JULY 1929The mining industry’s fight for survival continued with “never say die” reminders like this one:Probably few people realize the extent to which our modern civilization is dependent upon metal mining.Without mines there would be no telephone or telegraph or electricity, no stoves or machinery or jewelry. There would be no medical instruments or any of the thousands of necessities or luxuries that play a prominent part in our industrial and social existence.Growing certain crops at altitude continues to be a challenge, but in 1929 help was on the horizon. The Times reported,Colorado high-altitude are invited to inspect the farming experiments which are being carried on at the Mountain Experiment station of the Colorado Agricultural college, at Avon, in Eagle County.New crops are being tested, new cultural methods are being tried out and the most economical and practical machines are being sought. The best seed varieties are being tested. A safe and profitable high-altitude farming program is being worked out. …Results of tests with paper mulch on several crops this year may be seen on the crops tour during the day. There has been much interest in the use of such a mulch, and whether or not it would hasten maturity and make it possible to grow certain crops at high altitude which were believed impossible because of the short season.Long before four-car heated garages were the norm in Aspen, one-car garages were known to make headlines. The Times wrote,Mansor Elisha is having a garage built back of his hotel [the Hotel Jerome] for that new Graham-Paige sedan.Hallam Lake, as the photograph on this page depicts, has the location for an amusement park, a dance pavilion, a skating pond, a source for block ice, a picnic area and only recently a nature preserve and environmental study center. The paper reported,The A.T.G. boys met for drill this week at the Central School House. A corps of the lady friends of the Battalion will give a picnic at Hallam Lake next week and will give a splendid program. The boys will appear in uniform and give an exhibition drill. Mrs. Porter Plumb will have charge of the picnic end of the doings. JULY 1954Now the complaint is that Aspen and Pitkin County are over-regulated. Fifty years ago, the opposite appears to be true, with praise being given to the formation of the much-needed P&Z. The Times reported,In an effort to co-ordinate the County and City zoning and planning, a Regional Planning Commission was created at a joint meeting of the Board of County Commissioners and Aspen City Council … which is empowered to zone the county and to submit a master plan which will service as a guide for Pitkin County’s future developments.Both City and County officials believe that the adoption of this Regional Plan can give long needed direction and control of areas where ill-planned building and development is threatening existing property values. …Benefits of County wide zoning were made apparent to all property holders at the meeting. For instance, judicious zoning of Highway 82, while not restricting land owners bordering it, would preserve property values by controlling unsightly road side building.The Times’ “Glory Hole” column reported on one of Aspen most colorful characters, still beloved today – Freddie Fisher. It’s not the sheep you hear bawling from the mountain top, but our mutual friend “Freddie the Fixer” (Echo of Spike Jones) getting his lip in shape from the past Beer Barrel Polkas, now to good solid Dixie-land of his past famous renditions …Imagine what they’d say about swimsuit styles nowadays ….By the looks of bathing suits at the fashion show at the Jerome Pool, the creations are looking shorter, and the men are looking longer.Would trout fishing in the mall be considered “dwell time”?A pound and a half trout was found swimming down the outlet, at the Collins Block, by Charles Kellingsworth, a university of Michigan student, at six a.m. Charles has never fished in his life but will stuff this one to take home. Aspen as America’s foremost “Music Town” … then and now, apparently. The Times wrote,Dan Gottscchalk, up and coming young contemporary artist who has opened a studio in Aspen this summer, is currently at work on an ambitious project which brings together both facets of Aspen’s cultural summer season. Through his art, Gottschalk is attempting to express the feeling of Aspen as America’s foremost “Music Town.”JULY 1979This reminder might just as well appear in today’s paper …Walking may be the best form of all around exercise, say many doctors. Aspen is a walker’s paradise except for the automobile. Pedestrians have the right of way even where no crosswalks exist.Gerald Hines, developer of Aspen Highlands Village and often in the news in the past few years, made headlines 25 years ago for another of his development requests. The Times reported,County commissioners granted special review approval to Gerald Hines for construction of a duplex on property at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River and Hunter Creek.The board, however, denied a request to built a retractable gazebo that would have extended rails into the floodplain.Commissioner Bob Child complained about the huge size of the duplex – 6,000 square fee, plus 3,000 square feet of deck. Commissioner Michael Kinsley called it “obscene,” and Commissioner Joe Edwards said there should be a way to require that it be at least partially solar heated.Now the perfect setting for weddings and parties, the Elk Mountain Lodge requested a face-lift in 1979. The Times wrote,County commissioners granted special review approval for the redevelopment of Elk Mountain Lodge.Peter Carley, new owner, plans to remove 20 of 29 existing units and replace them with 20 new ones consisting of four employee and 16 rental units as well as a new bunkhouse for children.A potential limit on the number of guests will be considered at their annual review in a year.Aspen doing something to discourage tourists? Couldn’t be. At least city officials recognized this in 1979, and were willing to make a change. The Times reported,The Aspen Chamber of Commerce decide to draw up a motion in support of the proposal to allow three rental car companies to park and rent their cars on airport land.The companies involved, Hertz, Avis and National, presently operate out of the Holiday Inn and Airport Business Center, an inconvenience to tourists flying into Aspen.The proposed contract with the airport and county would bring in an estimated $100,000 per year to the county.Stephen Straight made a motion to support the proposal, adding, “This is one of those many things we, as a community, do to discourage tourists,” referring to the inaccessible locations of the rental car companies now.In other chamber of commerce news:The Highway Information booth located near the Roaring Fork Grocery on Highway 82 is handling about 125 people daily, Fox said. Employees at the booth took a survey of cars and determined that the largest number of cars stopping have Colorado license plates. Texas is next, followed by California. …The chamber office in the Wheeler handles about 4,000 inquires every month off the street; adding that to the information booth total, the number is close to 7,000.
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Normalcy will be few and far between this ski season, so Aspen’s Simi Hamilton’s traditional slow start brought a sense of calm to a world that’s mostly in chaos at the moment.