Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ski Jumping, Salisbury, Connecticut, 1961



Here are some photos from our archives from 1961of the annual ski jumping event in Salisbury (in the northwest corner of Connecticut), held in February.


The ski jumping continues today  although the old, wooden ski jump was recently replaced by a shiny new metal one.  And the wool sweaters and leather gloves have been replaced by "performance" materials, inevitably visually dramatic.  Snow making machines often enough replace Mother Nature.  And even skiing goggles will increasingly be augmented with heads up displays for the skiers  showing altitude, wind-conditions, ranking, Twitter feeds, and what nearby restaurants still have open tables.

So yes, Plutarch's Ship of Theseus comes to mind.  If you have replaced the handle of your grandfather's axe twice, and its head four times, is it still your grandfather's axe?

Many people have fond memories of downhill skiing.  The week between Christmas and the start of the new year has traditionally been reserved for many families' pilgrimages

Skiing is a relatively new sport.  But to some it has inverted from a meditative place to get away from the crazy of the rest of life to a breeding ground for a whole new kind of crazy.











































(See also Reggie Darling's Nordic sweater post here.)

25 comments:

Brad Cole said...

Really enjoy your father’s photos, Muffy! It struck me right off that they wore no helmets (and participants probably did not have to sign a three page waver of liability). I’m not suggesting that modern safety equipment isn’t prudent, just that it would be nice to go back to simpler times. Also, it comes across in the photos that there was fun being had by all – participants and spectators!

Greenfield said...

Wow! Those pictures are some of the best yet--what a VIEW! Speaking as an "Old-school Woolly" who is allergic to anything tight, I must opine that today's "performance materials" of the painted-on variety are aesthetically pleasing on elite athletes ONLY.

Happy Boxing Day!

GP said...

Wow... your photo collection is beyond words... You are so generous in sharing. Thank you.

WRJ said...

Wow! Great photos. And perfect timing--I spent the morning ordering new long underwear and just bought a great Dale hat for the slopes. Both woolens/silks (underwear and sweaters) and synthetics like Gore-Tex (gloves, jacket shells, etc.) have a place in a smart and practical skiing wardrobe. (It's also the one forum in which I wear black.)

I am either fortunate or cursed to have grown up skiing at Alta, one of the only snowboarder-free resorts left in the country with some of the finest snow, most reasonable prices, and the least pretension of any of the other resorts I've visited. This will be my second winter skiing back East, and it's different, so to speak, in all three respects. I'm hoping a trip to Mad River Glen is the antidote.

Joyce N said...

Dear Muffy, please consider, as a new year`s project, putting together a book of your father`s wonderful photographs! These pictures show bits of our history as well as being so entertaining! As a child of the 40`s, I am reminded of wonderful memories when I see his pictures . Thank you so very much for sharing!
l also love the sweaters!

Mona said...

Beautiful post and pictures, thank you for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain to me what that giant iron hook-looking thing is in the first photo? I have never seen something like that.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures! Heights terrify me, I cannot imagine zooming down that high slope, through the air, and onto the snow. In one piece. I better stick to cross-country skiing. --Holly in PA

mary anne said...

Wonderful pictures enjoyed in a place that also has real mountains and snow. (Idaho)

Tabor Kid said...

I just got back from Deer Valley and Alta today! I've skied Stowe and Vail numerous times, but Utah truly does have the "greatest snow on Earth."

Also, my grandfather was a ski jumping champion back in the 50's. We have pictures of him competing at the house.

Greenfield said...

To see what the updated skijump looks like at Salisbury, same view from the top, go to Page 40 of the just-out issue of Yankee.

Squeeze said...

Much less boisterous crowd than our Dartmouth cheering sections at 50s Winter Carnival, let alone the time one of the Big Green tried it down the ramp in a baby carriage to uncertain reward.

Mags said...

Holy smokes! Like the rickety ramp in Placid. Timeless pics. Timeless fun!

Marie said...

Your photos reminded me of seeing signs on Route 9W in Rockland County announcing Ski Jumping at Bear Mountain-those days seem to be long gone. At the time it was quite a social activity. Having gone to the top of the ski jump at Lake Placid-I can only say that those ski jumpers then and today must be brave beyond compare.

Flo said...

Great photos! I agree with Joyce N that a book of your father's photos would be a wonderful idea.

I do have a question--I noticed that their pinneys had "White Stag" on them--is that the same White Stag that was a clothing line that used to be sold at Walmart perhaps?

larsd4 said...

This is your best post ever. I mean ever.

WrySmile said...

Terrific photos! I miss those days of skiing at Tuckermans Ravine and Mad River Glen. Thats where we all spent our spring breaks during college. The new high tech fabrics were just coming out then, and we all wondered if we should actually be wearing un-natural fibres. We had so much fun then, it just seems so competitive now, even when there's nothing to compete for.

aagkro said...

I love mister 14 in his Marius-sweater. The sweater is very popular in Norway now. It was designet here years ago.

M said...

My downhill skiing days are well behind me, though cross country remains a lure since it can be done on the plains of Kansas. ; )

I thoroughly enjoyed your father's photo set and found it as fascinating in its content and as artful in its composition as all of the others you have shared in posts past. I now join the chorus of folks clamoring for a book of his work, which I would gladly give as a gift to the photographers in my life.

Anonymous said...

Flo,
I don't know if the sweater is the same, but I remember as a kid that White Stag used to be a very nice company from Portland, Oregon (the awesome Portland, lol). It was sold and then sold again to Wal-mart.

Anonymous said...

BTW, the White Stag sign is an institution here in Portland.

Janjan said...

Oh yes, the sad demise of the white Stag brand.....Muffy, here is a question for you. Any good sources stateside for that great looking and practical piece of work wear, the Newlyn, or Cornish Smock? It is my "go to" garment, as an artist and gardener, and although practical it is good looking. I have always associated it, the japanese style gardening smock, and the boat neck, cotton ribbed, saddle shouldered sweater with good solid preppy work wear. Unfortunately all three of these items are as scarce as hen's teeth. J Peterman has a version of the sweater, but it's nowhere near the quality I remember.

Janjan said...

Look at what I just found!

http://nantucketlooms.com/Shopping/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=19

Anonymous said...

Hi. I got a question for you since I saw lots of sweaters from the pictures. What do you think of fair isle sweater? I have never seen you wearing that patterned or argyle here at your blog. Do you have any preference on sweaters?

Anonymous said...

To answer a question the giant hool=looking thing is a corn blower (silo-filer) used to blow snow to the top of the tower. The open exposed wooden tower did not hold snow well and extra snow had to be blown to the top and packed down to prepare the track.
Excellent pictures