This follows up the post, “Old Skiing Photos,” with more information from Bennie Borreson’s daughter, Carol, plus a couple interesting notes at the end.
Information on the back of one photo (in the previous post) listed Bennie’s third place prize for ski jumping at Tamarack February 9, 1930 as silver candlesticks. Carol has other trophies from her father: one for “P. S. C. Senior 1940” (no date or place) and a “1st Senior” at Galesville in 1942. She also has award pins “3rd Senior Class” (no date or place), 3rd Senior Class at Westby 1940, and 1st Senior Class at Rushford (MN, likely) 1941. So….we have Bennie on jumping skis from 1919 (age 12) to 1941 (age 33) and who knows how much longer.
A personal memory from Carol: “Dad was telling the story of going to Westby, and they called off the meet because of the cold weather. He decided to go down the hill anyway. He had to put on his wool dress coat to stay warm, but he had ridden the hill – with the tails of his coat flying behind him!” Wouldn’t you have loved to have seen that.
She adds: “What amazes me is that Dad had the same pair of skis his whole life. I can tell that from the 1919 photo, how tall they were and the square point at the tip.”
Well, take a look his skis yourself on the next photo. (They look old to me.) Bennie purchased skis for his daughters Rita and Carol, and took them out to their hill to try them in March 1963.
Carol writes about her experience: “I remember walking sideways up the hill to pack the snow (see the tracks in the photo below) and then Dad telling us to bend at the knees and arms down. I believe we had a hay bale to jump over….” Here’s Rita going for it!
“Even though Dad had written ‘Good Time’ on the back of the picture, we didn’t do this too many times.” No matter what his daughters may have thought – they look happy to me! – I’ll bet this was a very good time for their father: his kids were doing an activity that had been great fun for him.
Postscript 1: of the Borreson brothers, we know at least Bennie jumped at Westby where ski jumping has a notable history dating back to 1922. If you’d like to read a recent article and view the current jump, click here.
Postscript 2: I just received this e-mail from Ron Buckli of Eau Claire. “In response to your e-mail to the Eau Claire Ski Club of January 26, I have found some newspaper references to Bennie Borreson. In 1935 at the Mt. Washington ski jump, he is listed as a Class B entry from Whitehall. Also listed in Class B was a Melvin Johnson skiing for Strum. In 1936 at the See-more Hill in Eau Claire, a Red Borreson is listed as an entry. In the results listed, neither finished among the top ten in Class B.” This was a helpful e-mail to receive. “Red” is, of course, Borreson brother Ednar, and Mel Johnson is a skier I met in 1969 in Havre, Montana. It was fun to receive this documentation.