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Dave McCoy, a towering pioneer of the California ski industry, who with vision, hard work and a knack for the mechanical transformed a remote Sierra peak into the storied Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, has died. He was But he was such a force of nature that it was hard to accept. Dave was Mammoth Mountain. In his hands, it grew from a downhill depot for friends to a profitable, debt-free operation of 3, workers and 4, acres of ski trails and lifts at Mammoth and June mountains, a haven for generations of skiers and boarders.
Mammoth was one of the three most-visited ski resorts indrawing about 1. Born Aug. His parents separated when he was in his teens. Shortly after graduating from high school, he moved to Independence, an eastern Sierra hamlet where they still talk about his speeding along Highway on a brown and yellow Harley Davidson with a red bandanna tied around his head.
McCoy bent the tips with steam from a boiler at a mine where his grandfather worked. He strapped them to his logging boots with strips of inner tube. As a young man, McCoy picked grapes, tended pigs, sold firewood and tied flies for fishermen. Judging from photographs taken of McCoy at the time, he enjoyed skiing in T-shirts and jeans, or even shirtless.
McCoy was working as a soda jerk at a restaurant in Independence when he first laid eyes on his future wife, Roma. He jacked up the rear of the car and lashed one end of a rope to the back wheel and the other to a tree. He charged 50 cents a person for what became the first rope tow on the mountain, which usually has skiable snow from early November to early summer. With the help of friends, McCoy worked through blizzards, droughts and economic downturns, building increasingly sophisticated machinery to pull skiers up the mountain and groom the snow.
Dave and Roma married in in Yuma, Ariz.
McCoy secured a year-to-year permit from the U. Forest Service to run a portable tow anywhere in the eastern Sierra between Bridgeport and Bishop. Still, no one but McCoy envisioned Mammoth, which then was home for no more than a dozen permanent residents, as a major resort. Occasionally, they traded lift rides for staples. InMcCoy was racing downhill in a state championship when he crashed, shattering the bones in left leg. His injuries, along with his work as a government hydrographer, exempted him from military duty during World War II.
The accident was only one of many serious spills on the slopes and on his motorcycles and mountain bikes. At age 87, McCoy lost control of his motorcycle and spent a month in the hospital. But building a top-notch ski resort at Mammoth Mountain still seemed only a dream when McCoy Mammoth Lakes guy for a black woman a diesel-powered tow that could move 1, skiers an hour. Warren Miller, the ski bum whose films made him king of the slopes, dies at Inwithin only three months — and 30 days ahead of schedule — Mammoth Mountain erected a high-capacity double-chair lift that was 3, feet long with a vertical rise of 1, feet.
In the adjacent community of Mammoth Lakes, McCoy and his staff launched a water district, volunteer fire department, regional hospital, high school, skiing museum and college. Untold s of people received employment, financial help, even property from McCoy over the years. But much of what the reserved ski operator did for others went unpublicized. McCoy was loved by local families, who for decades enjoyed a variety of special privileges such as cut-rate lessons and skiing passes for children. McCoy also coached legions of hardcore ski competitors and young racers, some of whom made U. Olympic teams.
It was sold to reduce costs following a series of drought years. McCoy and one of his employees completed the perilous work, detonating charges on cloud-covered, windy mountain peaks. As the operation mushroomed into a full-scale resort, critics complained that McCoy spent too much time fine-tuning the mountain and not enough on improving local amenities.
In the early s, facing a prolonged drought, a volcano scare and a recession, McCoy was forced to lay off employees, some of whom had worked on the mountain for decades. To stave off bankruptcy, Mammoth installed extensive snow-making machinery that could guarantee a Thanksgiving Day opening.
InVancouver-based Intrawest Corp. Later that day, McCoy sat in his office, wistfully surveying hundreds of awards, plaques and photographs of him skiing down the slopes, overseeing construction projects or caked with mud after off-roading competitions. Over the years, McCoy archived hundreds of thousands of photographs on his home computer attached to a inch television monitor used to critique and modify the images. Tom, cottonwood and birch trees, sagebrush, snow-fed streams, waterfalls and boulders sculpted by rain and wind until they resembled walruses, bears and human faces.
McCoy aimed his telephoto lens and waited. Then came the wings and arms. Then she seemed to be carrying a torch. I took the picture. He covers issues ranging from religion, culture and the environment to crime, politics and water.
He was on the team of L. Times writers that earned the Pulitzer Prize in public service for a series on Latinos in Southern California and the team that was a finalist in for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news. In abrupt turnaround, California to let school districts decide how to enforce mask rules. Scuffle breaks out at Rep. All Sections.
About Us. B2B Publishing. Business Visionaries. Hot Property. Times Events. Times Store. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. Obituaries Warren Miller, the ski bum whose films made him king of the slopes, dies at Skiers ride a chairlift at Mammoth Mountain in this undated archival photo.
Mammoth Lakes, with Mammoth Mountain in the background, in an undated photograph. Los Angeles Times. Rafer Johnson, winner of the Olympic decathlon gold medalwas a man whose legacy was interwoven with Los Angeles history, beginning with his performances as a world-class athlete at UCLA and punctuated by the night in when he helped disarm Robert F. Sean Connery was forever tied to the role of James Bondsecret agentwho preferred his martinis shaken, not stirred.
She was Jay L. Unlike contemporaries Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner, Redstone was not a visionary, but rather a hard-charging lawyer and deal maker who pursued power and wealth through the accumulation of content companies. John Lewis famously shed his blood at the foot of a Selma, Ala.
An inspirational figure for decades, Lewis was one of the last survivors among members of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Associated Press. Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak crushed dissent for decades until the Arab Spring movement drove him from power. Dia Dipasupil. Inhe was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Country singer Kenny Rogers racked up an impressive string of hits — initially as a member of The First Edition starting in the Mammoth Lakes guy for a black woman s and later as a solo artist and duet partner with Dolly Parton — and earned three Grammy Awards, 19 nominations and a slew of accolades from country-music awards shows.
Country purists balked at his syrupy ball, but his fans packed arenas that only the titans of rock could fill. File photo. Xerox researcher Larry Tesler pioneered concepts that made computers more user-friendly, including moving text through cut, copy and paste. Inhe ed Apple, where he worked on the Lisa computer, the Newton personal digital assistant and the Macintosh.
Over six decades, it grew from a downhill depot for friends to a profitable operation of 3, workers and 4, acres of ski trails and lifts, a mecca for generations of skiers and boarders. Sean Smith.Mammoth Lakes guy for a black woman
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