If you have visited Greenleaf, Galehead, Zealand, Mizpah and now Lakes of the Clouds, you have probably seen photos of hut crews packing Garland ovens, donkey's on the Old Bridle Path, "Ma and the boys" at Galehead and numerous photos of young people with smiles on their faces loving their jobs. Recently I visited Lakes of the Clouds with Doug Hotchkiss, an active member in the OH Association to install picture frames from the most recent OHA photo project.
The OHA is a club that has been in existence for more than 75 years with a membership of old hutmen and women who have worked in the AMC's hut system. The club owns a cabin in the White Mountains, holds annual dinners and gatherings and helps contribute to AMC capital campaigns. One way that the OHA has contributed to the huts is by collecting old crew photos, framing them and donating them to the huts to be hung on the walls for all to see.
Doug and I spent one morning installing 16 picture frames that were generously prepared by another OH, Sally Baldwin. The photos that now hang in the hallway of Lakes date back to the early 1930's and go all the way up to our current crews. Although some are more than 70 years old, the photos of the past and present look remarkably the same. We still have a tradition of taking crew photos every year and though clothing and styles have changed, the hut crews of yesterday and the ones of today both embrace the hard work, hospitality, tradition and spirit of the huts. To be able to see a 20 year old crew member and a 60 year old OH share the same stories of epic raids, back breaking pack days and some of the best experiences of their lives proves the greatness of hut work, the people inside them and the never changing majesty of the huts. With our summer season now over, another generation leaves the huts to be writers, environmentalists, doctors, teachers and to become OH. Just as we remember the Hutch's, Cog's and Ev's of the '30's, we will remember the Big Wrig's, Lavey's and LT's of this generation, whose photos will someday be hung in the halls of our huts and whose hard work, commitment and spirits will be remembered forever.