On the ski trail with 90-year-old Roy Carlsted

Minnesota Sounds and Voices reporter Dan Olson at Como Park golf course in St. Paul. Jeffrey Thompson / MPR News

This was not taught in radio reporter school.  It’s a snap of yours truly as I tried to keep up with Roy Carlsted, 90, of St. Paul for a new Minnesota Sounds and Voices episode that is part of today’s All Things Considered.

Jeffrey Thompson/MPR News

Roy was up ahead,  hootin’ and hollerin’ about the cross country tenderfoot — that would be me — and exclaiming how he expected I would splay myself across the Como golf course ski trail at any moment.  Well, I didn’t, but I came mighty close.

Carlsted is an avid cross country skier starting more years ago than he can remember as a kid growing up on the family farm near Dassel, Minn., an hour west of the Twin Cities.

Skiing was a big deal in these parts in that pre-nearly-everything era as this 1925 photo of a ski manufacturing facility in New Richmond, Wis., suggests.

1925 photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society of the Strand Ski Company in New Richmond, Wis.

When you enter “ski” in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections search box for digital images, a mother lode of ski photos are returned including this somber group of guys.

An 1887 photo of the Minneapolis Ski Club courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Roy, a retired electrician, has skied dozens of times the Birkebeiner in Wisconsin and the Vasaloppet in Mora, Minn., the region’s two premier cross country ski events, often emerging first in his division.  He’s  thinking of entering the Mora event again this year.

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