06 May 2007

I'd Like To Thank The Academy...

Tonight was the big awards banquet for the Ski Patrol. In preparation for the gala, I got a haircut - instead of cutting my own hair - and suited up in my only suit, black, with a white shirt and red tie. The missus was looking mighty fine herself in a black skirt and top.

On arrival, it was all about hurry-up-get-a-drink-then-worry-about-intros-and-stuff. Scotch, rocks for me, thanks. We did the intros thing, as almost nobody there had met my wife, and settled at a table kind of near the back of the banquet hall. Said hey to just about every patroller I'd trained or patrolled with, and a bunch of my fellow apprentices. It was interesting to see everyone in their finest duds instead of red or navy patrol coats and ski gear.

Dinner was pretty average for a hotel-catered banquet, which is to say pretty decent. Between dinner and the awards program, a handful of us did shots of whiskey out of "the ski" - a tradition for newbies. It's a 185cm K2 ski (good thing - I wouldn't have drank from a Rossignol!) with 4 shot glasses glued to the top, and you have to utilize teamwork and timing to get your booze without getting it all over your chest. Lots of photos and laughter and controversy ensued, then it was awards time.

The patrol president told a nice little story about how her son sees patrollers as 'rescue heroes', and went on to present some 'superheroes' awards. To my surprise, I was among those who received one for being in the top 10% of days of service for the patrol for the season. I didn't figure training days would count for something like that. Kinda neat anyway. Some more awards followed, including a very special presentation for a bunch of excellent patrollers who responded to a nasty car wreck on the Timberline road. It was a tragic incident, but the folks who were recognized tonight did just an incredible job responding to and dealing with an incident a little outside the lines for the ski patrol.

A little ways into the awards program, the music from the Benson High prom next door started up, getting louder and louder. I felt bad for the older folks and the people who were trying to speak above it. But the show must go on. Then they got to calling all the new members up front and handing out our official patrol badge pins with our patrol numbers stamped on them, as well as our crosses and stuff. Just before that, though, they did awards for last year's Invert class. However, all but one of them were absent. OEC classmate Jose won the Invert class Apprentice of the Year award, with honorable mentions going to the "intense" Barkernews and NoPoGirl.

They kept us up there as a group for the presentations of the Associate Apprentice of the Year (John L, a heck of a good guy and one of the fall OEC grads) and Hill Apprentice of the Year.


Hey, that's kinda cool. Okay, more than that. I'm quite honored, actually. I got a certificate and my name on a plaque that resides in the patrol building in Government Camp. Couldn't have done it without the great trainers and patrollers, the friendship of my fellow apprentices, and most of all the support of my lovely wife.

My friend and co-worker Jeff got honorable mention for Hill Captain of the Year, while Toby was awarded the full honor. Both are great guys and I wouldn't be surprised if it was a toss-up that they had to resolve by playing rock/paper/scissors or something.

More awards followed, and the intro of our new patrol council capped the night, pretty much. There was music and dancing afterward, and we stuck around for a little while, then bailed. Found out later from the wife that during the apprentice awards portion, someone had kicked the power plug for the music next door out of the socket. Muahahaha.


Major Clanger said...

Wow - congratulations! Wasn't there also an award for the best blog?

Ghost Dog said...


Heh! If there was, I'd have voted for "Tales from the Tube".

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Sorry, Im with Major Clanger on that, you would have also won an award for blog! However, Barker's blog -the "By Golly" got something, it was the final mention of the night!

Congrats!!! You earned it.

To bad the inverts didnt show up!

Ghost Dog said...

You're both too kind. :)

Kelly V. said...

Testament to your dedication, passion and incredible hard work. Congrats, Mike. You are a true blue and it's awesome that you are recognized. :)

Looking forward to seeing you guys soon.

Ryan said...

Congrats man!

Barkernews said...

A very belated congrats, dude!!!!!
You ABSOLUTELY deserve it.
Sorry we missed it. We had a mandatory family event in Seattle last weekend. Otherwise we would have been there...

Ghost Dog said...

Thanks, R&K.

Thanks, B-news. I had a hunch you guys were absent for a good reason. You missed the mention of your "By Golly" post. Lisa read it aloud, and I think there were very few people in the room who weren't moved by it.