Elders Are The Essence Of Our Lives.

Ski Cooper is a tiny Ski Resort outside Leadville, Colorado and home to the Tenth Mountain Divisions annual get-together. These men had bombs, bullet’s and grenade’s flying their way on skies, at night, in The Italian Alps.

I had just walked through Ski Cooper’s front door as these Legends started singing this Original Tenth Mountain classic. I last saw their debut album available at Tower Records on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay. The camaraderie surrounding them was palatable.

It was a privilege to have met these men. Men from another era. They had a presence about them, an air of respect and honor, genuine heroes. You’re about to jump out of a perfectly good airplane over enemy terrain, Johnny!

Consider yourself an expert skier. Try suiting up in this gear and hitting some moguls or chest-deep powder, let alone getting shot at.

My Father always praised his elders, enshrining in me the same elderly point of view while pointing out, “Frank, you will be one of them one day, and that day will sneak up on you.” So I cherished every moment, especially the moments vivid with elderly wisdom.

Most of the best things I know and have accomplished are the direct result of consulting and elder of one form or another. Someone with the skills you want to acquire, say a coworker, is considered an Elder of Knowledge for you. I’ve vacuumed up every bit of new knowledge I can; I’m addicted to learning new stuff.

Ski Cooper is a real gem when it comes to the prefect off-the-grid family ski getaway. It’s one of my favorites and a superb mountain to learn on with no crowds. Ski Cooper is a step back into Skiing’s History I love skiing there every time.

My son Spencer and I completed a Telemark Race there; it was A Great Day! There were extra Mini Marshmallows on the side with the Hot Chocolate. There aren’t many small ski resorts like Ski Cooper remaining, so don’t miss this alpine paradise. In 1986, Over Super Bowl weekend, an old guy in a long Vail lift line told me of Ski Coopers magic.

I met and worked around Franz Klammer. He was older than I was. I studied his every move on skis through my lens for CBS Sports covering “The Legends Tour” throughout Colorado. The Maher Brothers, Franz Klammer, Leonard Stock, Bill Johnson, I studied them all that season in Telluride, Beaver Creek, Steamboat, Keystone, and maybe one or two in Utah.

On a setup day in Keystone, I was building my camera platform at the top of the head-wall overlooking tomorrow’s downhill finish. Racers only on this closed downhill course.

I heard them approaching fast on my left, and then they flashed by at sixty miles an hour as I whipped around to my right catching a glance, two of them, I’m guessing. It was Franz Klammer and Leonhard Stock playing cat and mouse on the closed downhill course.

As for the rest of my morning? I sat on my camera platform, ate my lunch early, and watched Klammer and Stock’s high-speed cat-and-mouse carving games on that closed-groomed downhill course. That was a Priceless Front Row Ski Lesson I’ll never forget. They seemed as children, utterly oblivious of their superiority.

I watched this Franz Klammer live with my Dad on ABC Olympic Coverage. I was fifteen, and this Franz Klammer, I was in awe of. He was all over that course and still won a race of milliseconds. You can see he was willing to die to win this gold medal at home.

I watched him doing shots on his birthday approximately twenty-four years later in Keystone’s Bar after he won that Legends Downhill. All the while, a child at play prosperous in Alpine Wisdom.

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