Another park, another Sunday |

Another park, another Sunday

Vail's No Name Golf Tournament was Tom Kurchowski's idea.

The annual event was a spoof on the Jerry Ford Invitational, a celebrity-studded event that included a variety show featuring the likes of Sammy Davis Jr, Bob Hope, Charlie Pride, Charlie Daniels, Dinah Shore, Hal Linden, Bob Knight and all kinds of other luminaries. The No Name, however, featured none of those. But the people who played in it had as much fun as can had wearing golf knickers. It did, however, feature stuff like the par-3 hole in Vail on which golfers had to tee off amid water balloons being launched back at them from the green. It also featured these beautiful women, from left, Barbara Norris, Mary Mingus, Harriet Simmons and Diane Johnston.|Special to the Daily| |

Once upon a time on Sundays, you couldn’t buy alcohol in Colorado liquor stores.

You still can’t, but on this particular sunny autumn Sunday afternoon, a group of people hanging around Vail’s Sandstone 70s condos thought this was as good a reason as existed to get naked.

And since they couldn’t buy alcohol on Sundays, we can assume they were also under the influence no other controlled substances of any kind and were in complete control of all their faculties. Which makes this sort of thing a fully conscious decision – at least on some level of consciousness.

As they lolled away the afternoon, that day’s one-and-only on-duty Vail police officer wandered by, wondering what all the giggling was about, relatively certain it wasn’t the Jerry Lewis Telethon or a Broncos game.

A member of Vail’s Finest and a guardian of the public safety, the officer decided they were having so much fun he’d join them.

So he took off his gun, along with everything else, and joined them around the table.

The peace-loving populace was enjoying itself mightily, unaware the police officer might be better served in the active discharge of his duties – instead of in the nude, for while they were one with the universe, a couple bad guys were burglarizing the Manor Vail Lodge.

This was long before cell phones, pagers, radios or other glories of modern technology. Besides, the police officer was operating in a parallel universe where there are no bad guys and no need for radios that would summon you to deal with them.

So the police chief at the time – whose name is being withheld to protect the innocent, which certainly does not include the bad guys burglarizing Manor Vail – was called to the scene.

This is where the story gets a little sketchy. The versions we were told, however, said the chief ended up handcuffed at the top of Vail Pass while the bad guys made their escape. We’re not sure how the chief got there, or what he was handcuffed to, or whether he liked being handcuffed.

We’re pretty sure the bad guys got away.

We’re also pretty sure Officer Moonbeam of the Vail Police Department was lectured severely enough to ensure he never did anything like that again.

Finally, we’re absolutely sure this wasn’t the only legend of this sort spawned by this particular group of pioneers.

Editor’s note: The Vail Daily is collecting pictures, legends, stories and stuff for a massive Vail family album to be published for Vail Pioneers Weekend, Sept. 20-22. Call 949-0555, ext. 615, or send it to You’ve been fantastic so far. Please keep up the great work.

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