Time Machine: 40 years ago, community group convenes to address cocaine addiction in Vail

A graphic from the Sept. 30, 1983 edition of the Vail Trail newspaper illustrates a cocaine problem in Vail.
Vail Trail/Vail Daily archive

30 years ago

Sept. 24, 1993

City Market officials made preliminary plans to open a new store “either in Edwards or Eagle next year,” the Vail Trail reported.

“John Caldwell of City Market said the company bought a four-acre site in Eagle, and is currently negotiating a site in Edwards,” the Trail reported. “Both areas are experiencing a great deal of growth, he noted. Construction would not begin until next summer.”

40 years ago

Sept. 30, 1983

A group called Action Vail asked residents to discuss drug use in town, with a pair of locals saying they had spent $250,000 to $350,000 on cocaine over a six year period ending in 1983.

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“In what is probably the first public admission of a serious cocaine addiction in Vail, both men spoke last Friday before a community group fighting drugs and the image that they feel has tainted this resort town,” the Vail Trail reported.

The disclosure of the local’s drug habits surprised many of the business people who showed up for the meeting, the Trail reported.

“Although some Action Vail members in the past viewed drug and alcohol abuse as separate, (the men) insisted the two things are part of the same problem,” the Trail reported. “They feel jailing users is the wrong answer, because it does nothing for the addict s problem. The best solution is education, they said.”

50 years ago

Sept. 28, 1973

Red Cliff residents spoke out against a dam and reservoir project proposed for their area, the Vail Trail reported.

The Red Cliff project would include the construction of a 220-foot high dam, a 4-mile-long reservoir called Iron Mountain Reservoir, and a 10,000- to 12,500-kilowatt hydroelectric peaking power facility on Homestake Creek near Red Cliff.

A meeting to discuss the project attracted “some 100 people, mostly part or full-time residents of the damsite area,” the Trail reported. “The opposition focused on four areas of concern: the detrimental impact in terms of population growth and rising land values and living costs which would drive out many long-time Red Cliff-Gilman-Minturn residents, the detrimental effect on environment, wildlife and fish, the apparent lack of or little effort by the water conservation district in investigating alternatives to the project, and the detrimental effect of oil shale development.”

60 years ago

Sept. 26, 1963

A recent lightning storm lit up the sky over Eagle, the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

“One evening early this week one of the most spectacular electric storms to be seen in this area in years occurred,” the Enterprise reported. “It lasted for over two hours —and moved from the far southwest to the east going overhead Eagle for a short time — but for the most part the display was at a great distance. At times the entire sky was light as daytime by sheet lightning — then a series of jagged bolts would appear, at times in all directions. The show was not only spectacular — but held a certain beauty as the elements unleashed their fury in one huge show.”

70 years ago

Oct. 1, 1943

The hunting party of Dr. L. W. Simmons of Eagle bagged a pronghorn, the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

Simmons “was a lucky hunter, when he knocked over his antelope,” the Enterprise reported.

80 years ago

Oct. 1, 1943

The Eagle Valley Enterprise received a letter from local serviceman Sgt. John Lund, a member of the U.S. Army Eighth Air Force in England.

Lund had a brush with death in the war when the plane he was traveling in was hit by a shell that failed to detonate.

“After a long jaunt into Germany the big bomber, ‘Shakeroo JI’ landed and lumbered into its area apparently unharmed,” the Enterprise reported. “But upon inspection of the bomber, ground crew chief, Sgt. John Lund of Red Cliff, discovered a hole in the top of the left wing, but none leading out. Further probing about the inside of the wing Sgt. Lund found an unexploded 20 mm shell,” the Trail reported.

The shell had ripped through the metal covering and dropped harmlessly into the bottom of the wing, not exploding, the Enterprise reported, quoting Lund.

“Boy, that dud sure saved a lot of work,” Lund said. “I sure thank them.”

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