Legendary figures do not always come in the form of famous people. Many of our friends and neighbors need to be honored as legendary figures as well. Today I was jolted by seeing the death notice of one of my long time ski partners and friend. Even though he was into his early nineties, it was a blow to note his passing.
Allen Bushnell was a brilliant man. He became a noted designer and taught at Cornell University for many years. He could design and make jewelry, do water colors and create interior designs for senior living as well as suggest pedestrian communities.
I had the pleasure and challenge of being a friend and companion after he retired and became a member of our Tough Old Geezer Skiers group at Greek Peak Mountain Resort. Allen was a World War II veteran having served in the United States Navy. He was just a youngster at the time of his service. His artistic talent was recognized by a superior officer and ended up giving him an opportunity in his duties to create art to be painted on some ship items.
Allen was a Ski jumper in the days when you packed your own hill and jumped out onto a frozen lake. His tales of crashes and successes in this endeavor were thrilling and disturbing.
Up until a few years ago Allen was a regular on the ski slope at Greek Peak. He was an accomplished and aggressive skiers up to almost the end of his active days. Regrettably as he approached his nineties balance became an issue and I can remember a few times in those latter days I was able to assist him recovering from a fall.
Although he has not been skiing for these last few years, all of us in the geezer crowd will not forget his presence. I mourn his passing as I am sure many others of our group and certainly his family will do likewise.
God bless you my dear friend. It was quite a ride and may you have eternally joyful ski runs for eternity.