Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Smuggs inspires loyalty from many quarters. I have been working here for 17 years and I still love it. Being a Snow Reporter one day a week is nice work if you get it. Of course, it wasn’t hard on a day like today with sunny skies and great trail conditions. They haven’t given me any cuff links though (that’s not a hint).
I linked a bunch o’ turns on Madonna and Sterling with John Fabrega and his son Connor (pictured here on Link). The Fabregas live in Tallahasse, Florida and have been coming to Smuggs for 11 years. Connor and his siblings Taylor and Alex all learned to ski here. In fact, it’s the only place they’ve skied! Connor’s mom Stacey met us for lunch in the Black Bear.
This past weekend, I made the acquaintance of Dan Luneau. When he realized I was the Rockin’ Ron who blogs for Hugh, he told me about his links to Smuggs. I share some of his comments here.
“It was the winter of 1961-62 and at that time the [St. Albans ] “Rotary Bus” ran on Friday afternoons and it took us to Smuggs for a lesson and some free ski time. I was in the seventh grade at the time at Holy Angels grade school. Our nuns held it over our heads all week that if we did not behave – no skiing come Friday. I never remember missing one single week for misbehaving. The nuns loved the program as much as we did because we were perfect during the week. Not only did we get to go skiing, they got the best behaved kids as their bonus. As it turns out, I very often ski with my childhood friends who came from that program. Jim Cross, from the Burlington area and Mike Patenaude, from St. Albans are two who were in my grade and in the program. Jim and I skied this past Saturday. Over the years we have spent many a day at Smuggs enjoying the memories of our youth. Steve Wry (Smuggs’ current and long-time Director of Mountain Operations) and many more were regulars. When the first chairlift went in on Sterling, we thought we died and went to heaven. I could go on and on, but you can see that the ski program that the St. Albans Rotary provided to us (and is still going today) helped shape the lives of many, many kids in the St. Albans area.”