I was clearing out in my mother's basement, when I came across this little scrap of historic evidence: A seemingly innocent collection of signatures on what looks like a petition of sorts.
Upon closer inspection this proves to be a document of a much more mischievous nature! A remnant of a long gone past, where my irrepressible antics and star spangled jacket earned me the nickname "Captain America" in the snowboarding community. Terrorising the slopes, accommodation area and dance floor at a summer camp in Norway, I hooked up with several snowboarding stars, who kindly lend their support to my letter of recommendation (Stine Brun Kjeldaas went on to become world #1 and took silver in 1998 winter olympics in Nagano).
On that trip to Norway, I even managed to give myself a black eye (landing a jump and the impact made me crouch down so deep my knee met my eye).
Completely hooked on snowboarding, I was trying to pick up a sponsorship - so you need a portfolio of photos or videos of you riding.
Didn't have a board, so what do you do?
Well, I climbed my ironing board. Somehow I figured it would hold. I hadn't even put one foot on it before the legs broke off. So I had to mount it on my trusty Samsonite + a chair. This is of course the Stalemasky trick. Just close your eyes and add the snow...
I also found my original snowboarding sponsorship collage anno 1996. Notice the incredibly complex between the legs double grab tricks, the endlessly graceful inverted tricks and my lovely old Williams pinball machine in the background.
Second page of my snowboarding shots: Including 2 images from an article in the European Onboard magazine, August 1996 edition. These printed collages I would send out with elaborate cover letters to companies I targeted for sponsorships. To make sure I would get noticed (as if...), I would post them in bright red "hazardous item" envelopes, which I would collect on plane rides (I used to bring squirt guns on air planes for entertainment. Don't ask!). Upon reflection, I suppose I was afraid to blend in with the crowds of other ironing board surfing sponsorship applicants...
The jacket against a backdrop of stale snow in the Dolomites, Italy.
And what of those sponsors?