Archive for July 13th, 2009

From the Archive: Mouse ears for the inmates!

by Lesley Drayton, Curator of the Local History Archive 

I was scrolling through microfilm of the old Fort Collins Triangle Review newspaper and came across this article from August 25, 1976 with the following headline:

county jail headline

Naturally, I had to read this article, and so do you. Here are some highlights:

One Fort Collins resident is anxiously awaiting to hear if she has won a trip to California, a new car, or cash. What makes her different is she is Mrs. Larimer County Jail.

Is the county jail a “missus” or even a woman for that matter? According to McCall’s Magazine’s latest sweepstakes contest, she is both.

Sheriff’s Capt. Jack Colwell, who is in charge of the jail, said he always wondered about Mrs. Jail’s gender until he received a letter from McCall’s. “Just think what $35,000 cash can do for you, Mrs. Jail. We would send off a check to you in Fort Collins for the full $35,000—yours to use at once.”

What’s more, McCall’s offered a possible trip to Disneyland or Disney World, with travel and lodgings on them. “I’d like to see them find accommodations for Mrs. Jail,” says Capt. Colwell. “The transportation costs alone would be terrific.”

Since Mrs. Jail is made of brick and is half a block long, Capt. Colwell doubts she will fit in the two-door sports coupe she might win, but he is interested in the seventh place prize of “very exclusive scarves.”

He said, “If they have a scarf big enough to fit Mrs. Jail, we’ll take it.”

While the jail staff isn’t sure if they will actually enter McCall’s contest, one thing is for sure. The cold steel bars will never be the same.

I scrolled ahead a few weeks through the microfilm, and it looks like Mrs. Larimer County Jail never won that trip to Disneyland. It’s too bad, really; I bet she would have loved Pirates of the Caribbean.

July 2009

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