This weekend we celebrated my Dad's retirement from 45 years in the ski industry business. On Thursday night there was a festive party at Mt. Sunapee, where he finished the last 11 years of his career, with 85 friends, family and colleagues spanning his career. Leo Dennis who hired him in 1971 at Killington was in attendance which was so cool to see. My Dad truly loved the marketing and sales aspect of ski areas but also enjoyed being GM at Waterville. He has always said that everyday he woke up excited to get to the mountain and see what the day had in store; plus in the winter he would always get to take a few runs.
My sister flew in from Oakland, sans children, and my brother came over from Rutland so our family was complete. The night included roasts, fond memories and stories of debauchery in the Killington days. I reflected on the way over and realized how my Dad's love for skiing, the outdoors and being active shaped my life, as well as my siblings'. Via mountain purchases and mergers, our family moved from Mt. Snow, VT to Waterville Valley, NH to Sunday River, ME and back to Sunapee, NH. Each mountain and community added to our lives and helped mold us into who we are. I have lifelong friends from each area that each hold a specific association with my life at that time.
As a child in VT, my Dad was a voracious mtn biker and helped to draw the international competitions to the area. I remember trying to keep up with him and not being able to understand why an 8 year old couldn't keep pace with a 38 year old - which leads me to where my competitiveness comes from. My Dad is quietly very competitive and I definitely have acquired that trait from him.
It was a wonderful weekend. We all sailed on Slippery for the first time as a whole family, plus Andrew and had really quality time together. I selfishly was happy that all the little ones were absent so that I had more quality time with my siblings.