of bare legs (now did we say it?) in Aspen, to keep pace with the style set on the tennis courts of Wimbledon, England, by Miss Helen Wills, and followed throughout the East and as far west now as Aspen.JULY 1954It wasn’t a wildfire that had the fire department hustling 50 years ago. Mine Salter reported in The Glory Hole column,The noon siren rang as usual last Friday, but added a little confusion as there was a fire at the same time! All the dogs gave up on the “howl job” in a state of bewilderment, no clanging lunch pails, while new fire truck screeched the corners, leaving an echo of the Hot Rod races, gathering a few chickens, a sheep, music stands and a bass fiddle, as it neared its destination …And this report from the front lines:The home of Mr. Anton Kastelic was badly damaged by fire last Friday noon. The damage was aggravated by the fact that a strong wind was blowing at the time and the fire fighters could not find the source of water quickly. The Kastelic home is located in Riverside Addition across the river, east of Aspen, and south of Highway 82.Fire Chief Clarence Rader stated that the cause of the fire was evidently a spark falling on thin, tinder dry shingles, for the whole side of the roof was blazing when discovered by a neighbor, Mrs. Vedic.After the blaze was thoroughly drowned, the fighters stepped next door to the home of Mr. Kastelic’s son, Tony, and his wife, and were served coffee, sandwiches and salad. The fire sirens sounded right at 12 o’clock and the eats were thoroughly appreciated by the volunteers.Gene Robinson was a well respected Aspen mayor. Here’s a clue as at to why:Last Sunday’s baseball crowd discovered some of the reasons Gene Robinson has been Mayor of Aspen for terms. “Hizzoner” umpired the game in which the Aspen Pool team walloped Climax Union 24 to 5. He called ’em as he saw ’em, displaying tact, diplomacy, executive skill and abundant courage. Mayors and umpires need these characteristics and Robinson proved his mettle.JULY 1979Stillwater was making headlines in 1979, but not as a site for housing as it is today. The Times reported,An application for a special review permit to operate a sand pit on the Benedict property east of Aspen for five years was tabled indefinitely Monday by county commissioners.Commissioner Joe Edwards said he had “serious reservations” about operations of a pit in an area that has become primarily residential.”I would want extreme controls,” he said.The application was from Al Storey, who would operate the pit, and Fritz Benedict, the land owner.Twenty-nine acres would be affected, with 5.7 acres to be mined.Aspenites are reeling from the recent death of an local high school student. The town was similarly in mourning 25 years ago. The Times wrote,Dan Van Domelen, 16-year-old son of Nancy and Peter Van Domelen of Aspen, died July 5 in a mountain climbing accident near Ophir.Van Domelen was working as a junior counselor at the Skyland Camp in Telluride, owned and operated by Sherry and Dave Farny of Aspen.He and another counselor, Kevin Dippy, 18, were doing recreational climbing on a rock wall near Ophir when the accident occurred. …A popular student, Van Domelen was on the Aspen ski team for six years, played the lead part in Bye Bye Birdie while in middle school, and was named to the academic honor roll almost every semester. He was selected as Outstanding Boy when he graduated from Aspen Middle School in 1976.In high school, he was a member of the football team the past three years and tied for All-Conference last year. This spring he was selected as one of 300 math and science students in the state to be invited to attend a conference at the University of Colorado.Espousing ideals many Aspenites still profess today was then Sen. Gary Hart …Gary Hart, one of Colorado’s two US Senators, declared his unequivocal support for wilderness, energy conservation, and peace at an informal and not very controversial luncheon discussion at Paepcke Park last week.The major reason for Hart’s visit to Aspen was to make an inspection, by air, of various areas proposed for possible wilderness designation in the Forest Service’s RARE II (Roadless Area Review) study.The luncheon began with a brief statement from Hart on the difficulties of balancing the development of needed energy resources against the preservation of wilderness and other general environmental values.According to Hart, “We can meet our legitimate energy needs without destroying Colorado and without destroying this country’s environment.”Still an important part of Aspen’s vibrant summer scene, the Aspen Center Physics was featured in an article that asked: “Is ACP largest summer business?”Although most Aspenites don’t even know the Aspen Center for Physics exists, Sally Mencimer, administrative vice president, says that, “The ACP is designated the largest summer business in Aspen by the post office and the library.”We also contract for 80 family rentals for the three summer months,” she explains, saying that she thinks this is more than any other summer group.”At one time we have about 70 scientists working at the Center. They bring their families and stay about a month,” she adds.Mencimer says the physicists are “people who have super energy, intelligence, and curiosity. They work hard, often being at the Center until 11 pm, and they play hard – tennis, hiking, bike riding.”


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