356 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 3 MAY 2021
after, the palpable excitement generated by Pierre’s presence. When all who
made up the first contingent of revelers had filtered in, it was time to go.
The bus turned out to be a full-sized coach. We stocked it with beer, wine
and snacks, but we neglected to chill the white wine. Luckily, our house in
West Vancouver was en route and I had a beer fridge decently supplied with
cold white wine.
When our coach arrived at our quiet cul-de-sac in Cedardale, while I got
the wine, Pierre got out to meet my wife, Jeanie, and Patti Robson (Patti was
recently widowed when my partner Bruce Robson had died at far too young
an age and we had convinced her to come to Whistler and be with her
friends). On the road to Squamish, the bus was hit with a torrential downpour.
I assured my eastern colleagues that this did not mean the snow in
Whistler would be a disaster. I found an immediate ally in Pierre, an experienced
Whistler skier. He told them that the rain on the Squamish highway
was not to be of concern. He was demonstrating his skill and leadership in
backing me in my role in organizing the event and playing host.
I had booked rooms at the Delta Mountain Inn, which had become my
favourite ski party venue, located at the base of the main chairlift in the old
part of the new village. That night, after Jeanie, Patti and some of my firm
arrived, we went to the Sushi Village. They could not seat us all together. I
joined the larger group in a Japanese-style room, where we feasted and
sang French-Canadian folk songs. One of the firms picked up the bill (times
were good for law firms). Jeanie and Patti sat at a table with Pierre, Andy
Thompson and a few others. When the bill came, Pierre fairly divided up
the bill so each could pay their share.
Pierre was feeling the three-hour time difference. Before he left, he came
to me and said he needed to turn in. He also said he hoped I didn’t mind but
he asked a friend, Nicole Gerrard, to be his guest, and she was arriving that
night. Jeanie had arranged for a dual slalom race event on Blackcomb for
the next morning, an event she had to miss because she sprained her ankle
getting up to dance with Nairn Waterman in the Delta lounge. We had partied
on after dinner.
The next morning, we met Nicole Gerrard. She was an example of French
Canadian charm and beauty, and everyone liked her immediately. Pierre
asked me who would be racing whom, and I suggested he would race my
12-year-old son, Matthew, and I would race Nicole. The morning was bright
and lovely. Pierre and Nicole arrived at the racecourse with skis on shoulder,
walking up the side of the course to inspect it. Nicole and I raced early.
She dove out of her skis at the bottom to beat me.
The race between Pierre and Matthew was close. Matthew was ahead of
Pierre until the last gate. Pierre won.