February President's Letter

29 Jan 2018 5:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


Hopefully the cold weather warms your hearts and everyone is getting back on track after the holidays to a normal routine. But realize, the cold weather may be refreshing but it will not get your car started on a subzero hard frost morning.

The ironies of life.


If you did not go to Snowmass, it was great. Some powder, good skiing, and the X Games. Just a big overall Wow.

To Bob Tramel, three cheers and a hearty, “High Ho Silver,” for a great job leading the trip.

Looking forward to Big Sky.


Warren Miller passed away last week.

The name of Warren Miller is a necessity just like ski pants, jackets, and helmets that we wear when bounding down a snow covered slope. Yes, we must wear proper clothes, but we also must have the memories of his movies when we ski so we can try to the find the pleasing and exciting ski sensation he made us feel in his films.  

He saw something through his camera lens 70 years ago that many people are still trying to find and attempt to take to another level. Today’s ski films are good, but at best they are only copies of what Warren was doing years ago.

Over 20 years ago, I did not have the best ski trip, blew out a knee. I got the desire to go back on the slopes from watching his movies from Blockbuster while on the couch, and wanting to catch that feeling again by getting back on skis.

Wishing you safe travels and good snow in Heaven, Warren.


How can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?

What makes the world go round?

How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart

And let me live again

(The Bee Gees)

Pain, as we know, goes far beyond broken bones. A mobster on a TV show years ago said something I have never forgot, being the following: “Never break a leg because it can heal. Always wound someone’s mind and that will never be set right!!!”

Point being, mental suffering is the worst kind of injury.  It just breaks you. Having a mental injury is just like Listerine mouth wash, you just learn to deal with it. 

Here is a little story about a horrible shock that occurred to a person and his family, the associated broken hearts, and the appropriate medicine that is available over-the-counter to mend the resulting traumatic, horrible, and unforeseen affair of the heart wounds that from time to time occur.

Of course, the Chattanooga Ski Club is involved.

Everyone knows Mike Hood. He is the Vice-President and soon to be President of the club.  Mike has been a valuable member for many years, and, as we know, he is one of the people in our lives that is always helping others because that is just what people like him do. I am sure he learned it from his parents.

Mike’s mother Marilyn Louise Hood passed away on January 15, 2018 unexpectedly From everything I know, Mike and his mother had a very close relationship. She was loved by everyone who knew her including all family members and definitely Mike’s siblings. I understand Mike called her every morning prior to going to work at the gun store to make sure she was okay.

Ms. Hood’s passing was sudden and unexpected, and, as everyone can gather, it stunned Mike and his family to their core. They were all overcome with the pain of losing a good and decent parent from their lives forever. That type of hurt permeates all of your thoughts and causes the emptiest feelings in your heart and soul.

Everyone loses people we love, but how do we deal with the pain? 

Self-medication has been one of my favorite cure-alls.  Yes, but you do have bad breath from vomiting, and you have to be careful about what the dope you buy is cut with, but still, illegal drugs and alcohol always temporarily dulled the hurt for me until I could hopefully better handle it at a later date.  Works for me, but I would not recommend it to others.

Mike, however, had a much, much, better way of self-medicating himself to deal with his mother’s passing.  And it was so good of a medicine of such potency, we all may have to get some for future illnesses. If was a doctor, I would prescribe it daily and get insurance to pay for it.

Instead of leaving his mother’s funeral and heading to the local bar, saloon, or a Soddy Daisy meth house to ease his troubled mind, Mike hopped on a bus exactly one day after his mother’s funeral and headed out west with 48 of his friends to ski all of his troubles, all of his heartaches, and all of the pain of his mother away. I will assume sometime over the week of skiing with his friends, he buried all the issues acquired from her loss somewhere under the frozen snow of some big beautiful ski slope in Snowmass, Colorado. Snow can dissolve heartache away like the sun on ice if given a chance.

The hurt of losing a parent never goes away but you can have peace with the loss. Mike was at peace in Snowmass. Another chronic disease cured by friends and snow. That is how you mend a broken heart.

I understand that prayer and the grace of the Good Lord can help us in our darkest times.

But a ski trip enjoying the snow with the Chattanooga Ski Club, the camaraderie of the members, and laughing and hugging everybody may be some of the best medicine you can get over-the-counter. Yikes, not only are we a club that snow skis, has parties, and good times, but we may even be able to heal those who are hurt with afflictions other than having broken bones and gout.

Oral Roberts and Benny Hinn better watch out.

Much like Big Pharma telling all their secrets and violating federal patent protections, I will tell you the recipe to the remedy I am talking about with this column.

The secret to the Chattanooga Ski Club “medicine” is very simple and was spoken last week with the death of filmmaker Warren Miller.  Miller said the reason he lived out of his car in parking lots of ski resorts the 40’s and 50’s trying to film people skiing while freezing to death at the same time all came down to one simple thing: “It was just so much fun!”

I never thought of fun being up there with Valium and Viagra, but who knows?

God bless you Mike and your family; we at the ski club are so sorry for your loss.

But know, just like the song says [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xf-Lesrkuc], your mother is now flying throughout the atmosphere with clouds of Jupiter all in her hair. And on her flight travels in space, throughout the universe, as she sees all the wonders of everything everywhere we all dream about, please know that when you look at pictures of your time in Snowmass with Gail and all your friends, your mother was then and is now always thinking about you and your siblings and will be laughing at you in your office from time to time. All you have to do is listen for her.

See you at the next meeting,

Ashley Ownby