I was so pleased to hear from an old friend from my ski racing years- Crandy Grant.
Crandy and I have kept in touch on social media where he follows my artwork via Carol Skinger Artworks.
In recent years Crandy built a delightful cabin on land his family owned in VT for many decades. He involved the younger generations of his family to help in construction and I feel sure they built some great memories together.
In the beginning of 2021 while the whole country was still dealing with the COVID shut down, I heard from Crandy through my contact page that he’d like to commission me to make a watercolor of the cabin on the lake. I do that.
Crandy is an ideal client: “I have been very impressed with your work and I’m especially fond of watercolors. My preference would be to leave you completely on your own for sizing, colors and however you feel best to depict this scene“.
I have to say I am very lucky that many clients feel this way and I appreciate it.
I made two paintings for Crandy in the end as I got stuck at a certain stage! Wondering how to proceed, I started a 2nd painting showing the cabin in winter. In the end both paintings came together, I sent both and he loved them. We agreed that one day my husband and I will come spend a night or two in the cabin.
It’s fitting that we connected over a cabin. My big experience with Crandy was in 1968 when he and Greg McClallen were the ski coaches for a small band of ski racers from VT including me, and we drove from VT to Colorado and stayed at the Tagert Hut 17 miles from Aspen. We drove out in 3 cars, one of them our VW bus. Parents out there, would you let your 16 year old with 2 month old driver’s license take one of the cars and do this? Grateful to my brave and independent mother!
Tagert Hut, an A-frame was located up a dirt road full of switch backs high above Ashcroft which is on Castle Creek Road. This was June of 1968. The hut was built in 1960 and it was under the care of John Holden in the 1960’s. He and his wife Anne had been faculty members at the Putney School in Vermont and they started Colorado Rocky Mountain School in nearby Carbondale in the 50s. I had been a student there for 8 weeks the previous summer.
When fellow ski racer Bill Farrell and I decided to get up before dawn at Tagert Hut and hike or hitch our way to the only ski race of the summer at Montezuma Basin, I recognized the Holden’s right away when they picked us up. Like Tuckerman’s Ravine there was no lift at Montezuma Basin so we both hiked the course with everyone and studied it on the way to the starting gate. I won! Greg and Crandy’s training camp was a great help. I was trying to move from a ‘B’ to ‘A’ classification and winning that race was the first of several to cinch leap.
Tagert Hut – Colorado 1968
Here is my summer painting of Crandy’s cabin which I started first and finished after completing the winter painting. If you drew a line west from there you’d be on lower part of Lake Champlain and to west of that, Lake George. The low mountains you see are in NY state. I look forward to seeing it.
Many thanks for the interesting commission Crandy. It’s one of the things that made my COVID winter of 2021 memorable in a good way.
I was working on one of the paintings when I took a break and watched a (virtual) Red Bench talk via Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe. It was titled Nose Dive- A History of Mt. Mansfield’s Famous Trail. Guess what? The 1967 Jr. National Alpine Championship Downhill on the Nosedive was THE LAST important National or International race on the Nosedive, that cold day in March ’67 when you won the Men’s Downhill and my sister Erica Skinger won the Women’s Downhill (and she won the overall Women’s title). So you both get that piece of Nosedive history.
Love this 1935 photo showing the Nosedive when that’s all you could see, 5 years before the single chair opened.