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Otto Lang - Personal Communication

Phone conversation, 16 April 2001
by Lowell Skoog

I had a short phone conversation with Otto. His schedule is busy with the publication of his new book. I told him I had read his autobiography, A Bird of Passage. He said that he didn't think an interview would be productive, since I knew everything, having read his book. He was not dismissive, but instead supportive and gracious, wishing me luck in my book project.

I asked about the movie, Ski Flight, He said the film was never distributed, so it is not available for general viewing. He said he gave a copy to the New England Ski Museum in Franconia, NH. He recommended the museum as a source for old films and other materials. He also mentioned a one-hour program produced for the centennial of Rainier National Park by KCTS-TV. He suggested contacting the TV station to see it.

I asked a question that had puzzled me after reading his book. What factors led to the boom in skiing in Europe during the 1910s and 20s and in America during the 1920s and 30s? He said there was no single factor. It was like the growth of snowboarding in the 1990s, simply a sport whose time had come, that captured the imagination of the public. He felt the contributions of Hannes Schneider in technique and training were important, and they went hand-in-hand with some movies that popularized skiing in Europe at the same time. I asked about The Fox Chase in the Engadin and he confirmed that it was one of the classic early films.

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Last Updated: Wed Dec 28 01:05:23 PST 2005