Looking Back

Rainbow Balloon Flights pilot Chuck Herbert gives his passengers a thrill by skimming low over a pond near Boyles Hill. “It may look risky,” the caption read. “But Herbert hasn’t made a water landing yet.”

45 years ago ...

• After topping $1 million for the first time the previous year, the town of Jackson’s proposed budget for 1975-76 leaped nearly half a million more to $1.78 million.

• According to the News&Guide, John Sidle continued “to plague the Small Prize Department with his incessant palindromes,” some of which he wrote himself. “Sidle’s efforts include ‘Slap no Teton pals,’ a handy phrase,” the paper said.

• In celebration of the nation’s bicentennial, Grand Teton National Park planned living history summer programs, with actors playing historical characters and talking about what life was like back in the day. Fred Lazarus and Mike Thomas played prospectors, for example, while Dorothy Hirschland and Dave Miller portrayed homesteaders.

• The Jackson Hole Ski Corporation had given away 3,000 free Tram rides to locals so far in June, and was wondering whether to continue the offer next year. President Bruce Nurse estimated 5% to 10% of locals abused the privilege. “We try to give something away, and it causes more trouble than it’s worth,” he said.

• After eight puppies were destroyed at the pound and four more dogs had to be killed a week later, Animal Control Officer Diane Lane pleaded for responsible dog ownership. “It’s a question of people letting a female have puppies they know they can’t take care of,” she said.

30 years ago ...

• A new season of the Jackson Hole Rodeo got underway.

• For $150 to $165, anyone wanting to see Jackson Hole from on high could take a ride with Rainbow Balloon Flights or the Wyoming Balloon Co.

• Teton County commissioners prepared to ask the Wyoming Legislature to pass legislation creating an optional real estate transfer tax. They envisioned a 1% voter-approved levy when properties worth $100,000 or more changed hands. In Teton County, the projected $1.5 million to $2 million a year might be used for preservation of open space and creating affordable housing.

• Teton County commissioners were considering leasing or donating land on East Hansen for construction of a new senior citizens dining hall and activity center near Pioneer Homestead. “The one there now is way too small,” said Neita Garaman, a member of the Pioneer Homestead board.

• Teton County’s labor force jumped from 9,422 in April 1989 to 10,263 a year later, a rise of 9%, according to the Wyoming Department of Employment. Teton, the department said, was the only county in the state that “gained workers every year from 1967 through 1989, 22 consecutive years unaffected by bust, boom or national recession.”

15 years ago ...

• Officers in the Teton County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson Police Department volunteered to be zapped so they could understand local law enforcement’s newest weapon, the Taser. “It’s like the feeling you get when you stick your finger into a light socket, except over your entire body,” said Officer Aaron Dunlap, first up for a Taser strike.

• The Jackson Town Council adopted a $10.6 million budget for fiscal year 2006

• Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott dedicated the new Jenny Lake Rescue Cache.

• Music in the Hole organizers wondered if the event had a future. Fundraising for the free annual Fourth of July outdoor concert by the Grand Teton Music Festival orchestra had brought in only half the $165,000 required.

• The president of the St. John’s Medical Center Board apologized for “violating the spirit” of the state’s open meetings law when the board used a secret ballot to select a seventh member.

• The Kiwanis Club of Jackson Hole celebrated its 25th anniversary by inviting the public to a barbecue at Phil Baux Park to present the Parks and Rec Department with $10,000 check to build a picnic pavilion there. It was the largest single gift the club had ever made.

-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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