1984: Big Brother is skiing you | VailDaily.com

1984: Big Brother is skiing you

Brian Hall is resplendent in his dance attire during the "Yes We Have No Bananas Review." We're not sure if it was 1983, but it was close enough. And we are sure Brian can still do this.

VAIL – Putting newspapers together is like asking women what they want in men: They’ll sincerely tell you about intelligence and character, but eye candy stops them.

And so it was that the Vail Daily’s popularity mushroomed when we added all the really cool comics – Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, Dear Abby and a crossword puzzle. We immediately learn that you can misspell President Reagan’s name and no one cares. But if you mess up the crossword puzzle, people will threaten to have you keel-hauled.

Speaking of keels, Robert Lazier and Packy Walker hit the jackpot when a pirate ship, the Whydah, captained by Black Belamy, is found off the Cape Cod coast. It sank on April 12, 1715, and was believed to carry a bounty worth $400 million.

Instead of buying lottery tickets, Walker and Lazier invested in the salvage operation. They do not get rich, but are bestowed the lifetime right to say “Arrrrr!” any time they feel like it.

And while we’re talking pirates, in January 1984 Vail’s only bookie calls it quits, saying the business got too big.

What started as a hobby outgrew itself when “Rich” had up to 25 clients betting between $24 and $200 on each game. There were 14 NFL games a week in 1984, and Rich’s average client would bet on a half-dozen games. The bookie collects 10 percent from the winner.

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Also in the center ring, Arthur Kittay, A Great American, makes the news in the first of what will be zillions of appearances. Kittay wanted to install an 8.5-foot dish atop a 22-foot pole at his Vail home.

He insists the town’s Design Review Board violated his rights by denying his request. Kittay’s arguments included “lousy cable service” and “My First Amendment rights.”

The town council is convinced and overturns the DRB decision. Kittay gets his satellite dish, and Radio Free America is born.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.