John, of course, was elated. And his reputation among his buddies soared. In the ensuing years, John Moore has always proved to be a man who makes friends easily.
One afternoon, a tousle-headed kid who had been scampering in and around the Sun Valley ice sculptures, crashed into me and slipped to the ground on some ice. I guessed he was about seven or eight years old.
He bounded to his feet, stuck out his hand and introduced himself as Lance. In a moment or two, we had the start of a playful conversation going. And I held his attention with a little disappearing coin trick. Suddenly, however, his father came rushing over, grabbed the youngster by the arm and strode back toward the lodge. The kid squirmed around and waved goodbye.
It wasn’t until later I learned that the concerned father was Count Reventlow, Barbara Hutton’s wealthy ex-husband. The count and young Lance were spending an early spring vacation together at Sun Valley.
Lance Reventlow grew up to become a handsome international playboy, famous for his fast Scarab racing cars and beautiful women. He was killed when the light plane he was flying crashed in a storm over the Rockies.
The Sun Valley Ski School Championships climaxed our ten-day fling. All guests enrolled in the ski school were invited to compete, Fritz Uhrl pushed hard for everybody in his small class to enter, but I think John and I were the only ones who took the challenge. We both signed up for the Giant Slalom. And I signed up for the Downhill Race. Dick Lewis had suffered a mild knee injury and decided to sit it out. The final number of entrees from all classes probably totaled about twenty.
On Dollar Mountain that crisp, clear morning, John decorously completed his run in the Giant Slalom without a fall. As I remember it, he even placed somewhere in the top five. My own attempt was a fiasco. As I charged into the second gate, my skis slid out from under me and I skidded down the hill ten feet or more, chewing snow all the way. Luckily, the only thing hurt was my pride.
Over on Mt, Baldy, the downhill race that afternoon was a different story. The course ran down an open bowl and then funneled into a narrow, bumpy, tree-lined trail called the River Run.