Echoes From 'The Happy Party': Whistlerites wax poetic on local life 

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Gail and Jan Rybar arrived in Whistler in 1986. In her first year here, writes Gail, she was a "home mom." "I had 186 guest-nights that first winter. Ouch, the laundry!" But now that her two children have grown, that's all changed. "Now I am happily retired and really enjoying having time to appreciate all Whistler has to offer!!!"

Big Kev made many visits to Whistler in the 1990's. But he settled down here for good in 2005. This is what he writes: "Having put together Whistler Question's 30th anniversary feature — as well as digitally archiving the Answer and the Garibaldi News ('67-'80), I have read with great amusement the history of Whistler and probably know more than most old-timers can remember!" I bet he does...

Then there's Laura Kenney who moved here in 1981 — and never left! Her reason for staying, she says, is as simple as they come: "Whistler still makes me smile every morning..."

Someone who identifies himself only as GW, says he moved here in December of 1968. For him, what really stands out in his memory banks are the "Opening and Closing nights at the 'Boot'.... Nothing quite like it in Whistler's history!"

Greg and Bobbi Sandkhul first came to Whistler in 1979. And while they retired permanently here in 1993, Bobbi's favourite memory of the early years was '"when Creekside had its mini golf course outside Dusty's." She adds: "We used to let our kids play there after skiing while we had a beer or two inside Dusty's..." Talk about a blast from the past — I'd totally forgotten about Creekside's short-lived mini putt...

Hugh Kearny, who moved here in 1988-89 (and never left), has his own very special memory of his first few days at Whistler. "My hero Dave Murray picked me up hitchhiking on my third morning in town. That's when I realized that this was really going to be my home..."

Love stories abound in these testimonials. But maybe the cutest come from Kenny and Deanna White. Kenny, who moved here in 1980, says he's still happy about living in Whistler because, he writes, "I met my wife here." On a completely different comment card, Deanna, who arrived in '82, explains that she loves Whistler because "I met my husband here — we have a good story." Hmm. That one begs more research. Who knows? Maybe I'll get them to spin that story out for me for a future Alta States piece.

But I'm getting sidetracked again. Back to the Happy Party comments.

Whistler's former mayor, Ken Melamed, moved to Whistler in February of 1976. And he too never left. "I'm still healthy," he writes, "with many friends, a great family and the ability to still enjoy ALL that Whistler has to offer." Oh, and by the way, Ken reminds us that he "played two gigs at the old Creekside restaurant in a Celtic music group (with Tim , Marc and Arne)."


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