Museum’s New Journal Illuminated the 1970s


Telluride, Colorado (April 2, 2012) – When Joe Zoline, a onetime corporate lawyer living in Los Angeles, ventured to Telluride in the late 1960s, he found a mining community, nearly three hours from an airport, with a sole gas station—which closed at 5p.m. and never even opened on Sundays. But what Zoline saw were the mountains and miraculously, for he wasn’t a skier, the potential for an unmatched ski resort.

Soon, the good people of Telluride found themselves in the grocery, pharmacy and hardware stores alongside strange, young, long-haired, ski enthusiasts. By 1973 the town was bustling with a ski resort, a bluegrass festival, a robust and zany softball league, a thriving bar scene and a very distraught, six-gun touting, hippie hating, marshal: Everett Morrow. The Telluride Historical Museum’s new publication, “Telluride Tales,” gives light to it all.

Mary Duffy, past editor and chief of “Telluride Magazine,” and “Telluride and Mountain Village Visitor Guide,” took on the project at the bequest of the museum’s former Executive Director, Lauren Bloemsma. “Lauren saw the project as an opportunity to explore Telluride’s history beyond the scope of what could be shared in exhibits, lectures and programs,” said Duffy. “I saw it as a chance to document Telluride’s colorful history and recount stories that are often lost to time.”

Although the 70s have been explored in the documentary film “The YX Factorand Davine Pera’s oral history collection (housed at the Wilkinson Public Library), this first issue of “Telluride Tales” is presented in print as first person narratives exploring the social crossroads that colored the community during a sometimes painful transition. And yes, there were drugs, sex, rock and roll, and a healthy dose of politics. As Bloemsma said, “It was a time reminiscent of the wild and tumultuous decade a century earlier, when the discovery of gold and silver ushered in the mining era and brought about the end of the Uncompahgre Utes’ domination of the region.”

Contributors to the journal include Gary Bennett, Lucy Boody, Werner Catsman, Kooster McAllister, Billy “Senior” Mahoney, Roudy Roudebush, Jeff Campbell and others. “Telluride Tales,” also features a police report, filed by Everett Morrow the morning following the infamous wet t-shirt contest at the Roma Bar.

“Talking to people who lived it, getting their stories down and developing this project was a lot of fun,” said Duffy. “I only wish I could have printed them all, but that will have to come later.” The topic of the next issue hasn’t been set in stone, but there are hundreds of interesting eras, events and characters to explore. “This is only a kernel of the great tales that are out there,” said Duffy. “For such a little community, with a relatively short history, Telluride is rich in legend and drama.”

Copies of “Telluride Tales,” are available at the Telluride Historical Museum, or receive a free copy by joining the museum’s membership here.