Letters to the Editor: Ski legend shows great kindness

Today, the tumultuous challenges our country is facing, now more than ever, demands our reaching out to others: to be kind, to smile, assist or just listen to the answer to your casual: “How are you” greeting! Just to know that someone, stranger or friend, cares can be the best tonic. 
Though I missed the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on April 8, due to a health emergency, I won the extraordinary experience (prize) of kindness, generosity and selflessness at the hands of one of our nation’s legendary ski racers, a former Stowe local, and his lady.
As a ski writer of 50 years plus, I have been fortunate to frequent and report on Alpine and Nordic skiing, slope side, in multiple ways from pond skimming to World Cup, VARA, NCAA, high school competition to Nor Ams in the U.S. and Norway. I’ve met all types: racers, coaches, sponsors, officials and parents.
As Stowe’s Ski History Week proved, the ski industry is a great opportunity in which to be involved. Our love for the sport is infectious and personally rewarding.
Stowe racing legend Olympic gold medalist Billy Kidd took time out on April 7 from the Skiing Legends Party of which he is a star, without hesitation not only to drive me to the emergency room at Copley Hospital in Morrisville. He and his lady, Hollis, waited for three hours into the wee hours of morning to await the diagnosis. Only then at 2 a.m. at my insistence did this thoughtful pair return to Stowe. After cell phone number exchanges they assured me they would return to transport me back to Stowe.
True to their word they not only returned to Morrisville the next day for a visit bringing goodies, but they had fetched my snow-shrouded car at Stowe’s Midway Lodge so I had transport home. Noticing my obvious disappointment at missing Saturday night’s induction ceremonies, Billy assured me they would be in touch.
To my joyous surprise and flowing tears I didn’t miss the celebration entirely, Hollis sent me photos via her cell phone, as Billy presented Gretchen Besser, my close friend of 50 years, her award medal during the induction ceremonies that evening at Spruce Camp.
I admit to being overwhelmed by the genuine caring, generosity Billy Kidd exhibited for the four days I was in Copley, including a phone call Sunday on his way to the Boston airport for his return to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he has been involved with the popular Western Ski Resort for 47 years as director of skiing and good will ambassador.
Topped with his easily identifiable Stetson cowboy hat, Billy continues to be active inviting youngsters each day for a free mountain clinic skiing with him down an intermediate run to learn what it is like to ski in the Olympics. Throughout my hospitalization Billy kept up my spirits declaring in text messages and phone calls that “I needed to maintain my training for the Olympics!”
Of all the events and accomplishments related to skiing I have achieved, this event has been the extreme high for me. Imagine being a skiing fan privy to a legendary ski racer regaling you with stories of his youth competing in Stowe as he is transporting you for an hour in a snowstorm to a hospital. The icing on the cake was being brought into the ceremony I missed in person 24 hours later via cell phone photos.
Thousand thanks, Billy and Hollis!
Mary K. Kerr

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