William Clifford Ski Meets
To the Editor:
The Goss Hollow Outing Club hosted ski meets in winters 1949 and 1950 for area elementary school skiers in posthumous honor of Private William F. (“Billy”) Clifford of St. Johnsbury (Feb. 17, 1923 – Jan. 3, 1945), a member of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, who was killed in action at Bastogne, Belgium during The Battle of the Bulge. Billy Clifford attended St. Johnsbury Academy during his freshman through junior years and then transferred to and graduated from longtime skiing powerhouse Lyndon Institute in the Class of 1941. Clifford “was one of the community’s finest young skiers, having competed on most of the famous slopes in Vermont and New Hampshire as well as serving as instructor at Snow Valley Ski [S]chool in Manchester[,][Vt.]” (“St. Johnsbury to Hold Graded School Ski Meet,” Rutland Daily Herald, Thur. Mar. 10, 1949, at p. 14).
The young skiers of Lyndonville took that inaugural William Clifford Memorial team trophy on Sat. Mar. 12, 1949. The second installment of the memorial four-event ski meet occurred on Sat. Feb. 11, 1950. The Burlington Free Press account noted the large field of entrants from “Meriden, N.H.; Bradford Academy; Newport Ski Club; St. Johnsbury; Barre Ski Club; Littleton, N.H.; Hanover, N.H.; Lyndon Outing Club; Lancaster, N.H.; Northfield; Franconia, N.H.; Putney; Lynn Snow Chasers, Lynn, Mass.; Nebel Ski Team, North Creek, N.Y.; Hardwick Ski Club; Whitefield Ski Club; and Vermont Academy Saxtons River.” (“Clifford Memorial Graded School Ski Meet This Weekend,” The Burlington Free Press, Wed. Feb. 8, 1950, at p. 14).
Christopher E. Ryan
Los Angeles, California