Jackson Hole magazine winter 2014 issue
CULTURE Jackson Hole DISPLAY UNTIL 4/30/2014 $5.95 The Liftie Life OUTSIDE Fun Beyond Skiing DESIGN Mountain Modern Homes GETTING OUT Raptor Rehab WINTER 2014 Thrive or [COMPLIMENTARY COPY] Some wildlife revel in winter. Other animals merely endure our harshest season. Survive? magazine ExcEllEncE in Art SincE 1963. Images clockwise from above left: Interior shot of Trailside Galleries in Jackson Hole, Logan Maxwell Hagege, Gathering, 40 x 60 inches, Oil. Dustin Van Wechel, The Interlopers, 24 x 18 inches, Oil. Gary Ernest Smith, Red Barn In September, 30 x 42 inches, Oil. J A c k S o n H o l E A r t A u c t i o n i S c u r r E n t lY AccEpting conSignMEntS for tHE 2014 Auction contact: 866-549-9278 | email@example.com W W W. J A c k S o n H o l E A r tA u c t i o n . c o M JACKSON HOLE SCOTTSDALE 130 East Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001 (307) 733.3186 7330 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (480) 945.7751 EMAil info@trAilSidEgAllEriES.coM WWW.trAilSidEgAllEriES.coM T N C T UT DO L SO T , - - - , JLF J A H M , R . T L F C T R - M , - J C , J H M A V R . J O H N L . R E S O R, A S S O C I A T E B R O K E R JOHN.RESOR@JHSIR.COM | 877-739-8062 | 307-739-8062 WWW. S HOOTINGS TARJ H . COM This is not an offer to sell nor a solicitation of offers to buy real estate in Shooting Star by residents of Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, or in any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law. ACCESS TO AND RIGHTS TO USE RECREATIONAL AMENITIES WITHIN SHOOTING STAR MAY BE SUBJECT TO PAYMENT OF USE FEES, MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS, OR OTHER LIMITATIONS. Traditional & Contemporary Western Art GERRY METZ “Keepin’ Out Of Sight” Oil 30" X 40" RAY MCCARTY “Almost Persuaded” Oil 24" X 30" NANCY CAWDREY “Coolin’ Off ” French Dye on Silk 30" X 40" JENNY FOSTER “Gentle Giant”- Acrylic & Oil - 72" X 36" 55 & 75 North Glenwood | Across the street west of the Wort Hotel 307-734-2888 | 800-883-6080 | www.westliveson.com | firstname.lastname@example.org The Clear Creek Group JACKSON HOLE Vacation Rental Brokerage Caretaking Slopeside Apres Vous The Clear Creek Group provides the services of a fine hotel in Jackson Hole’s most magical, private, vacation rental properties. Whether you’re a homeowner who has entrusted your property to The Clear Creek Group for its care and maintenance, or a family seeking the perfect Jackson Hole vacation, we will light the fire in your fireplace, fill your vases with flowers, and put the lift tickets on the table. Once you arrive, there’s nothing you need to do but celebrate being here. 120 West Pearl Avenue • Jackson, Wyoming 83001 Office (307) 732-3400 • Toll free (877) 427-3400 • www.theclearcreekgroup.com § Jackson Hole Winter 2014 Page 80 Features 58 Jackson Hole Nonskiing Winter Guide 80 Thrive or Survive? Some animals merely endure winter, others thrive. Photography by henry h. holdsworth P H O T O G A L L E RY Skiing is great, but there’s much more to do here. BY kelsey dayton 72 The Liftie Life It’s a simple job, but loading lifts can change lives. BY reed finlay with rebecca huntington and dani spence 86 Forty Years of Solitude As a winterkeeper, Steven Fuller has lived in Yellowstone longer than anyone else. By todd wilkinson ON THE COVER: “They were stampeding at full speed and were a couple of seconds from running me over,” says photographer Henry H. Holdsworth about the four bison in Homestretch, which he shot in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley. “I don’t know if one of them got an itch and took off and the rest followed or what. I didn’t see the start.” Holdsworth says it’s only “a couple of times a year” that he sees bison run at full speed. “It’s especially rare in winter; usually they like to take their time and saunter along,” he says. Just as he was deciding which way to dive out of this group’s path—they were about thirty meters distant—the bison took a hard right and went down an embankment to Soda Butte Creek. “It certainly got my blood pressure up,” Holdsworth says. 6 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE WINTER 2014 HENRY H. HOLDSWORTH Unmatched Experience. Exceptional Results. Valerie Conger & Melinda Day, Sales Associates Tom Evans, Associate Broker Direct: 307-739-8149 Cell: 307-413-5101 TomEvansRE@jhsir.com TomEvansRealEstate.com Artists from top Left to Right R. Tom Gilleon Glenn Dean Ed Mell John Nieto Howard Post Mary Roberson Jared Sanders Billy Schenck Dan Namingha Duke Beardsley September Vhay Theodore Waddell Travis Walker Rocky Hawkins Dennis Zeimienski Also Representing James Pringle Cook Robert Farber Donna Howell-Sickles Steve Kestrel Arlo Namingha Marshall Noice Frtiz Scholder Greg Woodard 172 Center Street PO Box 4859 Jackson, WY 83001 www.altamiraart.com (307)739-4700 THE COEUR D’ALENE ART AUCTION Fine 19th and 20th Century Western and American Art Frederic Remington (1861–1909), Cutting Out Pony Herds (1908), oil on canvas, 27 × 40 inches, Sold at Auction: $5,625,000 The 2013 Coeur d’Alene Art Auction realized exceptional sales reaching a total of $30.5 million. The single largest event in the field of classic Western & American art saw over 98% of all lots selling at the July 27th sale in Reno, Nevada. “Reno is home to the nation’s biggest and most successful auction of Western art.” We are now accepting quality consignments for our 2014 Auction to be held in Reno. For more information visit our website at www.cdaartauction.com THE COEUR D’ALENE ART AUCTION 8836 North Hess St., Suite B Hayden, Id. 83835 tel: 208-772-9009 e: email@example.com – The Wall Street Journal Jackson Hole JH Living 20 Winter 2014 Tetonscapes 28 G2 Gloves, Ice Skating for Everyone, 100 Years of the Moulton Barn, and improv comedy with Laff Staff piqued Our favorites this season locals Best of JH getting out 32 Meet Some Jacksonites 107 Live to Ski BY DINA MISHEV Teri Davis, Dom Gagliardi, and Daniel Tisi Ski mountaineering with Exum on the job 38 Foot Fetishists By jeff burke 112 Pull the Trigger BY Dina mishev Jackson Hole Shooting Experience Fitting ski boots is a serious job. 42 Punishing and Polished BY dina mishev business 116 EnRAPTured BY Molly loomis Teton Raptor Center saves lives. BRADLY J. BONER NATE PADAVICK Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has grown up. 120 Turn Up the Heat BY brielle schaeffer BODY & SOUL Page 46 Mountain Modern By MOLLY LOOMIS DESIGN Saunas, steam rooms, and hot springs are good for you. 116 An increasingly popular architectural style takes cues from the landscape. 124 Dance the Night Away BY jaYME feary NIGHTLIFE Page Kick up your heels cowboy-style. looking back 94 Après-Ski 22 A ski day doesn’t stop with the lifts. By MOLLY ABSOLON 128 Meat Your Butcher BY SUE MUNCASTER DINING 98 Lungs, Not Lifts By DINA MISHEV OUTDOORS Our area’s artisan butchers are a cut above the rest. The sport of randonee racing is growing. 140 A Flurry of Creativity Art Scene As the hole deepens 102 Nature Abhors an Empty Bedroom By Tim Sandlin Dance, music, and visual arts By Richard anderson 156 jackson hole MAPPED 158 Calendar of Events 10 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE WINTER 2014 155 WEST BROADWAY JACKSON, WY 83001 307.733.0905 INFO@DIEHLGALLERY.COM DIEHLGALLERY.COM Greetings from the Editor I love Jackson Hole. This morning I got up early, was first in line at Persephone Bakery Café (“double espresso and a chocolate croissant,please”), drove to the top of Teton Pass, skied powder for ninety minutes, and got back to town just as the library opened. Still in my ski clothes, I nabbed a table in the back corner, near the gas fireplace and the magazine rack, and did some serious work for the next several hours. It’s now past lunch. I want to finish writing this before meeting a girlfriend at Bin22 for an afternoon snack of chorizo-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates. Then it’s over to the Center for the Arts, where the Art Association has its annual Art Heist fundraiser. How many areas offer this amount of diversity—flaky croissants to fresh powder, fabulous food, and an art fundraiser—in a single day? Jackson Hole—and visitors, know that Jackson Hole refers to the entire valley, and Jackson is the valley’s main town—might have more things to do and see than cities ten times its size. Of course there’s skiing, whether at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, recently ranked by SKI Magazine readers as the No. 1 overall ski resort on the continent, or up in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP). This issue’s business story (p. 42) traces BRADLY J. BONER the transformation of the former from a no-frills, experts-only mountain to a world-class, family friendly destination resort. To cover the skiing in GTNP, I signed on with Exum Mountain Guides for their Live to Ski camp (p. 107). But Jackson Hole, even in winter, is about so much more than skiing. Writer Kelsey Dayton suggests several other options, from dog sledding to snowmobiling, tubing, ice climbing, and sleigh rides (p. 58). One of the valley’s fiercest hockey players and also a fabulous writer, Allison Arthur pairs up with illustrator Nate Padavick (who also did our Go! JH map on p. 156) to share all the different places you can ice skate— figure and hockey—in the valley (p. 22). Did you know Jackson Hole has its own improv comedy troupe? Meet Laff Staff (p. 26). Steve Fuller has lived in Yellowstone National Park longer than anyone else. Fuller’s isolated life as a winterkeeper at Canyon isn’t something you can experience yourself, but journalist Todd Wilkinson gives us insight into it (p. 86). Wilkinson has long written for this magazine, and copy editor Pamela Periconi and I agree this might be his best piece yet. Fuller’s life may also be one of the most interesting you’ll ever read about. But, of course, I hope you find everything you read about in this issue interesting. — Dina Mishev P.S. Make sure to check in with jacksonholemagazine.com for original content and interviews with valley personalities. visit us in jackson 840 West Broadway 307-733-0247 12 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE WINTER 2014 Jackson Hole Publisher Winter 2014 // jacksonholemagazine.com What is your favorite nonskiing winter activity? Watching ski races … there’s usually one about every weekend between Snow King and JHMR. Kevin Olson Editor Dina Mishev ART DIRECTOR Wayne Smith Skating at the Wilson rink with my husband and meeting up with friends for a pick-up hockey game. Photo Editor Bradly J. Boner COPY EDITOR magazine Monday trivia night at Local Bar. Drinking red chai tea at Lotus Cafe. Laps in the pool at the rec center. Schlepping a big picnic into Yellowstone’s Huckleberry Hot Springs. Skating (hockey skates) on any big mountain lake. It’s heaven. Going to a Moose hockey game. Pamela Periconi Contributing Writers Molly Absolon Lucy Flood Richard Anderson Rebecca Huntington Allison Arthur Molly Loomis Snowshoeing in Grand Jeff Burke Sue Muncaster Teton National Park! Kelsey Dayton Tim Sandlin Jayme Feary Brielle Schaeffer Reed Finlay Dani Spence Todd Wilkinson Indoor climbing at Enclosure climbing gym. Contributing Photographers Price Chambers Jeffrey Kaphan Steven Fuller Matthew Millman Henry H. Holdsworth Paulette Phlipot David Stubbs Director of advertising Adam Meyer Spa day at Teton Springs. Advertising Sales Deidre Norman Advertising Account Coordinator Heather Best Ad Design & Production Lydia Wanner Brand manager Amy Golightly DISTRIBUTION Wednesday night Bingo at the Elks Lodge. Hank Smith Jeff Young Pat Brodnik Kyra Griffin Cocktails and apps at the bar at the Snake River Grill. Office Manager Kathleen Godines © 2014 Jackson Hole magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this production may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. No responsibility will be assumed for unsolicited editorial contributions. Manuscripts or other material to be returned must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope adequate to return the material. Jackson Hole magazine is published semiannually. Send subscription requests to: Jackson Hole magazine, P.O. Box 7445, Jackson, Wyoming 83002. (307) 733-2047, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.jacksonholemagazine.com. WINTER 2014 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE 13 Contributors KISMET RUGS: serving jackson’s hole since 1990 A native of Eagle River, Alaska, Brielle Schaeffer (“Turn Up the Heat,” p. 120) studied journalism at Washington State University. She is now a reporter for the Jackson Hole News&Guide, where the Wyoming Press Association has recognized her writing with awards. When not working, Schaeffer plays roller derby on the Jackson Hole Juggernauts. The images of award-winning photojournalist David Stubbs have been appearing in Jackson Hole magazine for years (“Live to Ski,” p. 107). His work has been published in more than thirty countries; clients include The New York Times, the Rockefeller Foundation, Toyota, and local groups such as The Jackson Hole Land Trust, The Snake River Fund, and Exum. View his work at www.davidstubbs.com. private professional in home consultations unparalleled dedication to satisfaction 200 year old family business Executive Class Service Contact us - Schedule an appointment - Services offered nationwide 307.739.8984 • email@example.com • www.kismetrugs.com 150 east broadway • jackson hole • 1/2 block east of our town’s square monday - sunday 10am - 6pm • complimentary shipping antique • western • contemporary • tribal • modern appraisals • cleaning • repair • padding • restoration Illustrator Nate Padavick nailed our GO! JH map (p. 156) so perfectly two years ago, we’re still using it. This issue, he illustrates the valley’s ice skating rinks and ponds (“The Cutting Edge,” p. 22). Padavick has also created maps for The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, Bicycle Times, and the tourism boards of Denmark and Australia. Buy his Jackson Hole maps at jhmarketplace.com. 14 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE WINTER 2014 WINTER 2014 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE 15 307-413-7118 (c) 307-733-4339 (o) Jackstout1@gmail.com jhrealestate.com Associate Broker/Owner Licensed in Wyoming since 1992 Jack Stout 307-413-8899 firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Broker / Owner 33 years of Jackson Hole real estate experience... Residential, Commercial, Ranch Development Doug Herrick Over $50,000,000 in combined sales in 2013 skin • hair • sun • nail fragrance • cosmetics tata harper eve lom philip b. phyto noodle & boo babo botanicals claus porto musgo real eau d’italie sun bum hampton sun ahava deborah lippmann calypso nest fine fragrance antica farmacista david scott stephens for terra clarins jouer equipment milly tucker calypso vince clover canyon cut 25 james perse ag adriano goldschmied mother genetic frame current/elliott matta nyc toms rachel pally tkees theory tibi petit bateau pink chicken nununu aden & anais under the nile splendid littles volcom lacoste ella moss hello shiso toms native terrajh.com 105 E. Broadway 307.734.0067 celebrating 10 years Teton scapes entrepreneur G2 Gloves Basic, burly, and branded BY JEFF BURKE NINE YEARS AGO, Forest “Gage” Reichert, a ski instructor at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) since 1992, borrowed a friend’s brander. He planted the resort’s iconic bucking bronco symbol on the backside of his leather gloves. Today, Reichert is the founder, president, brander, and quality-control supervisor of G2 Gloves (www.G2gloves.com). G2—there are two G’s in Gage, plus his son is named Griffon—sells no-frills, branded elkskin, deerskin, cowhide, and pigskin gloves in stores across the Mountain West and online around the world. JHMR’s bucking bronco was only the tip of the iceberg. Today, Reichert, a fly-fishing guide when he’s not ski instructing, fills his downtime branding not only broncos, but also skiers, fish, and custom logos onto gloves. In 2012, he branded and sold more than three thousand pairs. “The gloves came out of the Jackson Hole Ski School locker room,” Reichert says. Reichert’s friend and fellow ski instructor, Chris Leveroni, had a small electric branding iron of the Wyoming cowboy. Reichert, like many JHMR on-mountain workers, used heavy-duty, insulated, leather Kinco work gloves bought from a valley hardware store. Looking to make his more interesting, he borrowed Leveroni’s brander. Friends noticed and asked Reichert to make them some. He soon bought his own bucking bronco brand and a stockpile of leather gloves. He sold these early pairs out of the ski school locker room. The more pairs he made and sold to friends, the more people came to him asking for their own. It wasn’t too long before strangers were calling him to inquire about the gloves. Reichert realized he might be onto something. (He also realized 20 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE WINTER 2014 the bucking bronco is the property of the University of Wyoming; Reichert now pays royalties to the school.) G2 GLOVES APPEAL to both locals and visitors. For out-of-towners, the allure is a connection to their Jackson Hole skiing experience. “Everyone who skis at Jackson wants something to remember their trip by,” Reichert says. One option is an overpriced, possibly tawdry, definitely unremarkable souvenir T-shirt. Another option is a pair of G2 Gloves— functional, completely unique, and wholly representative of Wyoming’s wild spirit. Locals like G2s because ski gloves can be expensive. On-hill workers—ski schoolers, mountain guides, lift mechanics, patrollers, lifties—can be tough on them, going through several pairs during JHMR’s fourmonth season. G2 Gloves are affordable; depending on leather and branding options, they cost between $17 and $40. Good luck finding a pair of The North Face, Patagonia, or Arc’teryx ski gloves (not liners) for less than $100. “The price is right when you leave them on the bus, on the trail, or at the Mangy Moose Saloon,” Reichert says. G2s Forest “Gage” Reichert, founder of G2 Gloves, didn’t plan on starting a business. He just wanted his utilitarian ski/work gloves to have some personality. are also durable. And, crucial for a mountain town, they’re warm. While it’s G2’s bucking bronco leather gloves you’ll most often see in shops around the valley and on the hands of JHMR workers, about six years ago, Reichert expanded into other branding styles, including names. “If you’ve got gloves with your name branded on them, you can hope to get them back if you lose them,” he says. Noncustom options are a skier and a fish. Exum Mountain Guides, which has been guiding in Grand Teton National Park since 1926, ordered G2 Gloves with “EXUM” branded on them. Reichert also works with a brewery in Bend, Oregon; Wyoming Whiskey; and a Missoula, Montanabased energy bar company. His plan is to brand ski-area-specific artwork onto G2 Gloves and get them into shops at most of the West’s major resorts. (They’re already in Vail, Sun Valley, and Lake Tahoe.) Find them in Jackson Hole at Hungry Jack’s, The Bridger Center, and Teton Village Sports. JH BRADLY J. BONER Get Back toYour Active Lifestyle Choose St. John’s Medical Center for the knee, hip, or shoulder replacement you need • Skilled orthopaedic specialists • Compassionate care team • Area’s only surgical GPS navigational equipment • Patient education classes and support. Sign up online at tetonhospital.org/jointclass excellence a center of in orthopaedics To view a joint replacement video, scan here or visit tetonhospital.org/coe St John’s Medical Center 307 739 7501 888 739 7499 625 East Broadway Teton scapes outdoors The Cutting Edge An introduction to valley ice skating BY ALLISON ARTHUR Jackson Hole didn’t get its first manmade ice rink until the late 1970s. We’ve been making up for it since. More than six hundred fans regularly cheer on the semipro-ish Jackson Hole Moose Hockey Club on Friday and Saturday nights all winter. There are three women’s hockey teams, five coed, and ten men’s rec teams. It seems more local twentyand thirty-somethings injure themselves every winter playing broomball—think street hockey on ice—than skiing. One of The Grand Teton Skating Association’s coaches is a World Professional Champion Silver Medalist, a pioneering ice acrobatist, and was Will Ferrell’s stunt double in the movie Blades of Glory. Today, we have half a dozen rinks—indoor and outdoor, man-made, and courtesy of Mother Nature. 1. The Jackson Hole Moose play indoors at Snow King. This adult men’s Senior A—think fast and full-check skating by former Division I collegiate players and ex-semipros—hockey team faces teams from Sun Valley, Park City, and New York many weekend nights. When the Moose aren’t playing, there are open ice sessions. 1. With his gold-grilled mouth guard and supernatural ability to perform gracefully under pressure, Joe “Cappy” Casey was the Moose’s captain, high scorer, and biggest star for more than a decade. A former University of Denver player, Casey could always be counted on to clinch a goal during a shootout. Last winter, two days after playing a winning Friday night game 22 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE WINTER 2014 against the Chicago Chargers, he died at only thirty-seven, from pneumonia. His No. 15 Moose jersey has been retired and hangs behind the players’ bench. 1. Retired NHL All-Star Bobby Holik and current Ottawa Senator Bobby Ryan have homes in the area. The former now coaches the latter and has used Moose Hockey favorites Justin Thomas, Brian Upesleja, and Spencer Morton to keep Ryan in shape during the NHL’s off-season. 2. Imagine street hockey, but played on ice with running shoes instead of skates. Throw in helmets and knee and elbow pads. That’s broomball. Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation organizes both competitive and recreational broomball leagues every winter. Catch a game Monday through Thursday nights. “The game is ridiculous, but you’ll be shocked by some amazingly athletic moments,” says league organizer Dan Norton. 3. JH Winter Wonderland, the rink in the Town Square, may be small, but when it’s free and has hot chocolate and periodic live entertainment, who cares? 4. The outdoor rink near Davey Jackson Elementary is the valley’s most family friendly. It’s well-maintained, and perfect for beginners and children since no sticks are allowed. 5. Every January, the rink at Owen Bircher Park hosts the Huidekoper Cup, a one-day outdoor hockey tournament organized to honor the spirit of one of its founders, Jim Huidekoper. If the rules confuse you, don’t worry: Most are made up and often penalize practiced skill. The rest of the winter, the rink is open to anyone. Bring your own beer and hot chocolate to enjoy in the heated warming hut or throw burgers on the communal outdoor grill. 6/7/8. Backcountry skaters have been spotted on Phelps and Taggart lakes in GTNP, on Slide Lake east of Kelly, and at Ski Lake, a short snowshoe up the Phillips Canyon Trail on Teton Pass. Of course, make sure the ice is solid before skating out. JH NATE PADAVICK Teton scapes history were more horses and associated equipment. Everything was built with lodgepole cut from nearby Timber Island and also with lumber bought at a Kelly sawmill. “The barn evolved with the family’s needs,” Goodall says, “which wasn’t unique to the Moultons. This barn is essentially an outdoor museum about the lives of pioneers. But objects in display cases inside museums are much easier to preserve/conserve than ones outside in the elements.” TODAY, THE MOULTON barn is one of only six homesteads still standing on Mormon Row. During Mormon Row’s heyday, though— the late 1880s and first couple decades of the 1900s—there were twenty-seven homesteads, all belonging to families in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the time, the area wasn’t called Mormon Row, but Grovont. Moulton himself claimed his 160-acre homestead in 1907 and moved permanently with his wife and newborn son, Clark, to the site in 1912. They lived there until selling the part of the homestead on which the barn sits to the National Park Service in 1960. (Today, descendants still live on the homestead, but in the Moulton Ranch Cabins a few hundred yards from the barn.) In 1997, Mormon Row, including the T.A. Moulton Barn, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. AFTER BUYING THE T.A. Moulton homestead, GTNP, following the NPS’ mission at the time to allow the land to return to its natural state, did nothing to it or the other structures it owned on Mormon Row. In 1994, with the NPS’ nod and using their own money and labor, the Moultons themselves did repairs. One side of the barn’s roof had collapsed, logs in the wall had long rotted away, and the inside was three feet deep in manure. Last summer, volunteers did stabilization work. “We’re now comfortable saying it’s solid for five, maybe ten years,” Wonson says. Historian Dr. Patricia Owens, who has spent numerous summer vacations doing volunteer work on GTNP’s historic buildings, says, “To me, Grand Teton is more than its mountains. There is an amazing amount of history here. If we allow the barn to fall in, it would be a great loss. I don’t know how we’d measure that loss, but the loss will be there.” JH The Little Barn That Could The iconic T.A. Moulton Barn turned one hundred in 2013; how much longer will it be around? BY DINA MISHEV “WHERE’S THAT BARN? You know. That barn. With the mountains behind it. How do we get there?” In Jackson Hole, there are dozens and dozens of barns with mountains rising behind them. Still, locals, even if they’ve only been here a season, know exactly what and where “that barn” is: the T.A. Moulton Barn on Antelope Flats Road in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP). Images of it have appeared on billboards in Times Square, jigsaw puzzles around the world, and above the deli in Jackson’s Albertsons. “There is a particular architecture to it— it suits the backdrop of the Tetons very well,” says local photographer Thomas Mangelsen. The T.A. Moulton Barn is more than pho24 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE WINTER 2014 The work the T.A. Moulton Barn needs to be more permanently preserved is estimated to be around $200,000. Donate at www.gtnpf.org; enter “Moulton barn” on the donation page. togenic. “This building, and the other historic buildings around it on Mormon Row and elsewhere in the park, tell the story of the families that built them and lived in them,” says historic preservationist Harrison Goodall. “We’ve been letting them steadily deteriorate, though. They will fall down.” The Moulton barn may be “the most photographed barn in America”—as Country Extra magazine proclaimed in 1994—but its roof is in poor shape, the front is collapsing in on itself, and its minimal foundation is unsound. “People like to photograph it in part because of its rustic look,” says Katherine Wonson, a GTNP cultural resources specialist. “But it’s possible for something to be a little too rustic.” Thomas Alma Moulton erected the original part of the barn in 1913. It was a flat-roofed, eighteen-by-twenty-four-foot box built to shelter the family’s horses, Don and Saylor. In 1928, Moulton and his son, Clark, added a peaked hayloft. In 1934 and 1938, the south and north lean-to additions were constructed. The family had begun running a dairy operation out of the central section and needed new space for hogs and horses; also, they had taken on the contract to run mail between Jackson and Moran, so there PRICE CHAMBERS OF THE SEARCH PEACE OF MIND FOUND THE THRILL REALIZING DREAMS FOR OUR CLIENTS - Since 2003 realtygroupjh.com Rob DesLauriers enjoys ‘Twice is Nice’ in the Jackson Hole side-country after a February snow cycle. Photo: Jimmy Chin ROB DESLAURIERS KELLI WARD JEFF WARD JAKE KILGROW 307.739.8070 | RGJH@JHSIR.COM Teton scapes entertainment Roughing It Laff Staff is serious when it comes to improv comedy. BY KELSEY DAYTON WHEN THEY FIRST began performing, members of Laff Staff, Jackson’s improv comedy troupe, opened the theater doors thirty minutes prior to their show to let audience members in. They’d then retreat to a private room to warm up. People wandered in and sat themselves. One night in the troupe’s second season, the comedians came out of warm-ups to find all 125 seats in the Center for the Arts’ Black Box Theater full. People crammed into the aisles and were even sitting onstage. This was during April, perhaps the valley’s quietest month: Winter visitors are gone, summer visitors have not yet arrived, and many locals are lounging on tropical beaches. It was then that Jon Christensen, a founding member, realized Laff Staff had become something special—and also that they were likely in violation of town’s fire code. They still are—something special, that is. Thanks to selling tickets ($5) in advance, Laff Staff no longer violates fire codes. However, there continues to be more demand than supply: In a valley notorious for people refusing to commit to anything, people buy their Laff Staff tickets early, sometimes even for both nights. The twice-monthly shows routinely sell out. IN IMPROV COMEDY, every show is different. In large part, this is because of audience participation; they shout out suggestions that create characters and drive scenes. When you see a play, you see a director’s vision. “In improv, it’s the audience’s vision realized onstage,” Christensen says. Not surprisingly, the shows are often distinctly Jackson, with people, topics, and 26 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE WINTER 2014 objects used in games pulled from local news and goings-on. In 2010, after news broke that town police misplaced a box of the drug methamphetamine during a training drill, the audience suggested a box of meth as an object. Commonly suggested characters are ski bums and college kids working in the valley for the summer. The best audiences are big, feisty, and involved, and also will cut performers some slack. “You know they’ll be like, ‘OK, that bombed, but just try again,’ ” says performer Brian Lenz. LAFF STAFF BEGAN as an improv class taught by Todd Hjelt through Off Square Theatre Company. Jackson’s previous improv troupe, Out of Thin Air, of which Hjelt was a member, had disbanded about a year before, suffering the loss of members who moved away and lacking a regular performance space. After a few months, Hjelt’s class wanted to take what they’d learned to the stage. The Black Box Theater, Off Square Theatre Company’s performance space, was new at the Center for the Arts, and Off Square allowed the class to use it. Laff Staff’s first performance, in February 2009, was mainly done in front of close friends and family. The audience was small, but they laughed—hard. Word spread Sixty different games are the backbone of Laff Staff’s performances, including ones in which troupe members play characters with quirks or backstories other members have to guess. Others are based on places and objects suggested by the audience. quickly—Jackson audiences love free shows, especially ones that sell cheap beer. Laff Staff started charging for shows its third season. It wasn’t just to keep on the right side of the fire code. The group now had to pay to use the theater. The $5 ticket price isn’t a deterrent, though. Nine of the last ten shows in their 2012-13 season sold out. Several of Laff Staff’s original members are still with the group. New members are recruited in various ways. Kjera Strom Henrie sold beer at the shows before being “tricked” (as Lenz tells it) into playing. Now she’s fully in the group. “Every day, everyone gets up and they are doing improv,” Lenz says. “There’s no script for life.” Looking back, Lenz doesn’t think he and other class members envisioned Laff Staff would turn into an ongoing performing troupe. “We might have come up with a better name,” he says. “We didn’t know where we were going, or what we were doing. 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