Letter: A key jumper

Jason Butynski’s good piece on ski jumping in Greenfield (March 11) omitted a key figure, Strand Mikkelsen, who, as a Norwegian immigrant to the Greenfield area, may actually have introduced the sport to the American public, along with Kenny Suhl. He was also jumping in Madison Square Garden, but as I recall, on soaped canvas! As a young skier and jumper growing up in town, (I went on to captain the Yale ski team), he told me “By jumpin jimminy, it took the skin off you if you fell!” I thought Dotty Graves, a few years older than me, was the most graceful jumper in the world! Visitors to Greenfield also came to see the toboggan slide built below Poet’s Seat. Imagine the town then as a winter sports mecca! (A side issue, Kenny also invented water skis in ’39, which we both demonstrated on the Connecticut River in Brattleboro).



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