Looking Back

Chuck Layson, right, has an encounter with intoxicated stranger Jaci Buck during the 2006 World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb while Tyson Parker, left, tries to keep girlfriend Justine Van Winkle upright.

45 years ago ...

In a Playboy magazine essay titled ”Second Rape of the West,” Edward Abbey slammed Western politicians, including U.S. Sen. Clifford Hansen, for energy development and its attendant environmental problems. “Coal is the best response we have to the energy crisis,” Hansen, a Republican from Teton County, told the News&Guide in response. “There’s enough in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin alone to supply U.S. energy needs for the next 300 years.”

The airport advisory board scrapped consideration of five alternate sites for Jackson Hole Airport. Four were in Teton Valley, Idaho, and one was a mile west of the existing airport but outside Grand Teton National Park. “They decided that if you have to drive all the way to Driggs you might as well drive to Idaho Falls, where there is an existing facility,” said a consultant hired to study the airport’s future.

The plowing of Teton Park Road began. Superintendent Robert Kerr said snowmachine users could still enter the area but would have to travel on either side of the plowed portion.

In a letter to Teton County commissioners, Ralph Gill, Pete Hansen, Phil Wilson, Jim Huidekoper, Buffy Hauge and other large landowners chastised the county’s planning firm for making “little more than token attempts” to consult landowners about their views on planning.

30 years ago ...

Jackson Hole law officers expected an Idaho prosecutor would soon seek a criminal indictment of Bill Gray in connection with the 1989 shooting death of his wife, Betty Gray, and her friend Reeda Roundy in Idaho Falls.

The Wyoming Highway Department wanted 10 acres of Bridger-Teton National Forest property east of the Lower Valley Power and Light office for a shop and office complex. The department operated out of an old office and shop on North Cache, and its dilapidated maintenance building, extra trailers and piles of sand and gravel had drawn criticism for their location in the heart of town.

Women’s Lib: Dream or Reality?” read a Jackson Hole News headline. In her article, Lisa Flood talked to grown women and high school students. “It’s still tough for women to break into management positions,” Key Bank loan officer Patti Patterson said. “You have to prove yourself more than a man. I think things are changing, but it is still tough.” High school senior Clarice Corsi said, “I’m for women’s liberation, but I think they [feminists] carry it too far.”

After nearly 14 days and 1,163 miles, Frank Teasley and only 11 of his 18 sled dogs crossed the Iditarod finish line in Nome, Alaska. He and his dogs were exhausted, but they’d accomplished his goal: sixth place.

15 years ago ...

The World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb created “the biggest weekend downtown for all businesses,” said Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Steve Duerr. “It’s the most significant weekend in the season, in terms of lodging occupancy in town. Presumably that equates to similar records for retail, restaurants and bars.”

Law enforcement arrested 44 people, including 22 for public intoxication, over Hill Climb weekend. “It was the busiest I think we’ve ever had in the jail,” Teton County Sheriff Bob Zimmer said.

A small group of pronghorn antelope that frequented the National Elk Refuge was toughing out winter in Jackson Hole instead of migrating south to snow-free pastures. At last sight there were 19 on March 8, down from 26 recorded in January.

As the Aerial Tram approached its scheduled last public ride for skiers, Lucy W. Rankin, of Teton Village, won first place in the News&Guide’s Aerial Tram Memorial Limerick Contest: “The Aerial Tram is a hoot. But to fix it will cost too much loot. This can’t end so inanely! Let’s solicit Dick Cheney! In an orange Bogner bullet-proof suit.”

Contact Jennifer Dorsey at jennifer@jhnewsandguide.com or 732-5908.

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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