Highlights from 

The Herald Democrat

50 years ago

Voters To Have Their Say 


November 6, 1972


The final electioneering will be done tonight, and after that the fate of the nation, the various states and the national legislature will be in the hands of John and Jane Doe — the faceless masses of people who, in their wisdom, make the final decisions. Tomorrow will be the day that the common citizen — from the president, the man with the doctor’s degree, the coal miner, garbage collector, newspaper editor, high school student over 18, housewife, waitress — all will be casting their ballots on an equal footing.

This voting will take place on Park Avenue in New York City, in mining towns, in school gyms, fire stations, etc. across the nation, in Eskimo villages, on the edges of cotton fields, in farm communities, in an outpouring of voters in the best traditions of a nation governed by the people.

The election tomorrow will be the biggest in the 196-year history of this country.

Here in Lake County the voting is expected to be brisk with good weather predicted for tomorrow.

There are 3,717 registered to vote. June Ossman of the County Clerk’s office hedged when she said that the voter turnout would be good. Perhaps a good prediction would be about 90% — maybe as many as 3,200 votes cast. One indication of the voting might be the fact that the number of absent voter ballots sent out has reached an all time high in the county — 296, with about 60% of them already returned.

With certain petitions being rejected, the hours of voting will remain the same — 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. In Lake County the voters in Precincts 1, 2 and 6 will be voting at the high school, while voters in Precincts 3, 4 and 5 will make their decisions at the Sixth Street Gym.

There have been some problems with voters who have difficulty in walking or navigating up and down steps. For this reason, it is recommended that voters with such difficulties who vote at the high school gym use the north parking lot off West Sixth Street and the north entrance of the school. They can walk down the corridor, down three steps, and then its clear sailing on into the gym.

And by all means have a sample ballot studied and with you — it’ll save a heck of a lot of time as you study the 52 candidates and issues on the ballot. Vote early if you can. If you can’t, the polls will be open for all who are in line at 7 p.m. If you need a ride, the two major political parties and their cohorts are providing free ride service to the polls for those who need the service.

If you vote tomorrow (and we urge all registered voters to do so), you can do these things — vote for President Nixon and Vice President Agnew; vote for the Democratic candidates George McGovern and Sargent Shriver; vote for any of the minor party candidates; write in a candidate of your choice if such a candidate has announced as a write-in; vote just for the local and state candidates; fail to vote, forget to vote, denounce the election.

However, you are one of the lucky persons in the world if you are registered and have the citizenship to vote and participate in this great privilege. There are some who can’t, you know. These are the persons under the age of 18, convicted felons, prisoners in jail, prisoners of war, senile or mentally retarded persons, illiterates or lazy jerks.

Many persons, usually those too lazy to study the candidates and issues, claim that their vote doesn’t make that much difference. It does, however, and this fact has to be brought home to the voters at every election.

In almost every national election — and in state and local ones as well — there are contests that have been and are decided by perhaps one vote or by a very small number of voters. Perhaps the classic example a few years ago was the victory of Wayne Aspinall over Howard Schultz for Congress by a margin of 28 votes.

John Kennedy won the White House by a total vote margin less than the population of Colorado Springs. Thomas Jefferson won the presidency by a single vote in an election thrown into the House of Representatives — and this after 36 ballots were cast.

Later in 1825 three presidential candidates caused the election to be thrown into the House of Representatives. After a long hassle, John Quincy Adams won by one vote. The list is endless, but the lesson is short: VOTE.


Many Homes Brightened by Thanksgiving Basket Gift

November 20, 1972


Picture a shopping list that looks something like this:

125 loaves of bread;

80 packages of brown-n-serve rolls;

125 half-gallons of milk;

$600 worth of hams;

89 turkeys;

80 bottles of apple cider;

Several cases of canned corn, peas, fruit cocktail, cranberry sauce;

Stuffing for those 89 turkeys;

Lettuce and celery for 80 families.

In addition, picture that shopping list being stewed over by a man.

But that was the task accomplished by Charles Weber, this year’s chairman of the Thanksgiving baskets. Co-workers like Exalted Ruler Chet Magill, per Ray Schutte, says Charles did a good job.

Organizing a methodical method of filling the baskets was John “Slim” Skala, noted for the precise manner in which he does decorating, painting or filling charity baskets. Each item has a certain place, and the baskets were a work of art when filled to the brim and ready for distribution Saturday morning by the Elks volunteers.

Slim Skala prefers to do the organizing by himself — just as he decorates the Christmas trees for the Elks Home with the icicles being strung in studied style, one strand at a time.

Some 80 families will have a sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner through the charity of the Elks, who do not look upon this as a welfare-oriented program. The money, which is received from the George Trimble fund and represents the annual interest from the trust, is used to lighten the burdens of families who are hard-pressed by low income, those who have been hit by emergencies such as medical payments, etc.

Each basket represents an average value of $40. The volunteers have a list of the number in each family and fill the baskets accordingly.

People who live alone are usually given a ham instead of a turkey. The ham will last several weeks whereas the turkey would be a nuisance to prepare for one-person use.

The Elks distributed their valuable baskets in the city and to most outlying portions of the county. Names are turned in by interested persons who feel certain families are deserving of such holiday aid. The Elks check out the needs of those recommended.

The task will be repeated at Christmas time. The list of those aided may not be exactly the same. One fellow who was grateful for the Thanksgiving treat said he expected to be on his feet at Christmas time and would not need assistance.

Only those who fill and deliver the baskets know the names of those who receive the baskets. It is a good deed quietly done, like Santa stealing along during the hours when everyone is resting.

George Trimble, the man who made it all possible, was never an Elk, but he was a prominent banker who wanted the indigent to share in his wealth. His wise investment produces for the Leadville lodge some $19,000 annually to be used for charitable purposes.

Charles Weber said he learned a lot from his first giant shopping experience and expects to be well versed for the Christmas purchases.



November 24, 1972


Back to the drawing board after a one-day holiday, and we find this apropos remark in the Congressional Record:

Abraham Lincoln, who knew the extent of political power and the great editors of the mid-19th century pointed out:

“In this and like communities, public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently, he who moulds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts status or pronounces decisions.”

All politicians and presidents (and sometimes others) try to manage the news. It would be dangerous, though, if they were ever able to systematically close down the channels of information from their offices and administrations so that decisions could be made without public debate and controversy.

Lincoln said a mouthful. If a journalist or a columnist steps on somebody’s toes, he is accused of the “privilege” of having a column or being in print. But if that same journalist or columnist gives consistent pats on the back with nary a criticism, then the “privilege” is not questioned, except perhaps by someone who demands equal time.


The fact that it gets cold in a tent in Leadville in August made bold print in a Boston newspaper recently. The writer of the column answered a fellow who said he had not slept in a tent since 1942 and never wants to again with this: “My mother shares your attitude on tents. After nearly freezing in a tent in Leadville, Colo. one August she firmly announced, ‘I am too old for this sort of nonsense!’ She was 29 at the time.”


Stumbled onto some history in the Glenwood Post “Pages of the Past” for the 1932 era. Showed it to the b.h. and again we had historical conversation during the writing of this column.

The paragraph: “Charges have been filed against Diamond Jack Alterie and bond set at $20,000. The well-known underworld figure with present residence at Sweetwater Resort began shooting at some men in a local hotel. This is the second shooting incident he has been in since coming here from Chicago where he had been cleared of a kidnapping charge. Three men were wounded in the last incident; he is being charged with attempted murder.” (Date of story Nov. 10, 1932.)

Diamond Jack came to Leadville when he was on the “lam” from Chicago. His transportation was a big Lincoln which he would have serviced at the H & M Garage (now the 6th St. Gym) in his trips in and out of Leadville. He didn’t stay anywhere very long because he didn’t want to be picked up.

The b.h. was a young feller then working at the H & M. Diamond Jack was a generous tipper. When the Lincoln needed to be based, he always left a $20 bill. The change would go to the attendant. Just checking the air in the tires was good for a dollar tip.

Jack was going to open a mine above Diamond Lakes, but there were complications.

During one of his trips here he was involved in fisticuffs with a local resident.

The sheriff, Morgan Walsh, was summoned. This was one of the rare times when Morg came with a gun on his hip. Jack always had two guns on him.

Morg walked alone into Miller’s to learn what the trouble was. Jack was a gentleman and said he would obey the sheriff’s request to cause no more trouble in Lake County.

Diamond Jack developed a friendship with both Morg Walsh and the then sheriff of Garfield County, Murray Wilson. He presented each with a gold badge bearing their names and inscribed “from Diamond Jack Alterie.”

Morg’s badge is somewhere in part unknown. It is thought that Murray Wilson’s is housed in a case in the court house in Glenwood Springs.

Diamond Jack returned to Chicago only to meet his death in a gangland-style murder. He belonged to the wrong gang.


The Aspen Times pictured the top of Independence Pass which is atop the Continental Divide and on top of the world, and the road sign there reads “Hill.”


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