Diary of a Ski Patrolman: Week 17
There are many reasons why Okemo has been a good place to be this winter. We’ve had epic snow and beautiful days bathed in sunlight. But each time I was asked on the chair lift, “So what’s it like working here?” I replied that it was the people, more than anything else, that made it fulfilling. And since this will be my final entry for the winter, I want to remember them here. Everyone that I have met this winter will continue to shape who I am for the better, even as the snow turns to snaking streams cascading down the rocks of Okemo, I will remember the laughs, fierce chills, uncertainties, and successes that we all shared.
So here’s a goodbye and thanks to:
Charlie: My competition for food and a source of lots of laughter, usually at my expense. But I’ll never look at roofs quite the same, either…
Ben N.: Long jumper extraordinaire, telemark skier of death-defying skills, announcer in hiding, and scientific philosopher. A good conversation was never far away.
Beno: Master of poker and helping people at the Jackson Gore Rental Shop. You made snowboarding aesthetically cool, so I tried it and failed miserably.
Chuck: Clearly skilled on the board, and equally skilled as a leprechaun dispatcher. And Sean Connery lurks somewhere within you, which is pretty epic as well.
Noah: Discussed the awesomeness of pints of Ben & Jerry’s at length. You allowed me to learn countless things without feeling stupid. And most of all, you showed me how Okemo is a home, albeit a colder one than mine [didn’t think that was possible, either].
Ben “Firetruck” M.: Elite driving skills, an impeccable taste in music, and endless enthusiasm about everything. Just a heck of a lot of fun to be around. Whenever I hear a siren, I’ll probably look around for you.
Kara: One of my housemates, sharing in the struggles of a frigid abode and rising for the day’s happenings in darkness. You worked hard, and it showed. You made tremendous progress, and made me realize that whatever I struggle with in life, I can work through it as you did.
Ben “Lemon” T.: With us for training, you made the room lighter in a good way. Your energy raised everyone’s to a new level. Especially on those days of endless backboard training in the harsh summit winds, you helped us get through it.
Jimbo: One of our OEC teachers, and fellow patroller. It was not only the amount that I learned from you that was impressive, but the way in which you taught. Learning was fun and I actually read everything in the book for the first time. Don’t tell my college professors about that. . .
Tom: Our other awesome teacher, and duster-wearing patroller. If you were in trouble, Tom could probably help, in the bluntest way possible. But that’s a good thing.
Tim: Your homemade stews were exquisite, and your ability to make us all laugh our hearts out unmatchable. Whenever you spoke in the hut, I knew it was going to be good, and I listened intently. And your snowmobile skills, I think, are pretty impressive too. After all, I’m pretty sure you never rolled your sled. . .whereas I might know of a few others that did.
Jeff: You charged it while skiing, and were the calmest voice on the radio while assisting a patient. In attempting to mimic your sense of calm, I became more relaxed on accident scenes, and became a better patroller. Oh, and your mustache is probably going to win an award for best mustache ever. . .but you already know that.
Rob: Although you began the season with a toasted knee, you ended up ripping the heck out of the mountain and showing it the true way of the telemarker. Your good humor and cheer illuminated the hut when we needed it most, and your ability to raise the stoke was unparalleled.