Being a ski teacher, you get to me a lot of folks. Some of them are more memorable than others. So mine for this season was one of my students (is that really surprising?) and her husband. She had been in a level 1 pvt the day before. Let's just say that her learning style and the other instructors (long time full timer) teaching style did not match. I'm pretty good at the lower levels and I'm pretty good in lessons where we have to handle fear. Anyway, I meet him at the top of the transfer tow. He's an Italian guy, originally from New York, a bit taller than me (I'm 5' 7") and over weight at about 225-250 (not that it matters, but you'll need the visual later). Typical Italian guy, from New York, overbearing, loud etc. But no worries, I'm pretty tolerant of that sort of stuff.
He starts giving me the run down of the previous days lesson, telling me how thing went and that his wife is a little disheartened and no matter what, "I just want her to have fun", and "Do what it take to make her have a good time, tell her jokes, flirt with her, I don't care." "That's a bit strange", I thought. Anyway, we glide down to the beginner tow where I meet his wife. At this point I realize that they are quite the odd couple. She's a Chinese lady, a good 6" taller than me and very demure and quiet. If he would have said to me at that point "Oh, she's my mail order bride", I wouldn't have been surprised. The three of us made a lap or two, and she wasn't very good. He was a better cheerleader than he was a skier, and was mildly interfering (but with good intentions), so I told him that she was in good hands and to go skiing. He hung around a bit longer and disappeared (for a while.)
So were making a bit of progress, getting her turn to come along and working our way slowly up the tow. When we were wokring about about 2/3's - 3/4's of the way up. The husband shows back up. "OHHH MY GAWD! Look How AWESOME She's dew en!" (That's the best Brooklyn accent I can type). We weren't doing that great but apparently we were doing WAY better than the day before. "Do you think she might make it up the lift today?" My initial though, in my head, was "No way!" But then I thought, and said "I'm not sure, maybe". "That would be GREAT if we could. I make it well worth your time..." "Hummm? Well she's got to be able to make turns from the top of this tow and stop 1/2 down before we go up." "I don't think I can do that" was her reply. "We've got 1 hour left. Check on us in 30 mins."
So 30 mins later, he shows back up. We've got a somewhat shaky, but workable, turn in both directions, a moderate stop, a TON more confidence and the idea that this just might work out as a sport for us. "Lonnie, you're AWESOME. Thank you SO much. Are we ready to go now? Come on she can do it, right?!?" I'm thinking, "Well, this is sooner that I normally go up the lift, but the snow is kinda sticky today, and I have a pretty easy path down, AND I'm pretty sure he's taking her as soon as the lesson is over anyway, so it might as well be with me...." "Ok, let's go. Are you ready?" I said. "Really? You think I can do it?" was her reply. "Sure, if you follow my instructions and do what I tell you, I think we can do it...." So off we went.
I've never seen somebody more stoked for another skier as this guys was for his wife. The lift ride itself was pretty uneventful, and we made it down without incident, (1 fall maybe?). At the bottom the guy was so stoked, he went in and booked me for the next day. He also hit me up with a $100 tip, sweet!! (which he repeated the next day! sweet! sweet!) Given the circumstances and the outcome, it was fairly memorable for me. I don't think I'll ever forget those two....