Jack’s Journal: Alpine Ski Collector

Lots of folks collect lots of stuff.  Enter Dick Wagner. He is a lover of Alpine skiing.  He stands on snowy mountains and collects photos and autographs of world class Olympic skiers!

“These people are just wonderful, the racers. I’ve never met anyone who was obnoxious. You can go to a baseball or football card show and pay $20 or $50, and these people are just doing it out of the goodness of their heart. They really are ambassadors to the sport,” says Dick.

His love affair with the sport began in 1964 while stationed in Germany in the military.  He attended the Innsbruck Olympic Games.  He focuses on Alpine, no ski jumping or cross country skiing. But Dick says that all the athletes are gracious.  Bode Miller, a bad boy on the slopes, is a friendly guy at the bottom of the hill.  Lindsey Vohn is a sweetheart. He’s got multiple autographs.  The collection you see here is his second time around. He ran out of room and donated items to the Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming. Some of those items dated back to the 1800’s.

“For anybody who is a ski addict like I am has a passion for it, it’s almost like a religion, you wanna go up there at least once in your life time,” says Dick.

He is currently working on framing old Olympic posters for the Hall of Fame, a project that will take up most of his winter. He hand makes all the frames.  A school teacher by profession, a ski lover in his heart.  He’s known on the slopes, the athletes smile and sign.

And the Hall of Fame might like to know another donation may be headed there way.

“I’m running out of room.  I’m going along the bottoms of the walls now and the stairway going up stairs there’s a little room there,” says Dick. 

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