in memoriam: Slim Weston

By Jim Stanford on February 12, 2014

Comments: 8 Comments

Leon “Slim” Weston

Leon “Slim” Weston, the iconic cowboy lifty who greeted skiers at Grand Targhee for 45 winters, died last night after a battle with cancer. He was 72 years old.

Weston’s smile, cowboy hat and long, lean frame were a fixture at Targhee since the resort’s inception in 1969. He appeared in Warren Miller films and a host of ski magazines, gaining as much of a reputation as the resort’s fresh powder. A snowboarder, he was known to give out hugs and back rubs in the lift lines.

“He is the spirit of Grand Targhee and is greatly missed,” resort spokesman Ken Rider said. “A bunch of heavy hearts over here today.”

Weston was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011 and had been fighting an ongoing battle. Still, he worked three days at the resort last week.

“Whatever he wanted to work, we’d let him work,” Rider said.

Weston was a farmer and rancher who lived outside Driggs. He got his nickname after riding up on his horse at the beginning of a Miller ski movie, and the filmmaker called him “Ol’ Slim.”

Rider said the resort is deferring to Weston’s family on plans for a memorial service. More information will be posted as soon as it is available.

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Posted under Deaths, Ski Resorts, Sports

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Cutting to the chase

By Jim Stanford on February 17, 2013

Comments: 12 Comments

Presidents’ Day weekend has brought crowds, sunshine and a host of festivities to Jackson Hole. After a couple of spectacular days on the slopes, a snow squall is sprinkling dust on crust, making today ideal for kicking back at the track.

The Shrine Club’s Cutter Races at Melody Ranch are one of the biggest parties of the winter. Day two of the 42nd annual running of the chariots is about to get underway. Gates open to tailgaters at 11 a.m., and the horses run at 12:30.

David Stubbs made this video from the races in 2011, when the Shriners raised nearly $50,000 for the children’s hospital in Salt Lake City.

For a complete list of WinterFest activities, click here.

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Posted under Entertainment, Holidays, Sports

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entire state hungover, following whiskey debut

By Jim Stanford on December 3, 2012

Comments: 12 Comments

People wait in line to purchase Wyoming Whiskey outside the opening party Saturday in Kirby. The spectacular launch of the bourbon has put the tiny town in central Wyoming’s Hot Springs County on the map for liquor connoisseurs.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead might as well have declared today a state holiday, after nearly every resident rushed out to purchase and consume ample quantities of his brother’s Wyoming Whiskey over the weekend.

The long-awaited first release of the homegrown bourbon became a marketing sensation unlike anything the state has ever seen. Not only were hundreds of Wyoming retailers shut out, but stores, too, were raided shortly after opening.

Jackson Whole Grocer opened at 7 a.m. Saturday and sold all 150 bottles in stock within 25 minutes. Yes, people lined up to buy whiskey at 7 a.m. The store had to cancel a planned tasting because there was none left to taste.

At the distillery in Kirby, a line of roughly three times the town’s population of 92 stretched from the party tent as people waited to buy a bottle, in a scene one onlooker described as reminiscent of Prohibition.

The question lingering like cottonmouth and a dull headache, though, is whether the whiskey lived up to the hype. The Casper Star-Tribune consulted a liquor expert, who described it as “one of the best bourbons I’ve ever tasted.”

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Posted under Business, Humor, Wyoming

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not in Kansas anymore

By Jim Stanford on May 17, 2012

Comments: 38 Comments

Legitimate three-hour parking spots on the Square.

What if you traveled 1,000 miles to stage a gruesome abortion protest and no one could see it?

Props to the ranchers and moving truck owners for heading downtown on business this morning.

(Via Jackson Hole United)

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Posted under Politics, Religion, Wyoming

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John Mayer sits in at Cowboy Bar

By Jim Stanford on April 5, 2012

Comments: 2 Comments

While everyone was at Teton Village on Saturday, grooving to the hip-hop of G. Love, blues guitarist John Mayer apparently made a guest appearance at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.

According to bar staff, Mayer joined Nathan Dean and The Damn Band and traded a few licks. “It was incredible, and John was one of the nicest people we have met at the Cowboy Bar,” the bar posted on its Facebook page.

What Mayer was doing in Jackson Hole is unclear. He recently canceled his spring tour, including a gig at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, because of a recurring throat ailment. He does not sing in the clip above.

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