Aspen Crazies

Caper Crusaders

Jack Brendlinger has mined tall tales and fuzzy memories for a new book on a little-documented phenomenon from Aspen’s dropout heyday in the 1960s and ’70s: what the author calls “the practical joke years.”

By Andrew Travers July 1, 2015 Published in the Midsummer/Fall 2015 issue of Aspen Sojourner

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An octogenarian who now lives in Carbondale, Brendlinger settled in Aspen in 1964. He writes fondly in his new book Don’t Get Mad…Get Even of those days when Aspen didn’t take itself so seriously and the then-sleepy ski town’s mischievous denizens kept themselves entertained with late-night capers.

After he and a crew of ski bums sank Jim Pomeroy’s johnboat on a hunting trip, Brendlinger writes, they bought their buddy a new one, filled it with fifty gallons of grape Jell-O, and lodged it inside the Pomeroy family Suburban—with a sex toy embedded in the gelatin.

A drunken county commissioner rides a motorcycle through a constituent’s living room during a Halloween party, a pair of locals steal a car and leave it teetering atop Red Butte—today, these would be scandals and police-blotter fodder. Back then, as Brendlinger tells it, they were standard fare for “Aspen crazies.”

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