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Phone Book Cover Is Burr In The Saddle For Western Town

June 21, 1985

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) _ Telephone book designers thought they’d turned out a real kick-in-the-pants cover this year, but many people who got the book think the designers ought to get a kick, instead.

The picture on the cover - the provocative rear view of a cowgirl in skin- tight jeans - has turned out to be a burr in the saddle for many residents of this Western town. Some say the cover is tasteless and sexist.

″It was chosen with the idea that Jackson people are Western-oriented, with their shootouts and rodeos,″ said Vonda Lee Bingham, spokeswoman for Phone Directories of Provo, Utah, which produced it.

″We thought they would appreciate it,″ she said.

They didn’t.

″It doesn’t look like anything we want to represent Jackson Hole,″ said Suzanne Young, director of the local chamber of commerce.

″We had phone calls all day Monday from irate members,″ she said. ″We had 10 to 15 calls and I can’t remember the last time we had 10 calls on anything.″

Innkeepers in the Rocky Mountains resort said they thought the cover might offend visitors.

″My first reaction was absolute, total shock,″ said Dorris Stalker, marketing director of the Grand Teton Lodge Company. She said her firm would boycott the book.

″For us to put it in our guest rooms would be insulting to many of our guests. I think it is degrading to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park,″ she said.

At the Alpenhof Hotel in Teton Village, the manager removed the covers from the telephone books and taped last year’s scenic covers in their place.

At the Teton Village Resort Association, employees ripped the covers off and mailed them back to the publishers.

Bingham, meanwhile, said the cover is the work of artist Brian Robley, who lives in Idaho and is a member of the New York Society of Illustrators.

She said the company itself received complaints from 15 or 20 people. But she thought they were coming from a vocal minority and most people would find nothing inappropriate.

Phone Directories is a direct competitor of Mountain Bell and has supplied directories to Jackson and other Western towns for years. Normally the company chooses a scenic mountain picture for the cover of the Jackson book, and this is the first controversial cover, she said.

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