This weekend I had the pleasure of sitting down with Alan and Sally Seymour, a couple who have a very special relationship with Mount Snow. They met at Mount Snow in their 20’s and Alan proposed to Sally on the gondola. They later produced the Mount Snow 40th Anniversary video that many of you have seen or own.
Sally was an avid skier and told me that she never once went in the outdoor pool. I asked why and she told me she was here to ski! Sally cleared up one mystery for me. The smaller fountain on the east side of the base lodge (parking lot side of Cuzzin’s) came before the Snow Lake geyser (fountain mountain.)
Alan is a photographer and many of his photos are featured throughout the resort today. He, like so many ski industry people, did a little of everything. He told me a story of helping Bob Gratton, the ski school director, survey possible trails off the ridge trail (the summit trail that spans between the summit of Mount Snow and Haystack.)
Sally and Alan brought a box of amazing black and white original photos with them (every photo in this blog is from that box) and I was drawn to several photos of fountain mountain that I had never seen. I will only share two today but I promise, you will get the opportunity to see them all. Hint, hint – 60th birthday on Dec 12th.
Susie Williams is Sally’s sister. Can you imagine them climbing up there on that ladder, with their skis? Sally explained that there was a lottery each year to predict when fountain mountain would melt.
We ended our visit with a walk through the base area. To see the resort through their eyes was such a treat for me. Sally showed us where the glass wall windbreak stood in front of the pool. In Cuzzin’s John tried to remember where the exotic fish tanks sat and the exact location of the fireplace – a spot where Sally remembered thawing out her frozen feet.
John and Sally went right to the staircase that leads down to the Mountain Camp lunch room and tried to envision the entrance to the Keg & Kettle bar.
John told story after story of all the things that Walt would do or add to the resort, like the donkeys. I asked, “why donkeys?” and John explained that Walt wanted plenty for people to see. He also told me how the CFO/accountant warned Walt about the expense of all the attractions and advised that what they really needed was to sell more lift tickets. Hmm, some ski are conversations never change! John said that Walt and the food and beverage guy, Jack Richards, would hire “doo-op” bands for the Keg & Kettle.
Alan and Sally described the people they met with care, stopping to spell their names. Their superb memories and descriptions of their friends and colleagues started to build characters around all the names I have seen a hundred times before. And I started to understand that all of these personalities helped to shape Mount Snow.
As we mounted the stairs to the 3rd floor (Marketing) Sally and Alan were amazed to see the marketing desk was just the same as they remembered it. Back in the 60’s, if you had a complaint you went to that desk. They touched it and we made our way down the hall, as stories poured out. They showed me Walt’s office (it is Jack’s office today) and we all touched the walls – a special wood that Walt wanted for his office. Next door was the GM, John Christie’s office (Jim’s office today.) The little office next to it was Sally’s sister, Susie’s office – still with the orange shag carpet from when Susie worked there. That is Pete’s office today. Sally went right to the little fold down trap door built between the GM and his secretary’s office – a quick way to pass paperwork. It has since been blocked on one side but is still in tact on the other side.
I could go on and on. As a Mount Snow history enthusiast that afternoon was one of the most rewarding days I have spent here. As Alan and Sally were readying to leave we walked passed the big rock on Cuzzin’s deck and we all felt its smooth surface from years of use.
We agreed to stay in touch and Sally and Alan let me know they are happy to help with any questions we may have – what a wonderful resource to have. They left us with that box of 58 photos telling me that they belonged here. I can’t wait to share them with you. Each photo tells a story and holds dozens of clues about our past. Happy throwback Thursday and a warm thank-you to the Seymour’s.
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