Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Saturday, January 17, 2004

A. signed me up to chaperone the City Honors Ski Club this year. It is a pretty sweet deal-- you ride the bus, then ski for free at the nicest slopes in the area. I had never even been to Holiday Valley before, and I now see what I'd been missing. I'll write about the physical depredations that my three or four year layoff have left me ravaged with elsewhere-- right now I'm thinking about teachers. There are three buses for this outing, and CLA was at considerable pains to explain to me that I was not to ride on the bus she was taking. That left me with the bus with the Seniors, which worked out fine-- at that age, the kids are almost human. They are still half-formed, however, and I marvel at whatever filter high school teachers posses that enables them to process out most of what goes on around them. For my part, I skied alone, as is my habit-- I came to the sport too late in life to be a strong enough skier to go with people who are more or less my age, and I am not interested in running with anyone who is as bad as I am. There have really only been a few people that I've enjoyed skiing with, and one of them I only went with once. It is a little melancholy when I'm on the slopes because I do think of the late Judge Doyle Rowland every time I'm out. My law partner clerked with him out of law school, and his approval was sought and required before we were able to start our practice. The format this pilgrimage took was a ski trip, and whatever skills I have at this sport, and whatever philosophy, are skills and philosophy that he taught me over the period of our brief acquaintance. He was a good teacher, and I think that he must have had a good filter, too-- he always seemed to be able to get past the smoke and the noise, right down to the issue at hand, and then explain it. He was a world-class explainer. My last run of the night was my best one-- that was one of his rules, and I thought of him as I attacked the mountain.

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