Braudis steered toward peace |

Braudis steered toward peace

I covered cops for the Aspen Daily News and then The Aspen Times from 1987 to 1992 and saw Bob Braudis just about every weekday. The guy was a great sheriff, the opposite of a tough guy; instead he had a philosophy that avoiding problems was better than colliding with them head on.

An example: In August 1990 President George H.W. Bush came to Aspen to talk to the Aspen Institute about what we would do about Saddam Hussein. Bush stayed at a house up Woody Creek, and the plan was that his trips to town would be along Upper River Road to avoid traffic and, I suppose, assassins. But some old coot along River Road, protesting something, was threatening to open fire on anyone who drove past, and the cops shut down the road.

The Secret Service, Bob told me, couldn’t believe that Bush was going to have to drive around a barricaded nut case. They politely offered to send in some guys from their ninja-assault unit to clean out the old troublemaker.

Bob told them no thanks. He told me he wasn’t going to risk shooting just so George Bush could avoid the traffic on Highway 82.

George and the old guy both lived through it.

Always liked Bob Braudis and his big gap-tooth smile, and thought Pitkin County was lucky to have him.

Mark Huffman

Jackson Hole News & Guide

Jackson, Wyoming