Chair Rides With Gater

Taking advantage of the Bridgton spring break, Mr. Matt Burgess ’88 (“Free the Heel and Free the Soul”) and Mr. Rick Marcella (“Downhill Racer”) headed up to Sunday River and took advantage of some prime springtime skiing with yours truly. Plenty of sun, bluebird skies, and a soft surface just made for carving it up created a memorable day for all. Filling out a memorable ski foursome was Mrs. Gately. Nothing like sharing a chairlift ride with like-minded ski Maine-iacs, sharing laughs, stories, and making new memories.  The ride up is as much fun as the glide down!

St. Patrick’s Day dawned sunny and warm in the western mountains of Maine and the snow was a perfect springtime surface: soft, grippy, and easy to carve. While the new chair at Saddleback speeds you to the top in five minutes, there’s still time to strike up a conversation and discover some more small world connections that make “Chair Rides with Gater” part of the BA newsletter.

The first St. Patty’s installment was with one Mr. Mark Chadbourne. Once Mark found out I was from Bridgton, he went on to mention that his roots run deep in the area. Remember folks that the Bridgton Campus sits on Chadbourne Hill…need I say more…well, of course I will! Living in North Bridgton for all this time, I know more than a few of his relatives, but the cool thing is that he mentioned his dad, Wayne Chadbourne, is a Bridgton alumnus from the Class of 1941! Mark shared that his dad always spoke fondly of his time at Bridgton.

The second one actually was more of an on-slope connection with some TV celebs but there still is a Bridgton connection nonetheless…read on.

As I was driving into the parking lot, I noticed a group of three snowboarders walking toward me. The bearded one looked familiar but I thought, “Nah, just my imagination.” So, I parked my car and started to get geared up and organized for the day. A short time later I noticed a pickup pull in across from me and another bearded, longhaired boarder starting to get his stuff organized. I looked twice and thought, “I was right about the first guy I saw,” so I decided to go over and talk to this “boarder dude”. It was Jared Baker, aka. “Jedi” from Maine Cabin Masters, and I knew then that the first boarder I saw was Ryan Eldridge, another regular feature of that show. Jedi mentioned to me that this St. Pat’s Day at Saddleback was a Cabin Masters “work outing” to enjoy the mountain.  Sounds like a great place to work if you ask me. Late in the day, I ran into Ryan and his brother-in-law, Chase Morrill, the central character on Cabin Masters, at the top of the chair lift and struck up a conversation with them.

The Bridgton connection with Maine Cabin Masters lies with a former BA School counselor, Mrs. Amanda Miller, and her family.  Mrs. Miller is a cousin of Chase’s. Mrs. Miller had invited Barbara and I to her 40th birthday party recently and because she knew how much we enjoyed the TV series, she graciously introduced us to Chase at her party.  I brought this up to Chase and he remembered the party well. You just never know who you might bump into!