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The White Jump Suit
By Ted Heck 

Here glides the bride, all dressed in white. Liz Langsfeld is being escorted down the slope by her father Mickey. Smiling midway on the slope is her soon-to-be-husband Ben Bachrach. He’s on skis, too. So are some of the 24 other family members in the small wedding party atop Elk Mountain in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Everything went beautifully and the whole atmosphere

revolved around Liz’s stunning outfit. Mickey skied beside Liz down the first half of a run and passed her on to Ben for the second half. The run took the place of a first dance.

Lift tickets were stamped with "Congrats Liz and Ben", one of many favors from Elk Mountain to help the Langsfelds put together the special day. They also opened early so the “wedding march” could make first tracks in new snow. The family has long had a second home at the mountain, where Liz and her brothers Mark and Ben had been on the racing team.

Connie and I were at Camelback that day, but I was at Elk in spirit and had played a bit of a role. You may be amused at this tale.

Mickey Langsfeld and I were having coffee after tennis one morning in early December, when he told me about his daughter’s upcoming wedding on a ski slope. “You know skiing fashions have really changed? It’s impossible to find a one-piece jump suit, let alone a white one. That’s how Liz wants to get married.”

“I have an idea,” I said and went off on one of my namedropping jags. I told him that12 years ago Connie and I were in Deer Valley, Utah, and found ourselves skiing with Norse god Stein Eriksen. Our small group also included Billy Kidd, another Olympic medalist and world champion. And Hollis Brooks, former fashion editor of “Skiing Magazine” and Billy’s longtime companion.

A young, engaged couple from Oklahoma spotted Billy’s ever-present cowboy hat and struck up a conversation. Billy invited them to ski with us. They were so enthralled by the experience that they decided to move their wedding date up—and get married on the mountain.

Two days later we assembled atop the main slope. A non-skiing justice of the peace from Salt Lake City arrived by snowmobile. Connie and Hollis and travel/ski writer Claire Walter were bridesmaids. I have a photo of Connie kneeling in the snow rolling up the bride’s costume, which was a bit long.

Fashionable Hollis just happened to have a one-piece Bogner jump suit to lend to the bride. The groom was in a blue Bogner borrowed from Billy Kidd, minus the Stetson. It was a nice ceremony, followed by a casual run down to a mountain hut for champagne. A memorable day for all of us, especially the newlyweds, who corresponded with Hollis for years!

In the words of radio personality Paul Harvey: “And now for the rest of the story.” I called lovely Hollis in Colorado and told her about Liz Langsfeld. She was delighted to hunt for her white jump suit and found that she had two, in different sizes. She sent both to the Langsfelds, who were overwhelmed.

Here is the Email that Mickey and his wife Judy sent to Hollis after the wedding: “Attached are a few photos we took to show how happy Liz was - as were the rest of us. I still can't believe you sent your outfits to someone you don't know. We can't thank you enough. The weekend was exactly what Liz always wanted and it was even better because of you.”

I can imagine how thrilled Liz felt about the icing on the wedding cake: one of the photos Mickey sent to Hollis shows Billy Kidd’s autograph on his well-known book on ski racing. “To Liz..good luck on your way to the US. Olympic ski team.” It was a memento Liz had saved from her days in Billy Kidd’s ski school in Steamboat.

Liz’s life is now on a different course, but she can talk about interlocking memories!


More by Ted Heck






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