On Saturday, March 31, the first annual Waterville Valley Hall of Fame dinner and induction was held at the Waterville Valley Conference Center. It was a magical evening of reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and remembering and honoring four very special people who have contributed to the development and growth of our mountain community and to the ski industry…Tom Corcoran, Wayne Wong, Anna McIntyre & Jim Shea.
I am lucky. I have had the honor and privilege of working as Tom Corcoran’s assistant since 1986, I’ve known Anna McIntyre for many years, and I’d met Jim Shea several times. However, I’d never met one of my childhood idols – Wayne Wong. As I headed to the Hall of Fame event on Saturday night I felt like a teenager going to a pop concert with a backstage pass. Sure, I was looking forward to applauding the induction of Tom, Anna and Jim into the Hall of Fame; but eegads…I was going to see (and hopefully meet) Wayne Wong!
My sister, Kay, has shared my 40-year dream of meeting the freestyle skiing legend. I made sure to take along my camera so I could, hopefully, snap a picture of Wayne that I could show to Kay.
By the time Wayne made his way around the room and reached my table, I was a wreck. My cheeks were flushed, palms and brow sweating, and my stomach in knots. My husband, being the good sport that he is, pulled my camera out of his pocket and said, “don’t forget this,” as I leaped from my chair and grabbed Wayne. I giggled like a giddy school girl and acted like a prepubescent with a crush, but Wayne Wong was so kind and gracious. He posed for two quick photos and, because I’m such a wonderful sibling, I even got Wayne to write a note to my sister (below).
…sigh…it was a night to remember, especially for this ole’ skier who has always harbored a secret dream to be a hotdogger.
Photos, below, courtesy Tom Gross & Bobby Foster.