Archive for the ‘Colorado’ Category

“Alferd Packer, you voracious, man-eating son-of-a-bitch. They was only seven Democrats in Hinsdale County, and you ate five of them.”

September 20, 2017

Michener, James A.. Centennial: A Novel (p. 957). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Alferd Packer, who is buried in my home town’s cemetery, was a favorite character of my friends and I as we grew up in Littleton, Colorado.

The context for the quote:

Alferd Packer had been a mountain guide, as mixed up as the spelling of his first name, and late in 1873 for a grubstake he volunteered to lead a hunting party of twenty into the western mountains. When a blizzard struck he got lost with five of the members. The party was snowbound for three months. They ran out of food, so Packer, as the man responsible for the leadership and survival of the group, began eating his fellow sportsmen.

When the spring thaws came Alferd Packer returned, picking his teeth and showing no signs of ordeal, but later the skeletons of his companions were found, each skull showing signs of having been smacked with the sharp edge of an ax.

The macabre episode might have passed unnoticed into history as one more macabre affair along the Continental Divide, except for the memorable charge made by the judge when he sentenced Packer. Whether the judge actually said these words cannot now be proved, but they have passed into the folklore of the state, providing Colorado with its one indisputable folk hero. Said the judge, “Alferd Packer, you voracious, man-eating son-of-a-bitch. They was only seven Democrats in Hinsdale County, and you ate five of them.”

This affair made Packer the patron saint of the Republican party . . . . .

Michener, James A.. Centennial: A Novel (p. 957). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

“Homeless men in Aspen found grilling lobster tail, lamb, salmon”

September 16, 2017

Christo’s Valley Curtain – – Directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Giffard 1974, 24 mins.

July 24, 2017

Back when we would to to Snowmass at Aspen for summer vacation, my father would tell us about this fascinating project.

“No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.”

June 15, 2017

20170615 WelcomeYourNeighbors-Spanish-English-Arabic

I saw this sign for the first time in my parents’ neighborhood where the sign is on display in the front yard of two homes.

“Snowmass-at-Aspen – – has very good times!” (Doug Jones) “[Snowmass-at-Aspen was] a kind of good-times machine…” (Peggy Clifford)

May 31, 2017

Background to Quote 1:  “Snowmass-at-Aspen – – has very good times!” (Doug Jones)

On a summer day in the early 1970s I was with my family in our 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport, westbound on I-70 in the middle of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, looking forward to what would be at least our second family vacation at the Silver Tree Inn located in Snowmass-at-Aspen.  I was in my customary seat – – back seat on the passenger side of the car.  My younger brother Doug was in his customary seat, the middle seat in the back row.  All of a sudden Doug started singing a song we had never heard before, a song he had made up himself, which went something like this:

Snowmass-at-Aspen – – has very good times!
Got skiing!  do do do do-do
Got tennis!  do do do do-do
Got swimming!  do do do do-do
Snowmass-at-Aspen, has very got very good ti-i-i-imes!

Background to Quote 2: “[Snowmass-at-Aspen was] a kind of good-times machine…” (Peggy Clifford)

“At [the center of Snowmass-at-Aspen] was a square with a clock tower and fountain. Shops and restaurants ringed the square. Beyond them were lodges and condominiums, beyond them were the playing fields – – ski slopes, golf course, tennis and paddle tennis courts . . . [Snowmass-at-Aspen] was not a town, but merely a kind of good-times machine, and the good times were organized and codified. They were also unreal. The fact that there was a real town named Snowmass with a history, residents, houses, and businesses just down the road was not seen by [its developers] as a stumbling block. Market research indicated that Snowmass was a promising name for a ski resort and that the Aspen connection was worth millions in publicity. So, Janns both built an instant town and named it after a celebrated real town…” To Aspen and Back: An American Journey Hardcover – 1980 – – by Peggy Clifford (pp. 107, 108)

Book description from

A non-fiction chronicle of Aspen, Colorado during the 1950s through the 1970s by long-time journalist and resident, Peggy Clifford. Introduction by Hunter S. Thompson, occasional resident, friend of the author, and candidate for Sheriff of Aspen.