Home Sweet Home: The Klein Family
As told by Alex klein
Photograph by Cole Buckhart
This house has always been the residence of Grand Teton Lodge Company’s general manager, a position I’ve had for six years now. I worked my way up at the lodge and have lived in all of its employee housing. My first job (in college) was as a busser in the Pioneer Grill. Then I lived in the employee dorms. Later I came back as director of operations and lived on the other side of the Jackson Lake Lodge property where all the rest of the staff housing is. There’s a road over there we call “Staff Street,” and about fifty employees and their families live there. My wife Dawn and I lived there for about five years, and that’s where our daughter Evelyn, who is 12 now, was born. From 2009 to 2013 we lived in Colorado and then came back here—to this job and this house.
This house was built in 1959 and used some of the log beams from the original Jackson Lake Lodge (that was built in 1922; the current Jackson Lake Lodge was built between 1953 and 1955). It was definitely designed for entertaining. Every August we host the annual seniority party for GTLC employees who have been with the company for at least 10 years; it’s usually about 80 people including spouses and senior leadership. We’ve had employees get married in the side yard, where Evelyn sometimes practices gymnastics, and also small wedding receptions. From the deck we’ve seen hawks, otters, elk, moose, wolves, and the occasional bear. We had a mother deer with two fawns call this place home the last couple of years. Evelyn swears she saw a wolverine on the deck one morning when she was about 7. I’ve had friends ski the Skillet Glacier on Mount Moran and I’d be on our deck with the big camera lens taking photos of them.
The deck has a good story behind it. It wasn’t always this big. In the 1990s, then-general manager Clay James was going to host President and Mrs. Clinton at a reception here, and the deck at that time didn’t meet the Secret Service’s standards so Clay had it improved and enlarged. The reception for the Clintons ended up at Jackson Lake Lodge, but we certainly use the deck. I love having a cup of coffee out here in the morning, and a glass of wine or a cocktail just tastes better with this view.