Skiing for Ian

By Tom Eastman

HAPPY FRIDAY the 13th, a day when triskaidekaphobia reigns supreme and when we all do our best to avoid black cats, walking under ladders and making our way through the real and fake news — whether Russian-fed or otherwise.

Friend Jimmy Fagone will be spending his Friday the 13th making 51 "Skiing for Ian" top-to-bottom ski runs, returning to his usual Cranmore Mountain Resort following a one-year hiatus at Wildcat last year .

Jimmy turns 51 on the 13th.

Jimmy worked at Cranmore with his late racing coach friend Ian Meserve, and together, he says they had 40 years of experience working there at North Conway's sunny resort.


We lost Ian to cancer in 2013. Jimmy honors his friend every year by making his runs, obtaining sponsorship pledges, with proceeds benefiting the Ian Meserve Scholarship Fund which is awarded to a graduating Kennett senior.

"They are asked to write an essay, 'My Favorite Coach,' and we donate the money to the Ian Meserve Foundation and the winning essay is awarded $1,000 to go to their college education," said Jim, in an interview conducted there on the "Tanmore at Cranmore" sundeck during a lunch break during Week 2 of Cranmore Mountain Meisters Wednesday.

He has a GoFundMe account set up. So, c'mon out and help Jim, who notes that "it gets harder each year." As it does for us all as we go through this thing called life, right?

The day of the interview with Jimmy, it was yet another of those blue bird days, with warm temperatures and sunny skies as skiers took to the all new, combined two-run Gibson Cup Series Comp Slope or to the Alley, which is the new course for the more recreational one-run Mountain Meisters course.

It was one of those glorious days that makes you glad to call the valley home, and Meisters were out in force, much to series co-coordinator Capt. Ray Gilmore Jr.'s joy.

I enjoyed a Zip's Pub chili lunch out on the deck, after thanking Joanne Beaupre-Purnell and the back behind the bar Rich Wheeler, who was injured last year in a snowmobiling accident. It was great to see him back, looking strong!

BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON: A great way to start off the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend is to go on a full moon cross-country or snowshoe tour.

King Pine (603-367-8896) is hosting a full moon snowshoe tour tonight at 7  p.m. Interested participants are asked to sign-up and meet at the Mill Indoor Pool and Fitness Center across from the Purity Spring Main Office one hour before the start of the tour. Rates are $12 per person ($20 with snowshoe rentals — rentals are available at the King Pine Rental Shop).

The Bretton Woods Nordic Center, meanwhile, is presenting their guided moonlight snowshoe tour Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. and the 44th annual Geschmossel Race Monday, Jan. 16. Call (603) 278-3322 for further information.

Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center (603-466-2333) offers its guided moonlight snowshoe tours Jan. 15, as well as Feb. 18 and 25, all at 7 p.m.

After the trails have a chance to dry out after Thursday's rain, Doug Garland says Bear Notch Ski Touring and Snowshoe Center (603-374-2277) ought ot be in great shape for the MLK Jr. Weekend. Doug told me they are preserving and conserving their snow for the holiday weekend by closing on Thursday.As he put it, "Come ski the difference."

MWV Ski Touring (603-356-9920) presents its seventh annual Snowshoe Scramble Jan. 14, as well as its weekly guided snowshoe with a naturalist tour Saturdays at 1 p.m.

Jackson Ski Touring (603-383-9355) had to cancel its scheduled guided moonlit snowshoe tour Jan. 12, but plans to do another Feb 10.

SUP TO SUPPORT: Kudos to Ben "Roger Ben Williams X12" Williams and staff at the Black Cap Bar and Grill, as word had it they did a tremendous job Tuesday night hosting the first "Supp to Support" dinner for the benefit of the New England Ski Museum's efforts to transform the North Conway Community Center into the organization's new branch facility.

"You would have recognized everyone," said Carol "Mom2" Westervelt (whose birthday by the way is today), when I related that alas, I was not able to make this first dinner fundraiser.

She said it was great to see such friendly faces as Betty and Don Newton and family, Stefi and Peter Hastings, Olympian Leanne Smith's family, Dot Seybold and Joy Tarbell and so many others.

Others are to include a silent auction at the Shannon Door Pub on Ground Hog Day Feb. 2 at 4 p.m.; and a 50-50 raffle and silent auction at the Flatbread Co. on Feb. 21. For further information, call call Betty Newton at (603) 387-5283 or the museum at (603) 823-7177.

THE JEN'S FRIENDS 20TH anniversary gala at the UpBar at Horsefeathers Thursday was bound to be a doozie, as 20 top auction items were to be sold to the highest bidder by celebrity auctioneers Tom Troon, George "Mountain Mouth" Cleveland, Rob Clark and Chris Proulx. (Yours truly was supposed to be one of the auctioneers but this bad cold nailed me so I am had to bow out).

From inn specials to SnowCoash tours and more, there were some great items to be had, with proceeds to benefit Jen's Friends and all the good it does for local cancer patients.

INN AT THORN HILL to the rescue: New owner/innkeeper Steve Lambert came to rescue this week when slippery driving conditions kept a honeymooning inn guest couple from making it up Thorn Hill Road. But not just any guests: Cinderella and Gaston from Walt Disney World. Ah, Steve, a knight in shining armor!

IN HAPPY BIRTHDAYS this week, we salute: Carol Westervelt, Jim Fagone and Michael Moulton (Jan. 13); Paula Sullivan Smith (Jan. 14); Corinne Ray, Nancy Bornhofft, Lori Lenart, Dwight Smith, and Martin Luther King Jr. (Jan. 15); Lisa "BB" Brunelle, Matt Howard; Diane Warren Jones, Kelley R. Murphy and Tim Scott (Jan. 16); baker Beth Carta Dolan, Kim Harvey, Sara Wright, Michael Callis and Jeremy Dean (Jan. 17); Diane Blomquist Sweeney (Jan. 18); and community-spirited Badger Realty GM Brenda Leavitt (Jan. 19), and all others out there.

AND LASTLY, kudos to Vice President Joe Biden for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. We appreciate the grace of both, and say fasten up as we move ahead into the next four years!