USASJ Story Project- Nov 24 NEAL

1 Comment

  1. This came in from Don West-
    It's been great having a new story every day — never boring. Though the Jeff Wright story is a little heavy. No, make that a lot heavy.

    Needless to say, I was jumping at Brattleboro that day. Some of the news stories and other sources stray from the facts. For example, Jeff's fall was in morning practice, probably his first ride of the day. I drove to the hill that morning with Ed Wilder and as we came into the Harris Hill corn field parking lot, we couldn't understand why nobody was jumping. The hill looked perfect and nobody was out on it blocking activity. By that time the counterslope mound was already in place and as we sat in the car wondering, suddenly a box-truck ambulance roared into view from behind the mound and headed across the corn field toward Cedar St, followed by Snoball Severud driving a Ski Team Subaru. Snoball was a gentle man but he had his foot in the gas, spitting snow out behind the tires. This was clearly an emergency. They took Jeff to the Brattleboro hospital and then on to Hanover.

    Ed and I parked and got the story. As I recall the story, Jack Hosick had ridden with Jeff from Bear Mt. and he felt that Jeff was not quite right, perhaps suffering from a previous fall. With so much attention recently to repeated consussions, that makes sense. Jack watched the jump and couldn't understand why Jeff had fallen after apparently landing OK. He said that Jeff went straight forward on his face. Jack would be the one to ask for more details.

    Al Sargent, one of my many heros in our sport, had a hard decision to make. Do we go on with the meet or cancel it. In the end he decided to have the competition. It was a lovely day but very quiet and somber around the hill after the word came back that Jeff had died. Quiet because you just weren't talking about it since you didn't know who had heard and who hadn't and you didn't want to load up their minds if they hadn't heard.

    As usual we sat in the sun along the south side of the trestle up at the top waiting to ski, but not a word was spoken. Al said that he and Ernie Malansen chose a low start just to keep things unexciting during the meet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Story Project begins December 1st! Learn More
Hello. Add your message here.