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25/50/75

MAY 1929Under the headline Everything Went Wrong, the Times reported,The students of Aspen High School who left for Gunnison last Thursday to take part in the High School Scholastic Competitive Meet returned to Aspen unsuccessful in winning any honors.The Aspen Hi always ranked high at these meets but this year a late start, car trouble and muddy roads delayed their arrival until 6 oclock Friday morning, just two hours before the contests started. However, without any sleep and traveling for 24 hours on the road, all were enthusiastic and did their best under the circumstances.A spring storm reportedly dropped up to 4 feet of the fresh in Tourtelette Park in May 1929, leading the Times to ask:Wasnt it a nice and pleasant surprise Saturday morning to wake up and find eight inches of heavy, wet snow? You bet, but it helped the lawns and gardens a lot!News from the mines included these two bits:The Last Dollar is loading a large jack train each day. The mineral runs well, and there seems to be no limit to the quantity of it. …The Compromise sent down thirty loaded teams Tuesday of this week with ore averaging 300 ozs. silver.Mothers Day was celebrated with much fanfare 75 years ago. The Times wrote,… it was indeed a most impressive sight when the officers and members of the Order marched in, each wearing a carnation, white for the Mother who had passed on and red for the Mother still living. …Past Exalted Ruler Leonard C. Shoemaker gave the Elks Tribute to Mother in a most eloquent and able manner. This is perhaps the greatest eulogy to mother ever written and it brought tears to the eyes of many of the listeners in the Elks lodge room Sunday afternoon.Dear mother, I hope thou art waiting,With boyhoods same welcome for me,When I pass this life, dedicatingAll worthy attainment to thee;And if they kind spirit wilt everBe near me to strengthen and guide,Some day all earths bonds I may sever,And, with thee, forever abide.MAY 1954Now an integral part of the Aspen outdoor scene, mountaineering and climbing were just taking hold in 1954. The Times reported,The Aspen Guide Service will begin operation on the weekend of May 28 and 29 for the benefit of all Aspen residents interested in learning mountaineering techniques. Rock climbing classes will be held on Saturday close to the Independence Pass road in the vicinity of the Grottos and, if interest is strong enough, snow climbing classes stressing belays and the use of the ice axe will be held. A special rate of $4 per person for the day will be charged for Aspen residents only. Classes will be confined to six persons per instructor.Before Aspen had a fancy visitors center (and perhaps an even fancier one coming to Main Street soon), volunteers held down the fort. The Times published this call for help:Would you like to meet many interesting people this summer? Would you consent to help a few hours on one day each week in a most important public service? If yes, then you will want to be one of the group now being organized to help keep open the Chamber of Commerce Information desk this summer.Mrs. Elli Hellmund needs persons to volunteer for one-day-a-week service at the Chamber headquarters beginning in June.All we can say is, Amen ….A County Commissioners PrayerLord, bless now the commissioners of this county. Grant us greater wisdom than Solomon, greater patience than Job, greater strength than Samson, and greater courage than Daniel.Help us to accept the assessed valuations requested by all taxpayers; help us give all the county departments the full amount of the annual budgets they demand; help us give the indigents all they claim they need, find county employment for all out of work and pay prevailing wages.Help us build all the roads, the inhabitants of our various districts request, and build them without any road tax at all; help us give an abundant amount for all public requests, and satisfy all the inhabitants of the districts; and after doing all these things, help us reduce the county tax rate.We do not complain of our duties. We asked for them, and we got them, but there are times when we need outside help, and need it badly.And then, after being defeated at the polls or retiring under pressure, give us the strength to stand up and take the criticism of those who have never done anything for our county … Amen.MAY 1979A gas shortage was making national and local headlines. The Times reported,A gasoline shortage in Colorado this summer seems quite possible, according to figures released this week by the state office of energy conservation.According to the state authorities, anticipated gas deliveries to Colorado this month should fall at least 20 million gallons short of the demand.In response, the local chamber took the following action:The Aspen Chamber of Commerce agreed to allocate at least $2000 in funds to a statewide and local campaign designed to educate tourists and locals alike about the impending gas shortage expected this summer.The state organization plans to set up a toll-free number for tourists to call to obtain specific information on the availability of gas in particular areas of the state. …Chambers of commerce will be responsible for providing gas information to the state department of tourism on a weekly basis. The chambers will also disseminate the information locally. The Food & Wine Classic marks the beginning of summer in Aspen these days. Twenty-five years ago, a very different type of event signaled the start of the season. Gentlemen, start your engines …There may be snow on the ground, but the summer season is definitely upon us, as proven by the opening this Sunday, May 20, of the 1979 Aspen stock car racing season at the Woody Creek Raceway.The run what your brung stockers will begin their season with time trials at 10:30 a.m. to divide competitors into slow, fast and superfast classes and will then move on to the actual competition. …Six days of racing are slated for the season, which will last until September.Drought was not an issue in 1979, as evidenced by this report in the Times,The May 1 US Agriculture Dept Snow Survey results have been tabulated, and it looks as if the Crystal River Watershed will be contributing more than its share to the spring runoff. The Crystal River snow courses are about 100% above average for May. … The Fryingpan watershed is slightly above average, meaning with moderate weather conditions, the runoff will be close to normal in the Fryingpan.Peggy Cliffords talk of the times column could be reprinted today, and were sure no one would be the wiser …Not long ago, a friend of mine, who is not usually as wise as he is handsome and witty, said, Well, its all over now.Whats all over? I asked. Aspen. Aspen is done for now, he said mournfully.Probably not really done for, I said, for these doomsday bulletins come as fast and thick as magpies now.Its the chain stores, he said. Thats it. …I listened patiently and when he was through, I said that haut schlock was probably more of a threat to Aspen now than chain stores, and that a few chain stores were less ominous than 20 boutiques selling $300 leather jeans and $500 silk dresses. Haut schlock, as I told my friend, is found all over America now. … Haute schlock usually manifests itself in the countrys more affluent enclaves and is notable for its devotion to exposed brick interior walls, hanging plants, stained glass, and very high prices.Haut schlock shops are not part of a chain, but they might as well be, for they are so alike. …Aspen is now so firmly in the grip of haut schlock that the presence of chain stores is somehow encouraging. …Haut schlock is actually more insidious than mass schlock because it pretends to be a celebration of style and individuality, but is in fact merely a reflection of that chic, trendy sensibility that prevails in affluent America now.


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