Sun Valley ski legend Dick Dorworth "grew up very fast," and this month in Skiing magazine his bearded 1973 face is fast circulating throughout the country.
Skiing runs a monthly column called The Truth that features people who have learned some type of life lesson through skiing, and this is Dorworth's month.
"I'm fond of saying that ski racing saved my life," he is quoted as saying in Skiing. "I was a pretty angry young man and it gave me a place to put all that. Angry at life in general."
To know him now is to know a very different man, a gentle and personable man who just so happens to also be a columnist for the Idaho Mountain Express. But skiing has threaded both of the men he has been.
According to Skiing Editor-In-Chief Marc Peruzzi, many different kinds of skiers have been featured in The Truth. They range from people who lost their legs to frostbite, survived helicopter crashes, lost clients in avalanches and helped the sport to evolve.
"Dorworth was an ideal candidate because he was a rebellious youth who didn't quite fit into the white-bread world of the ski industry," Peruzzi said. "The fact that he's still a diehard skier, though, is what sold us on him."
In his comments, Dorworth remembers how, in January 1963, he finished his last college final at the University of Nevada at 2 p.m. He was in Sun Valley by midnight, and he's been a fixture, though somewhat transient, ever since.
"Skiing more than anything else has defined and informed my life. It allowed me to travel and meet people of other cultures and perspectives at an early age," he told the Idaho Mountain Express. "For many years, it provided me with my main source of income. It has always been a healthy, enjoyable activity carried out in beautiful surroundings. And, of course, it is still the most fun a human can have in the vertical position."
In his 45-minute interview with Skiing, he criticized the ski industry for its wine-and-cheese tastes.
"The average school teacher with a wife and two kids can't afford to ski anymore. And that's not OK. Skiing is becoming like country club golf. And I think that's horrible."
Dorworth's free-minded, though certainly not free-heeled, comments are part of what attracted him to skiing.
"He's also not afraid to say what's on his mind," Peruzzi said. "Skiing magazine likes people like that."