Looking Back

Carl Whissel cradles a monster pumpkin during the 1989 PTA pumpkin sale on Town Square. 2019’s pumpkin sale marked 42 years of the event.

45 years ago ...

• Teton County commissioners voted to issue the only available resort liquor license to Togwotee Investments Inc., which had recently purchased Togwotee Lodge. The Jackson Hole Ski Corp., Earl Porter’s Point Store and the Hilton Inn had also applied for it.

• Six Jackson boys took first place in the Punt, Pass and Kick, landing spots in the zone contest in Idaho Falls: Justin Willard, Rod McDougall, Darrel Erbe, Kevin Erbe, Bucky Buchenroth and Todd Wilson.

• The Sojourner Inn in Teton Village, which had closed due to financial difficulties, planned to reopen Dec. 15, operated by Aircoa Resort Inns. There would be a new addition: a bar and restaurant.

• In a special executive session the Town Council voted 5-0 to send a letter of reprimand to Police Chief Richard Hays. He’d been under investigation by an FBI agent brought in from Salt Lake City and by local investigator Sparky Imeson. Town Administrator Duane Wroe said the charges were “personal transgressions” and not sufficient grounds to disrupt Hays’ career.

• Ron Shapiro had big plans for Sunshine Films. He’d presented his first movie, “King Kong,” in the Teton Village cafeteria several winters earlier. Now he showed films — most recently, “The Exorcist” — at the Pink Garter Theatre in the winter and was planning to move into a year-round theater-coffee house on Moose-Wilson Road.

30 years ago ...

• The Jackson Hole Ski Corp. asked a judge to delay implementation of an order that would require it to issue stock to Dutch oil trader John Deuss and transfer its real estate assets to a separate corporation. The Ski Corp. said the judge’s ruling threatened its existence.

• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director John Turner signed documents to begin a public review of regulations allowing a hunt of “nuisance” grizzlies in the Yellowstone ecosystem. The bears in question were those that had had repeated conflicts with people The hunt would give sportsmen a chance to shoot bruins that would otherwise be taken by agency personnel.

• Two banks were fighting for possession of two hand-tooled silver saddles that once graced the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and were estimated to be worth $100,000 each. The saddles had been used as collateral by former Cowboy Bar owner Robert Walker for loans granted to his National County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, which had collapsed with $56 million in debt.

15 years ago ...

• Ross Perot Jr. finalized the purchase of the 1,374-acre Bar BC Ranch from the Mead family and celebrated with a reception at the Snake River Grill. His company, Hillwood, planned to develop and sell 17 lots, each between 35 and 50 acres, and lease the meadow property to the Mead family for continued grazing.

• Chuck Herz, chairman of Teton County Democrats, decried the theft of about 40 of Keith Gingery’s campaign signs. Gingery, a Republican, was running for a seat in the state House. The theft, Herz said, “is another symptom of the kind of polarized politics into which we are in danger of sinking, having the flavor of war rather than debate.”

• A month after Staples opened a 16,000-square-foot store in Jackson, Barb and Chet Knobe sold Knobe’s Office Supply and Equipment to the company. They planned to continue to operate RadioShack franchises in Jackson and Driggs, Idaho.

• The Teton County Board of County Commissioners decided to stop granting planning and building waivers for nonprofit groups. A month earlier they’d waived $21,000 in planning fees for Teton Science Schools but made the school pay about $38,000 in building fees. “Why are we waiving any fees?” Commissioner Jim Darwiche asked.

— Jennifer Dorsey

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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