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Legends of Legacy Lodge: Beverly Hofmann, A Woman of Creativity and Courage

Legends of Legacy Lodge: Beverly Hofmann, A Woman of Creativity and Courage

What do you do if you have a good life in Illinois but feel the call of mountains? You get in your car and head west to Jackson, Wyoming. That is what Bev Hofmann did in 1973.

She had been here with her parents when she was five years old and remembered not only the mountains, but also things like someone playing a calliope outside the doors of the Pink Garter Theater on Deloney street. and bears raiding the garbage cans outside their cabin in Yellowstone.

The first day after her arrival in 1973, because of her typing ability, she found a job at the Jackson Hole Guide, where she worked as a typesetter for three years before moving on to other work at the Alpenhoff and the Aspens. In the late 70’s, she moved to a job at the Valley Shop in Jackson, an office supply store. Also, in the 1970’s, she started doing needlepoint and started her own business, Beverly Designs.

Like most artists, she needed other work, as well. In 1981, she met a woman who worked in medical records at the hospital and Bev decided that job would be a good match for her. She was right—she worked in medical records for 30 years and for the last 6 years before she retired, she worked as a Revenue Cycle Coordinator for the hospital. She also continued her design business.

In 1990, artists were sought to design and make needlepoint chair covers for dining chairs in the Wyoming Governor’s Mansion. 24 chairs were commissioned in total, one chair for each county in Wyoming. Bev designed the Sublette county chair, because there was no one from Sublette county to do it. It wasn’t a quick task—it took her a year to complete it. 

Bev has sold an original design to a catalog company and continues creating them, but needlepoint design isn’t her only creative activity. She has managed craft shows, created amazing mod-podge items, bead work, jewelry, and more. She has worked with copper netting, plastic canvas, and ribbons.

Lucky us to have her in our midst!

 

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Legacy Lodge Legend: Grace Merritt

Legacy Lodge Legend: Grace Merritt

Once upon a time, not too many years ago, there lived three sisters in eastern Wyoming. The youngest of these, a pretty and bright little girl, was 22 months old when the three sisters were adopted by a western Wyoming couple who lived near Afton. The couple was happy to have these little girls and after a few years, had four more daughters born to them, so there were seven sisters in the family. The young 22-month-old toddler grew up to be our neighbor here at Legacy, Grace Merritt.

Grace liked living on the farm in Star Valley where she grew up and where her mother was a school teacher. She also liked seeing things grow and appreciated the family’s big garden. Grace liked books and read almost anything she could get. She fondly remembers reading while lying outdoors in the grass. She still likes to read and always has books near at hand in her apartment. A farm is a busy place and Grace learned to work early in her life. Each of the family’s daughters had many tasks (such as feeding calves, pigs or chickens) and were assigned to prepare some of the family’s meals.

Grace met LaMar, the man who became her husband, at a roller-skating rink. He had just come home from his stint in the Army. They married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple when she was still a teenager. She finished high school after their marriage. Later, she and her husband bought a farm near Bedford where they had around 35 dairy cows that had to be milked, both morning and night. They also raised wheat, barley, and alfalfa on the farm.

Tragedy came into their lives when Grace was still a young wife and mother—her husband was run over by his tractor. The large rear wheel rolled over much of his lower left body. There was no one in Afton who could do anything, but his life depended on receiving help rapidly. With Grace and two others alternating driving and trying to care for her husband, they made the trip to Idaho Falls, over 90 miles away, via a graveled road in 68 minutes. He survived and lived for many more years.

Back on the farm, Grace did all the farming for a time while her mother and mother-in-law helped with the home and children. Later, Grace worked at a creamery which was popular not only for cheese, but also for the pies people could buy there. One of her jobs was to make the pies, often 100 of them a day, which everyone liked a lot.

Grace and her husband had five children. Three of them live in Star Valley and two are in Logan, Utah.

I’m sure we all appreciate Grace’s creativeness—not everyone could make a tin can man, fashion a woman’s head from a bowling alley pin, or create some of the other wonderful arrangements outside her apartment.

  • Written by Jeanie Mebane

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Artist in Residence: Stan Emery

Artist in Residence: Stan Emery

Who do you know who lives here, is originally from Pontiac Michigan, has multiple talents and is a quietly modest person?

It’s Stan Emery—our cartoon artist in residence.

Shortly after Stan graduated from high school in Pontiac, Michigan, he joined the US Air Force. He went to Scott Airforce Base in Illinois where he specialized in and studied ground radio communications. About half-way through school there, he volunteered to go overseas and was sent to Misiswa Air Force Base in Japan. He worked there three years, repairing radio systems, before returning to Fort Meade, Maryland.

When his four years in the Air Force ended, he reenlisted with the agreement that he could choose where he would be stationed. He chose to return to Japan—there was a reason and her name was Iko Sasaki. They were married and stayed in Japan for a time before moving to Portland, Oregon, where Stan worked as an electronics technician.

Stan’s career also took him to Redwood City, California, where they lived for fourteen years before moving to Florida. Moves after that took them back to California and to Washington. After Iko died in 1995, Stan moved to Arizona where he continued to work in electronics.

Stan has two sons, Eric and Robert. Eric lives in Seattle, works at a hospital and has authored five books. Robert, who lives in Jackson, has a snowboard company and is the father of Stan’s two fine grandsons.

Back to cartoons—Stan started drawing when he was nine years old but didn’t pursue that talent for many years. Now he enjoys it as a hobby—see the following…

Interviewed and written by Jeanie Mebane

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Legacy Lodge Legend: Doris Budge

Legacy Lodge Legend: Doris Budge

Doris Budge

Take heed Legacy folks! Have you heard about the largest fish caught in Wyoming in 1983? We should all know, for it was caught by our good friend and neighbor Doris Budge.

However, Doris and her family have a role in the history of this area that goes far beyond fishing. Doris’s father was a Wilson, part of a family that moved here from Utah when this area was just being settled. As you may have guessed, the town of Wilson was founded by one of her ancestors and the very land where we now live was owned by a Wilson, whose brother rode for the pony express. Doris’s father had an important role in building the road to Hoback and on through the canyon using horse-drawn equipment.

Doris was born in Jackson on a New Year’s Day and a few years later, started to school here. However, because her heavy equipment operator father often had jobs in other Wyoming places, she also attended school in Dubois and other towns. She had two younger siblings and one of them, her brother, helped develop the Rafter J subdivision.

In high school, Doris played basketball and was courted by Clint Budge, whom she married in a wedding at her family home, a house around the corner from the current Maverick Station.

Clint played hockey in Idaho Falls and once, on their way home, they got stuck in Rexburg by a big snowstorm. They spent days there along with several other people. They all got together and tramped down the snow at the airport by foot. A plane was able to land and brought them back across the mountains to Jackson. Here it landed on a field where The Virginian now stands!

Doris and Clint both worked—Doris worked at a restaurant, drove a truck for her Dad or husband, delivered for a local dry cleaner, became a specialist in cleaning silk wedding dresses, and developed management skills which helped her when she worked at a lumber company where she did nearly everything, as needed. Like Doris, Clint had a variety of skills. He was also a volunteer fireman. Life changed for them with a fire in the Wort Hotel in 1980. Clint was seriously burned on both hands and legs while helping fight the fire and save the hotel.

Clint could not stand the cold on his hands after that, so they bought a motor home and traveled to Havasu City, Arizona. They had a house built there which they enjoyed for many years. Sadly, Doris was widowed early.

At some point Doris developed significant artistic ability (see pictures). Now Doris continues to enjoy her many friends, as well as her children and grandchildren. A handmade wooden plaque on her wall reads, “GREATEST GRANDMOTHER AWARD, to say thanks for all the time, love, cookies and juice you’ve invested in us.”

Interviewed and written by Jeanie Mebane

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Legacy Lodge Legend: Marge McCallister

Legacy Lodge Legend: Marge McCallister

Marge McCallister

A native Coloradoan, Marge McCallister is a very interesting, good, and accomplished person with a ready smile. 

Marge grew up on the family farm near Loveland, Colorado, a town a short distance east of the Rocky Mountains. On the farm she helped as needed, including driving a truck when they harvested wheat. In addition to traditional farm crops, they grew tomatoes and other vegetables. Marge even helped earn her way through college, by growing and selling tomatoes from a half acre plot.

Shortly after graduating from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, Marge married and moved to Houston, Texas. They lived there for less than two years before moving to California, where they got a good buy on a lot overlooking the ocean. The lot had previously been owned by the wizard of the film “The Wizard of Oz.”  They had a house built there upon 25’ caissons to stabilize it.

Their location above the water plus the caissons gave them a 180-degree view of the ocean. They enjoyed seeing the ocean with its ever-changing colors created by the sun and clouds. They could look down on birds flying below them, whales, huge ships and more. They lived there for twelve years and it greatly saddened Marge to leave. However, people were moving land below them which caused the hill and their house to be lost in a landslide.

They decided to enjoy a mountain view and bought a lot in a Malibu canyon. Their oldest son, who had gone to California Polytech College, built the new house for them on the site. Again, they had a good view—this time of mountains. Unfortunately, the house burned in last year’s fires.

While living there, Marge began teaching at Pacific Palisades in a preschool especially for children who were the age to enter kindergarten but had been held back a year (called a Gift Year) for various reasons. There was no established curriculum. Marge had to create it and she intentionally made learning fun. The children thrived. They often succeeded far beyond their classmates as they continued through school.

Later, Marge moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, and then to  Huntington Beach, California. before she came to Jackson, Wyoming, where she has lived for nine years.

Mother of four, grandmother of 13, and great grandmother of 4, Marge loves and enjoys her family.

Throughout the years, Marge has been associated with Community Bible Study groups, an international organization. Marge helped organize the first west coast group which was attended by 500 people.

These groups and her own beliefs have helped her through whatever life presents. They continue to do so. She has a life bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

Interviewed and written by Jeanie Mebane

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Legacy Lodge Legend: Bob Morris

Legacy Lodge Legend: Bob Morris

A Captain in our Midst

His military career and rank gave Bob Morris his commonly used title of Captain Bob, but his beliefs shaped his adult life. After a childhood in the East and seven years as a Marine, he came to Jackson to support candidates who opposed the Vietnam War.

Let’s dig into his history a bit—Captain Bob’s early years were spent primarily at his family home near Central Park in New York City where his father was an attorney. Like lots of people, his favorite time of the year was summer. He spent the first half of each summer at his grandparents’ home in Massachusetts and the second half by the ocean in Southampton on Long Island.

When he was twelve years old, he entered Groton School in Massachusetts. Later he attended and graduated from Yale where he majored in history, focusing on American and European history.

He entered the Marines as an officer candidate. After some time at Quantico Base in Virginia, he was sent to Okinawa and Japan (during the last battles of WWII), before returning to the U.S. where he was stationed first at Yorktown Naval Base and then at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. A Marine Commandant under whom he served was passionately outspoken against the war in Vietnam.

Following seven years in the Marines, he was discharged and went back to Connecticut and a happy life there. However, after two years, thinking of the thousands of young Americans getting killed in Vietnam, he became a political activist. He flew to Jackson to support a political candidate who was against our participation in the war.

Finding he liked Jackson, he bought a condo here and made this his home.

Many people remember that he founded and broadcast from the first radio station here after procuring a license from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and the necessary equipment. Ask anyone who has lived in Jackson for a while, they will start to quote Captain Bob’s commercials. “It only takes one minute of living in Teton County to register to vote!” His ads ran so frequently (like favorite commercial jingles) that everyone clearly remembers them. Whether he was running for office, promoting a candidate, fighting for a proposition or raising awareness of local and national issues, Bob could be counted on to get his voice heard. His commercials ran every single day for 12 years.

People here also remember he lived simply. He lived in Teton Village and instead of owning a car and driving, he either hitchhiked or rode a bike into Jackson.

When hitchhiking he usually gifted the person who gave him a ride with a $2 bill. The $2 bill became a signature for Captain Bob. He frequently depleted the bank’s stash of $2 bills. He didn’t use them only to pay people for rides, he bought everything he could with them. “It’s cheaper. It costs less to print a $2 bill than it does to print two $1 bills. It’s better for our economy. The more 2-dollar bills in circulation, the more money we save. It’s better for our country.”

To paraphrase the old Frank Sinatra song, Captain Bob took some blows, but he did it his way. He faced it all, stood tall, and he did it his way.

“I’ve lived a life that’s full, I’ve traveled each and every highway, and more, much more than this, I did it my way.” – Frank Sinatra

Today, he continues to stand tall and do it his way.

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