A plaque honoring the name of Alfred E. Packer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's newest cafeteria has been removed from the wall and a bunch of Packer buffs are stewing over it.
The $29 plaque, paid for through private donations, honored the early pioneer and mountain guide who was convicted on five counts of alleged cannibalism in 1874.
Stanley D. Weston, USDA public affairs officer, said a contest to "name the cafeteria" was announced in a departmental memarandum. The contest's only rule was that the names submitted had to relate to agriculture with no living figures allowed.
Linda Sutcliffe, public information officer with the General Service Administration said yesterday that building manager Melvin Schick had ordered the sign removed.
Federal property management regulations state that all signs must be submitted for approval through Schick's office before being hung.
"The sign can submitted by formal request to Mr. Schick and approval would be granted on the basis of merit," Sutcliffe said.
In sponsoring his first official luncheon in the newly named Alferd Packer Grill. Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland said the naming of the facility is of a bipartisan nature because: "The judge who sentenced Mr. Packer allegedly said to him. "There was only six Democrats in all of Hinsdale Country, and you, you man-eating son of a bitch, you ate five of them. I sentence you to hang by the neck until you're dead, dead, dead, as a warning against furthur reducing the Democratic population in this county." (A 1976 registration figure showed 239 Republicans and 35 Democrats.)
Through the efforts of the publishers of The Denver Post. Packer was paroled from prison and lived quietly in a Denver suburb until his death in 1907.
It is said that he was loved by the neighborhood children, to whom he distributed candy.
Members of the Colorado Chapter of "The Friends of Alferd E. Packer" are protesting the sing's removal. The membership card bears a photograph ofPacker captioned, "I never met a meal I din't like."