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James Carruthers

Hall of Fame Class of 1990

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Ralph “Doc” DesRoches.

Red Carruthers was a true friend of the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame. With the help of Betsy and Phillip Palmedo, he helped create the Palmedo National Ski Library using the more than quarter ton of ski books of the late Roland Palmedo.

James H. “Red” Carruthers was born in 1922 and was a “get things done” sort of person. A writer of some respect, Red wrote for The Eastern Ski Bulletin and later, Skier Magazine.

Carruthers had an affiliation with the Ramapo Mountain Club on the New York-New Jersey border where he covered ski jumping on Bear Mountain. Some of the many developments that happened at the Ramapo Mountain Club under his influence were close association with the Ski Club of Great Britain and a trophy exchange between Ramapo and the Aorangi Ski Club of New Zealand – which actually helped bring Ramapo to the status of one of the top clubs in the country.

It was during the 1960s that Red developed a format for illustrating the activities of the Ramapo Ski Club. This led to its being selected as the Outstanding Ski Cub in America by the USSA. Governor Nelson Rockefeller personally presented the club with the trophy.

In the mid-1960s, Red also sold President Eisenhower on the idea of lending his name to a magnificent trophy that would be awarded for ski jumping at Bear Mountain – a jumping hill close to West Point. On December 7, 1965, Red met with Ike and two others from the Ramapo Ski Club at Gettysburg for more than two hours of social talk regarding the trophy and skiing.

In 1976, to mark our nation’s Bicentennial, Carruthers designed (and had silk screened by Ramapo Members) 200 parchment scrolls with a skiing theme. These went to 200 ski luminaries around the world. The cover letter sent was in four languages.

“Red” was named to head the United States Ski Association National Historical Committee by the United States Ski Association President, Robert Thomson, in 1976, a move Thomson is quoted as saying was “the smartest move I made as USSA president.” He carried his innovative ideas into the everyday Hall of Fame works and through his efforts, the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame began to receive its just reward. He helped make it dynamic and its stature continues to grow.

Red felt that all of the skiers who were elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame should receive a medal in addition to a plaque. He was influential in seeing that the medal became a reality. The most impressive “Hall of Fame Medallion” that is awarded honored members as they are inducted was designed by the art department of Northern Michigan University. It is in the form of a snowflake with an ancient Norse in its center and is considered the highest medal of honor an American skier can attain.

The United States Ski Association awarded him certificates of merit three times and the Ramapo Ski Club voted him Member of the Quarter Century on their 25th anniversary. Honorary Life Membership was awarded him by the Ski Club of Great Britain and the Aorangi Ski Club of Wellington, New Zealand. Red was truly a great ski sport builder.

James H. “Red” Carruthers was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame on 1990.

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