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Past Tense: Sept. 29, 2011

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In this Oct. 4, 1963 photo, Tahquitz Peak, the side of the rock facing Idyllwild, shows a gentle, sloping approach, compared to its current almost vertical slant. Normal erosion has made the climb more challenging for brave climbers. File photo

60 years ago – 1951
The Town Crier was making plans to celebrate its fifth anniversary. Ernie Maxwell, the paper’s founder, banged out the first issue of the paper on a manual typewriter on Nov. 1, 1946.

55 years ago – 1956
Local Forest Service firefighters had a harrowing close call as they fought a 10,500-acre inferno after a jet crashed in the San Bernardino Mountains. A crew, trapped on a ridge as the fire roared from three sides, laid down in a ditch and sweated it out as searing flames leaped across them.

50 years ago – 1961
The county supervisors approved a series of area street name changes to reduce duplication and visitor confusion. One of the changes was to split Circle Drive into South and North Circle drives.

45 years ago – 1966
The JayCees sponsored Idyllwild’s first “Festival of Art” at the Idyllwild Inn. A special guest for the festival was Eiler Larsen, famed “Laguna Greeter” and part-time Idyllwild resident.

35 years ago – 1976
At the Izaak Walton League meeting, Norman and Margaret Mellor reported on their four-week trip to Alaska with a University of California, Riverside group to study bird life. The Mellors played an important role in developing the Christmas bird census, which continues to this day, in the San Jacinto Mountains.

30 years ago – 1981
Ernie Maxwell recounted his experiences during his recent two-week trip behind the Iron Curtain in what was then the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

25 years ago – 1986
The Hemet Unified School District board adopted a new contagious and infectious disease policy, including AIDS, whereby students having said diseases would be excluded from the classroom.

20 years ago – 1991
Bee Krone’s 90th birthday was celebrated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Krone Library and Museum on the ISOMATA campus (now Idyllwild Arts Academy). Bee cofounded the school with husband Max.

15 years ago – 1996
Three campers got spooked by the sound of a falling tree and, in trying to outrun the perceived danger, all injured themselves when they fell.

10 years ago – 2001
A proposal by developers Pete Capparelli and Vic Sirkin to build a commercial plaza in downtown Idyllwild at the corner of Village Center and North Circle drives was given the go ahead by Riverside County planners. The completed shopping plaza would come to be known as The Village Centre.

5 years ago – 2006
Local attorney Kent Steele announced that a couple, who wished to remain anonymous, had purchased 6 acres of land on Ridgeview Drive, which they planned to donate to the community as a site for a community center. The couple also pledged to match funds raised to fund construction.

1 year ago – 2010
Fundraising began for a proposed playground planned by the Idyllwild Community Recreation Council on the Community Center site. Community meetings to garner design input were announced, as well as the planned opening of July 1, 2011. Construction has been delayed, however, while permits are being obtained.

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