Highlights from the
75 Years Ago
Soldier Describes Jeep Ride In Japan
January 14, 1946
An excerpt from a letter written by a soldier stationed at Tachikawa Air Base in Japan gives an interesting account of a “G. I. trip.” The letter was received by Mrs. Tom E. French of the U. S. Fish Hatchery from her son, Corporal Jimmie Mason. He writes:
“We got a Jeep and went joy-riding last Sunday, from Tachikawa to Ome and on up into the mountains—really something to see. Beyond Mitaka we came into some country that reminded me of the mountainous part of Oregon, and the roads were pretty good, paved in the middle just enough that our Jeep could straddle the pavement.
“All along the way were pretty good samples of Japanese engineering; a lot of high suspension bridges spanned the gorge, hydro-electric plants were located along the stream, and the roads were really good and solid. We came to a long tunnel cut through solid rock and could go no further as it was in a state of disrepair. While we were there the ground shook and a few rocks fell inside the tunnel from the exploding of an ammo dump. One of the Infantry outfits is specializing in blowing up all the Jap ammo dumps. Anything that could be useful in warfare is being destroyed—planes, cyclotrons, ammunition, guns, and even swords are to be turned over to the Allied forces. That same night a family in Nakano offered to sell us a Samurai sword for 500 yen.
“After much traveling we thought we had come to a place where few G. I.s had ever been and went into a small village store, only to meet Sheppard Field buddies we hadn’t seen since June. They were shopping for decorations to put on their Christmas tree. We give up!
“From the base we went to Nakano. My buddies introduced me to a Japanese family. We talked to the most learned of the family for two short hours, and he stopped at intervals to interpret our words to the old man and the uncle. They were a very wealthy outfit, as the house showed, and the antiques in the place were many and beautiful; among these last they were particularly proud of an ancient sword and an equally ancient suit of armor made from sea shells. I have never tasted tea like that they served, innocent of sugar or other flavoring. They don’t use stoves—they have a big thick clay bowl with a stand in the bottom in which they build a fire of charcoal and place it near the guest to keep his feet warm. They leave their shoes outdoors, so a foot-warmer is all to the good. Seemed to be well supplied with American cigarets—must have bought them from the black market for 20 to 30 yen per pack, approximately $1.20 to $1.80—you’d think they’d rather go without than pay such prices. A soldier could get five years behind bars for offering a bar of chocolate; that is the way the law feels about the black market.
“We took off for the base an hour before curfew time, and Jeeps kept falling in behind us until there were five in line, racing through the dark little villages. The roads to Tokyo and Yokohama are as good as you could find anywhere; smooth, well-built and plenty wide.”
Girl Struck By Car At 9th And Harrison
Florence Mae Pearson, 15, of 114 East 7th street, narrowly escaped being critically injured this morning about 8:30 when she was hit by a sedan driven by Albert Castro, 20, of 701 Front street. Florence Mae, with four or five other high school girls, was crossing Harrison avenue at the 9th street intersection when the car, traveling at a high rate of speed, came up the avenue and hit Florence Mae, knocking her into the air from six to ten feet, according to witnesses. The car then dashed on up over Capitol hill.
Although no bones were broken, Florence Mae is suffering from a badly bruised left leg where the car struck, and from cuts on her forehead resulting from her glasses being broken when she fell. She was taken home by Raymond Ray, an employe of the Stacey Motor company.
Roy E. Dahr, also an employe of the Stacey Motor company, and Ray Kitt, Conoco distributor, witnessed the accident, and Dahr immediately notified the sheriff’s office, giving the description of the car, but was unable to give the license number since the car had been moving so fast that none of the witnesses had been able to tell what the number was.
Patrolman Harry Cable, Undersheriff Buck Glenn and Marshal Carl Youngstrom set out at once in search of the hit-and-run car. About 9:30 Cable and Glenn found the car that Dahr had described on Front street where it had run into the ditch and was high-centered on a culvert. They then found Castro at his home. He was arrested and is being held on charges of hit-and-run, reckless and drunken driving. Another youth who was with Castro is also being held. When the two were caught they admitted having run into a girl earlier. The car has been impounded.
Magazine Tells of “Warriors On Skis”
The January 1946 issue of Ski Illustrated magazine gives a comprehensive and interesting account of our Mountain Troops (10th Division) which trained at Camp Hale and at Camp Swift, Texas, and went into action on the Italian front early last year. Every newspaper reader is familiar with the colorful and victorious career of the Mountaineers.
The magazine article gives the Mountain Troopers’ side of that action in the Apennines and beyond, with skiing and mountain fighting stressed. Excellent pictures of training and battle activities add much to the account, which includes the “kickoff” against rugged Mt. Belvedere setting the stage for the general offensive, the lightning push into and across the Po Valley, the amphibious attack across Lake Garda, and the final smashes that brought German surrender in Italy.
Letter to the Editor:
Let’s Make Our City A Better Place To Live
We live in Leadville, situated in an elevated basin 10,200 feet in altitude. The surrounding mountains are more than 4,000 feet higher. Our wooded hills, lakes, streams and mountains make for the finest of scenery. The air is fine, and our unpolluted water supply is not equalled in many places. We have these two requisites of life that millions of other folks do not have.
As early as 1878, Leadville was the Mecca of thousands from far away places. The rich ore discoveries here brought them to try their luck in this new mining camp. Many were lucky and prospered; thousands failed and returned to their former homes. The survival of the fittest was the natural law; the early-day hardships and struggle was met by many. In general the true Leadvillite is a tough, hardy person. The people have adapted themselves to living in the highest incorporated city in the U. S. A. just like natives elsewhere—for example, the people who live in the Andes Mountains of South America, where the altitude is 12,000 feet. We take the climate in our stride—snowfalls don’t stop us—we prepare for winter weather.
You’ll seldom find a Leadville motorist off the road because he never owned a pair of tire chains, like I have often heard others remark as they waited for help.
Many of us have lived elsewhere for a few years. We know something of the places where other people live, but the mountains of Colorado suit us better than living in the desert, on the plains, or in the big industrial centers of our country.
These are only a few reasons why Leadville is our home. Many former residents consider it their home town, for these people liked Leadville even as you and I. Let us make it a nicer place in which to live as the years roll by.
James H. Larsh
Ski School To Open At Cooper Hill Tow
January 21, 1946
Starting Sunday, Jan. 20, would-be skiers from near and far will be afforded an opportunity to learn the rudiments of the sport, and possibly later to take up advanced skiing. A free ski school, sponsored jointly by Crews-Beggs Trading Company and the Davis Drug Store, will be inaugurated at Cooper Hill tow atop Tennessee Pass.
The instructor will be Ray Zoberski, who is well qualified for the post. Originally from Michigan, Zoberski came to Camp Hale and served in the Army as instructor for 10th Mountain Division troops. He holds the rank of lieutenant and is presently on terminal leave from service.
Classes of ten members each will be organized and conducted, each for an hour starting at 11 a. m. Sunday. Tickets entitling student skiers to enroll in a class may be obtained free of charge at either Crews-Beggs or the Davis Drug Store. Assignment to a class will be made only at Crews-Beggs, however, so as to maintain regularity and non-duplication in the classes.
Each week 50 tickets will be given out for the following Sunday’s classes. It is expected that each enrollee will be given two lessons in skiing as at least 50 hours of instruction are planned, five each Sunday for the next ten weeks. Classes will begin at 11 a. m., 12 noon, 1, 2 and 3 p. m. each Sunday.
The small tow will be utilized exclusively by student skiers, enabling them to make several runs during the hour of instruction.
Proper training in the fundamentals of skiing not only ensures safety, but is necessary for an enthusiast to obtain the greatest enjoyment and skill out of the sport. The opportunity of learning from an expert is one that should be taken advantage of by all who are interested in becoming skiers.
Popularity of the Cooper Hill courses and the long ski lift is increasing each weekend. Last Sunday there were well over 300 persons out there for the day, and many of the cars in the parking area bore out-of-state licenses. The fame of Cooper Hill is spreading far and fast.