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Joy in Leadville

December 29, 1996

The article mentioning the Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville, Colo. ("Aspen: Inside and Out," Dec. 8) brought back memories when I was a private first class with the 10th Mountain Division ("ski troops") at Camp Hale. About half of the ski troopers were immigrants or refugees from Europe, where skiing had been popular for a long time.

Once a month, a federal judge came up from Denver to naturalize us at the Silver Dollar, some miles away from Camp Hale. After the final paperwork had been done, the judge called a recess for lunch but warned that he would not swear us in as citizens if we came back drunk like the group of Norwegians the day before.

My group, mostly refugees from Hitler, seemed sober enough, but the judge himself appeared to have enjoyed a few shots (on the house?) with lunch.

G. BORDING MATHIEU

Laguna Beach

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