Jack A. Weil

Snap! Jack A. Weil showed us how the West was worn

One of Jack A. Weil's favorite lines: "Where were you when I was your age?"

This year, for the first time, when Jack A. asked me that question, I could honestly say this: "Well, at least I'd been born."

At the age of 107, Jack A. Weil, inventor of the Western snap-button shirt (back in 1946) and the oldest acting CEO in the country (up until a few weeks ago), has passed away. He leaves behind Rockmount Ranch Wear, the business on Wazee Street founded on his snap-button brainstorm, a host of fond friends and family members, and many, many great stories, some of which I wrote about here.

Jack A. Weil was born in Indiana, a born salesman. In 1928, when he was working for the Paris Garter Company -- which specialized in anything latex -- Denver was part of his territory, and he decided to pick up and move here, motoring across the very Great Plains. From those adventurous beginnings, the Rockmount empire was born.

Still, It wasn't until after Jack. A. had passed the hundred-year mark that the city finally recognized that the always-quotable salesman was one of Denver's best spokesmen, and made him the centerpiece of a campaign that emphasized local celebrities. But fame didn't change Papa Jack. He kept going to work every morning, kept dining at the Denver Athletic Club every lunch, kept telling his jokes up until the end.

Jack A. Weil is gone, but his story lives on. Snap! -- Patricia Calhoun

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