St. Paul Ski Club, U of WYO, USST
Curator’s Note: FLASHBACK – a story from the vault. The 71st story of the series, originally run December 26, 2012… with a new photo and fun facts below.
STORY No. 71
The picture was not taken at famed Battle Creek, but rather taken by legendary Iron Mountain journalist Dick Ferris who inherited his skills from his father, Joe. It was taken off the K120 at Pine Mountain. I think that was the year that Jerry Martin and I walked 12 straight, went back to the Dickinson Hotel, showered and then crossed the street to Willi Erickson’s Cafe for a malt while playing a dozen songs for a quarter. Glorious day and great tunes. A couple bucks bought alot of memories then.
Of interest to some, however, is that the photo happened to capture a small piece of trivia in US jump lore, in that I was skiing in the first one-piece “jump suit” of the American era…although I actually skied that day with it worn UNDER the 1970 Odlo Team sweater…and therefore not recognizable as a “one-piece jump suit.” Duluthian great Greg Swor would later go to JPN and receive a jump suit there to evidence our first flights internationally in a “jump suit” a year ahead of Sapporo Olympics.
The unlikely roots of this suit spawning “jump” history was actually all luck…in the right place at the right time-kind of deal when my brother, Corky, and Frank Thompson and I made a traditional visit to our favorite ski shop in Eau Claire, after a day’s training and a week before the Pine Mountain Meet. I think it was also the first year of the Silver Mine Tournament when I set the hill record in that suit (until Bill Bakke broke it later in the round).
Before the jump I recall reluctantly showing Dave Hicks the suit by lifting my sweater to prove it existed in one-piece. Dave was a good sport, chuckled and said something like…”Let’s go up and see how it works!” I loved his laugh. Genuine. Ernie!
But it was nearing March and my Bogners were turning fast into knickers the more I grew that season. So with all of 15 bucks in my pocket, I moved quickly through the shop…and strangely…found this odd, lonely $70 White Stag suit hiding on a rack….in my size! And, ON SALE, half-off! (it really didn’t have … any … sleeves). That made me unsteady…having only 15 bucks was alot of money then, for a young college kid who had no clue how to shop serious.
I guess I have to thank Frankie (the 3 of us in 1955, comprised the ENTIRE St. Paul JUNIOR Ski Club) for his moral support. His typical, no nonsense kind of response was:
“Buy it and quit fussing. Your brother’s a bricklayer. Got alot of dough!”
I have the White Stag, still, should anyone care for a nostalgic ride in a bit of US Jump history…even though the fit might be a small issue. Oh yeah, thanks Cork! I-O-U alot!!