As far as characters go, you couldn't find a better one than Whispering Jim Dalpez.

Just east of the town of Telluride lie what remains of the Tomboy Mining Camp. The last known miner in that area was a man named James "Whispering Jim" Dalpez.

For years you could pull up a stool at the Last Dollar Saloon in Telluride and hear the man known as "Whispering Jim" tell stories about those mining days.

Jim was always ready to tell a story to anyone who asked, and some, noting his longevity in the area would sometimes ask him if he could predict the weather. His response was hilarious:

Only fools and newcomers predict the weather" he would say, laughing, "and I ain't neither!

Jim was raised around the area and would tell of how he used to do errands for the "bordello gals" who would give him pennies for candy. Jim was glad his mother, a devout Catholic, never found out about how he got his money. Jim himself was an altar boy at "St. Pat's" during the time Woodrow Wilson was in the White House.

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The cabin where Jim once stayed is still standing, as is the "garage" built into the side of the mountain where he used to put his rock breaking equipment.

Born in 1907, Jim remained in the area his entire life and saw Telluride go from a small mining town to a multi-million dollar resort with million dollar homes. In 27 years, Jim says he never missed a shift at the mine, and spent the end of his life loving the area he lived and, telling stories and recalling days that will never be seen again.

Oh, and as for his name, Whispering Jim was sort of hard of hearing. So he didn't whisper. He shouted. And anyone around would always stop to listen.

Rest in Peace, Jim.