Buck Beckett is turning 80 on June 30, and his kids are throwing him a party. The “Flamingo Roast” will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. at his home, 417 N. Glenwood St. Please RSVP to Christy at jedkit@yahoo.com.

Buck was born in Niagra Falls, New York, and moved to Wyoming in 1960. He worked in Kemmerer before moving to Jackson in 1962. He bartended at the RJ Bar, along with Art Hazen, and later the Rancher Bar. He worked on the construction of the tram at Teton Village, and he flagged for the new road over Teton Pass. He started his career as a stonemason working for Lloyd Foster and then Don Phillips during the 1960s.

Buck met Judy (Jody) Wilson on Town Square, where she was sitting on a bench with her dog. Buck played with the dog and then sat down by Jody and began a conversation. They married in 1967. They managed Togwotee Mountain Lodge for a couple of years. Buck contacted several snowmobile companies to come test their machines there. They did, and it became a popular spot for the sport. That progressed into the winter tourism enjoyed there today.

Buck is past president of the Lions Club and the Snow Devils. He and Jim Davidson put their heads together and came up with the idea of the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb. Through that event the Snow Devils have raised thousands of dollars to benefit the community.

Buck started his own masonry business in 1978. Many homes and businesses have his fireplaces and rock work. Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church is a wonderful example of his work. He retired in 2009 and continues to live in Jackson Hole. He has two children, Christy Davis and John Beckett, and two grandchildren, Katie and Isaac.

It has been 60 years since the Class of 1959 graduated from Jackson-Wilson High School. I was able to find some history from that class. Student body president was Bin Graefe, and class president was Mary Blair. Seniors playing football that year were Graefe, Morris Walker, Dick Allen and Jim Macy. Rudy Sanford and Roche Bush attended Boys State. Honor Society members were Judy Kearsley, Barbara Yokel, Sharla Clark Despain and Sunny Ball. Anita Shinkle was prom queen, and Gracie Nelson Pelissier was the homecoming queen. Bob “Bam” Stewart was a cheerleader.

The Jackson-Wilson graduation Class of 1969 will hold its 50th reunion this weekend. All alumni are invited to a gathering at 5 p.m. Friday at the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. A catered dinner Saturday at the home of Donna and Blake Clark is for classmates and their partners. Social hour will begin at 4 p.m.

I loved the supplement to this newspaper on May 29 written by Mark Huffman, “Looking Back” on past newspapers in Jackson Hole. There was a story from 1990 about two teenage boys who went into the crumbling building that once housed the Jackson’s Hole Courier, an early newspaper. The boys were Cory Curtis and Alan Bartholomew. They graduated from Jackson Hole High School in 1992. Cory said he often rode his bike by the old building on South Park Road. One day he and Alan decided to look in. They contacted owner Adeline Neilson and got permission to go through the old building. They found the place much the same as it was left when the last issue was printed. Most of the equipment and newspapers were donated to the Jackson Hole Historical Society. Cory said that it was quite a process. It became an AP story and was in other newspapers around the country.

A wellness garden is proposed for Wayne May Park in East Jackson. It is planned to be a quiet, contemplative space with all ages and abilities in mind. It would feature conversation areas, walking paths, hummingbird and butterfly gardens, native plantings, open meadow spaces for exercise and a water feature. The garden would sit on 3/4 of an acre in the southeast corner of the 10-acre park.

The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole provided a $10,000 challenge grant and set up a special account for the garden but 100 donations are needed by June 30 to secure the grant. Donations can be sent by mail to Wellness Garden at May Park Fund, Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, Box 574, Jackson, WY 83001. Donations also can be made on the Community Foundation’s website. Or go to CFJacksonHole.org and click the “donate” button.

Six years ago today my first column appeared in the Jackson Hole News&Guide. I planned to write for only one year. Think I’ll give it one more year.

Email your Circling the Square information to Connie Owen at connie_owen@msn.com or call her at 734-9512.

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