Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dear Boss: I Quit

What was I thinking? I sent this postcard near the end of my third trip to Colorado. I was working for a magazine back in Boston, and I wasn't really quitting: I thought my editor would see this beautiful photo of Hallett Peak, know that I was a climber, and understand that this was just wishful thinking and I was just kidding around. A year earlier, I had pulled a similar stunt. I was in North Conway for a weekend of ice climbing, and on Sunday we discovered that the Fang, a rarely formed three-pitch route at Frankenstein, was in good shape. It was too late to climb it that day, so my partner and I made the decision to stay another night. In the morning, I called my boss and left him a message: "I've got a once in a lifetime opportunity today, and I've got to take it!" I hung up, we went and climbed the Fang, and on Tuesday morning I showed up at work to discover that my boss had been convinced I was at a once-in-a-lifetime job interview.

When I returned to Boston after sending this postcard, my editor laughed it off; he wasn't really expecting that I would quit. But the thing is, three trips had revealed the bounty of climbing out west and convinced me I needed to escape rainy New England. Within a few months, I left this job and set out on the roundabout path that led me to Colorado for good.

5 comments:

khumbukitty said...

Hey Dougald,
That is such a great picture.
I just set it as my desktop background.

-Sledge
Denver

Dougald said...

Well, sorry about the thumbtack holes! If you want, send me your email address, and I'll get you a larger version of the scan.

graham crackers said...

That's a great memory. Honestly, it's a hell of a lot better than the 'memories' i read in the climbing...maybe you should expand it and send it off...

Joe Hallett said...

William L. Hallett - for whom Hallett Peak is named - must have had some similar thoughts when he came out from Springfield, Mass after graduating from MIT. His uncles, Joseph L. Hallett - who was my grandfather - and Henry W. Hallett also made the big trip to Colorado in the late 1800s and found a bunch of reasons to stay. My father apparently picked up the bug but limited his climbing to the White Mountains - I still have his old AMC guide with most of the peaks checked off... I'm always interested in anything that will expand my understanding of what these guys must have been up to! Thanks for the picture.

Dave Hallett said...

I'm hoping Joe Hallett will revisit this blog. I'm David Hallett and William Leroy is my great grandfather. My father, William L.'s grandson, is still living in Colorado and I'm sure would be interested in corresponding with you on family history. If you see this post, please send an email to dhallett@lukmire.com. Maybe we can fill in some of the details of "what they were up to"!