Looking Back

Deep powder puts a smile on the face of Wendell Brown in February 1981.

45 years ago …

• The Shrine Club was ready for the fourth annual Jackson Hole Invitational Cutter races with a new Accutron photo finish timing system accurate to 1/100th of a second. Forty-eight teams from Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming were set to compete in the races.

• With singing impersonations of Michael Jackson of the Jackson Five, Helen Reddy and Cher, Jackson Hole’s Junior Miss Rebecca Mims won the talent and performing arts segment of the statewide Junior Miss pageant in Laramie.

• The road to Teton Village became jammed with 20 or so vehicles. Some drivers were stuck due to heavy snow, high winds and poor visibility. Other just abandoned their cars and walked to the village to ski. The plow couldn’t get through because of the traffic jam, so two wreckers hauled off the cars.

• The Jackson Police Department purchased several electric engravers, thanks to a donation from Jackson State Bank, and invited residents to borrow one to mark valuable items. 1974 saw 62 burglaries of Jackson Hole homes, businesses and automobiles. Though the total loss was $127,000, police had recovered only $4,000 in stolen goods.

• Jeff VanDeburg caught a 22-pound Mackinaw trout in Jackson Lake.

30 years ago …

• The State Board of Land Commissioners planned to sell the Boyles Hill school section piecemeal if that would bring more money than selling to a single buyer. The board said it would also consider leasing the northwest 160 acres of the 640-acre tract to the Teton County Fair Board for rodeo and 4-H activities.

• Cliff and Martha Hansen were named Jackson’s Citizens of the Centennial by the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. “These two people are the essence of Wyoming,” U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson said as he presented the award. The centennial award replaced the usual Citizen of the Year award to commemorate Wyoming’s 100th birthday.

• A feature story in the Jackson Hole Guide’s Tempo section explored the growing popularity of microwave ovens. “Some trend-spotters predict that it will be a rare kitchen in the 1990s that is not equipped with a microwave oven,” Joseph Piccoli wrote.

Land prices in Teton County had more than doubled during the past year, from $100,000 to $200,000 an acre in some areas, including Teton Village. The average price of a home in the county was $200,000. “We’re seeing a lot of people buying homes for cash because they really want to be in Jackson,” Teton County commissioner and Realtor Bland Hoke said.

15 years ago

• On her first winter visit to Yellowstone National Park, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton went snowmobiling. She declared snowmobiles “fun to ride” and said her agency might drop a requirement that snowmobilers be guided.

• State Treasurer Cynthia Lummis, the source of a proposal to start a graduate business school in Jackson, said it would encourage entrepreneurship in Wyoming. She regretted selecting a 640-acre parcel of school trust land south of Teton Village as a possible site. “Those of us who live 450 miles away don’t appreciate the dynamics of local land use,” she said. “Even I didn’t appreciate the extreme emotions that people in Teton County have about that land.”

• Teton County planned to defend its regulations limiting homes to 10,000 square feet, only 8,000 square feet of which could be habitable. A judge had fined an Owl Creek subdivision couple $363,000 for adding 3,000 square feet of unpermitted space. County officials said they’d appeal that ruling because the judge didn’t require the couple to remove the additions from their 13,000-square-foot home.

• Craig Neathery, Chancey Porter, Tim McLaurin and other Jackson athletes competed in the Special Olympics Wyoming Winter Games at Teton Village. McLaurin won a gold medal in his division of the giant slalom.

— Compiled by 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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