Dick Arkley, the Legend

Those of us who have been Kongsbergers for a number of years will miss Dick Arkley, club jester, who died last month at age 81.  With his great big smile and his firecracker laugh, we always knew when he was in the house.  We have vivid memories of him on his bike, cackling and waving and weaving his haphazard way through the roller skiers at the 17th of May parade, then livening up the after-party, flirting with the ladies and taking pokes at Ozzie and Kare and anyone else he could see.  Those of us who only knew him as a goofball might not actually realize until we read his obituary that he was also a rockstar skier, but we should have guessed!  The obituary mentions a Sports Illustrated article about his Ski to Sea veterans team, which took first place four times; I wasn't able to track down that article, but I was able to find the results from 1980 and note that other members of his winning team included KSCers Mike Theobald, Ted Young, and Kare.  Eber Teter and Ozzie also were there, on the winning Open team.  Those were good times!

Dick was a landscaper by trade, and Frank remembers his van, with a steaming pile of compost in the back.  Joan remembers his minutes, back when he was the club secretary, which she says were quite entertaining and often off-color -- clearly he set the bar very high for future secretaries, and I'd better step up my game!  He also had special names for club members; Ozzie was Oz-Baldy, or the King; Paul Kaald was the Boss; and Dick called himself the Mad Turk.

Here's a memory from Slyfield:  "Here's a 15-year-old's impression of how to park your car, Arkley-style:  While still driving, aim towards the snowbank, turn off the keys, and when the car hits the snowbank and stops, you're parked.  Karmann Ghia paint job: originally black, with added application of gray primer paint.  Maybe a few spots of orange and other colors, too."

And one from Boo and Brent:  "We have so many memories of Dick, as a skier and regular visitor to tame our neighborhood jungle ... loading up his old VW van in and out with mountains of defoliated bushes ... all by hand.  No wonder he was in great shape!"

Marlys added some special warm thoughts about this unique man: 

"How the memories flow of your buoyant personality and laugh around our Kongsberger Ski Cabin over the many years you participated. Always something off the cuff coming up at lunchtime and at meetings; sometimes sending those of us with small children and easily offended to the other end of the cabin! Typical Dick to ski in his polyester striped and plaid dress pants - unstoppable Dick. So much energy and visible enjoyment of being with other skiers. We have missed you, Dick; I hope the club realizes its admirable role in acceptance of diversity."

Jeff E. spoke at the celebration of Dick's life and shared this:

"To the many stories of Dick, I added that Dick brought an infectious exuberance to the club, shown for example by his all-out efforts in Kongsberger races, spiked with challenges to his arch-rival, Ozzie. After a typically challenging race in wet snow, Dick would emerge back into the club beaming with enthusiasm which had a way of changing one’s outlook. The club is a bit less colorful with his passing."

Indeed, the whole world is a little quieter and less colorful without our friend Arkley.