In June, 2013, a stroke took the life of my beloved uncle three days after his 89th birthday. He was getting dressed for another day of work at his law practice, just as he had for more than 65 years before that fateful day. Skiing remained one of his life-long, deep passions kindled on the precipitous slopes of Tuckerman Ravine beginning in the late 1930's. From an early age, hiking with him up the craggy slopes of Mt. Washington, that place became sacred ground for me as well. And I shed blood there a week after my thirteenth birthday. It was April 26, 1969, the day of the first Infero Race since Toni Matt's famous run in 1939 (http://newenglandskimuseum.org/remembering-toni-matt-and-the-1939-inferno/). The failure of a Marker Rotomat toe to roto snapped both right tib and fib. It brought my heel and knee into an unnatural alignment. But it made for a great story two weeks later at my Bar Mitzvoh.
Despite the inevitable passing of his contemporaries, my uncle would load gear into his SUV and drive the hour from Lewiston, Maine to Sunday River to make a few turns in the elegant style of Hannes Schneider, the father of the Alberg technique on this side of the Pond.
Beginning about ten years prior to his final runs our family would head to Vail for a week. My uncle skied a solid five hours each day. As time passed, he did not shy away from his age, but embraced it. Indeed, being the old man on the mountain was a point of pride and he would scour the landscape in search of other men of a certain age. One year, when he in his mid 80's, my uncle spied another old fellow skiing a trail off the Northwoods lift. He appeared to be part of a group lesson. To confirm the fellow's status and age, my uncle instructed one of my cousins to ski down and inquire of the instructor, which he dutifully did. On his return, my cousin reported that the fellow was, indeed, 90 years of age, and a fine skier And while he was not a student in the lesson, his 28 year old girlfriend was. Poned. That experience has given me two goals to shoot for - subject, of course, to the approval of Ms. D1.
Edited by deliberate1 - 3/4/17 at 3:21pm