I Hope to See You Next Year: Same Time, Same Place
If you recognize the phrase that is the title to this article, then you can hear THE voice. That would be the voice of Warren Miller, the ultimate ski bum. This was always the last thing he said at the end of every self-narrated film he made. For those of you wondering what the hell we are talking about, let us explain.
If you are a serious skier you no doubt know who Warren Miller was (sadly having to use the past tense since he died in 2018 at the age of 93). Many of you most likely know of him because the company bearing his name still produces an annual ski film. The contemporary films are your basic (and to us, boring – but that is a topic for another day) ski porn with loud music and meaningless narration by professional skiers who ski way better than they speak. But for many of us, Warren Miller is the bald guy with the deep voice sitting on a tall stool narrating live his latest ski film. That’s right, folks. He would show up in person at your local movie theater or high school gym and narrate while his film turned on the reel to reel in the back of the room.
The legendary ski film maker dedicated his entire life to making films about skiing and literally traveled the globe filming, showing and narrating his films. In my family (Kevin here) it was an annual event to drive the 55 miles from Clyde, New York to Rochester to see Warren Miller’s ski movie. It meant that winter was a coming, and we would soon be able to tackle the steeps of Song Mountain and Toggenburg. It didn’t matter that these molehills in upstate NY featured only 600 vertical feet. As Warren Miller used to say – the best place in the world to ski is wherever you are skiing that day!
One recent windy, cold, miserable and grey autumn afternoon we went deep down memory lane and watched the documentary The Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story. Even for those of you who only know the newer slick ski porn Warren Miller films, we would recommend it. For those of you who can still hear Warren’s voice, this is a mandatory watch. The film has many edges to it. As a result of interviews done with Warren shortly before his death, he essentially narrates the film. These interviews and conversations with family members anchor the film, but wrapped around the interviews are numerous clips from his movies. And yes, for you old timers, there are some great scenes from his early films of beginners crashing and burning as they attempt to slide off the chairlift. The movie also provides a window into his personal life and brings home the sacrifices he made to introduce skiing into mainstream America in the 60s and early 70s. It doesn’t even have to be windy, cold and grey – sit down and watch this film!
We will leave you with another classic quote from Warren Miller – “Do it now. Cause if you don’t, you will be one year older when you do.”
Check out the trailer – The Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story