By Jess Leahey
Like every good ski bum, my sister Lindsay Craig took some extra summer work as a cleaning lady. She was working in a home that was foreclosed and everything was being thrown out, including a garden gnome. Only she couldn’t throw his cheeky smile in the dump, so she brought it home, to my house. It lived in the garden for years until, one evening, it showed up on my kitchen counter, put there by my husband Troy Leahey.
I asked Troy, who was a Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) forecaster at the time, what he was doing with him. “I got a webcam at the new weather plot, he’s about a foot tall, I’m going to put him in the scene as a snow height reference,” he said. As a decent beautician, I decided the gnome needed a makeover before he was camera ready, so I painted him. I wanted him to look like a ski patroller.
After gaining popularity, a contest was held to give him a name, and the winning submission was Gnorm. But with success comes struggle. The Original Gnorm (OG) was stolen – ripped from his platform leaving only his sad little boots. All summer RMR hustled to find the same Gnorm, and Gnorm 2.0 was born. Shinier, logo’d, and with 2 coats of paint. He was stolen too. Now, Gnorms are 3D printed and you can buy them in all shapes and sizes, so you don’t need to steal him anymore, you can go to the gift shop.
But this guy, the OG, lives with the Revelstoke Ski Patrol. He was sent back after being missing in action an entire summer with an apology letter, post cards, a stack of photos of where his travels took him, and a hole in the head. But we were so happy to get him home. Thank you robber for returning him.
I think he looks even more like a patroller now, with bleeding knuckles, frostbitten cheeks, tattered clothes, and disintegrated boots. Ridden hard and put away wet. Still Cute.
Can’t wait to see your face every morning lil’ buddy.