Being that we are collectively in a space to tell and listen to stories these days, I thought I would share one appropriate for April 1.
Given that Craig Elmer Kelly’s birthday and April Fools are one in the same, it seemed predestined Craig would also be a notorious prankster throughout his life.
Growing up as a teenager at Mt Baker in the 1980s seems now like a fantastical time and space. Outside of holidays, lifts were closed Monday-Thursday, all the chairs were double seaters and there were no lines. The snow was predictably deep, especially on Friday openers.
Our crew at the time formed a fraternal bond minus the Greek letters and button down shirts. But the prank factor was as high or higher than anything at the Delta Chi house.
Among the tribe, Craig and the Donnelly brothers, Dan and Ike, reigned supreme at vicious tricks leveraged on close friends. On any road trip or even chair lap, one was on constant guard of sabotage. Passed out on the couch? Prepare for permanent ink facial tattoos. Let down your guard in the lodge? Stumble violently into the adjacent lunch table as you realize both boots are tied together in intractable knots.
So really, it was my own damn fault when Craig, Ike and Dan dropped me off at the WWU dorms that fine April day after a morning of uncrowded pow. Joyously giving each other shit while recounting the runs and turns, I noticed no surreptitious activity.
I grabbed my board, jacket, pack and boots and climbed out of Dano’s VW Vanagon. Exiting the vehicle I distinctly recall Ike’s distinctly evil chuckle. Oh god, what had they done?
In my dorm room, I ripped through my pack; no rotting foodstuffs or roadkill. No “I Brake for Bingo” bumper stickers on the board. No goggles rubbed with surf wax. I breathed a sigh of relief.
I hung up gear to dry, and grabbed my boots to place, inverted, near the heater. Which is when several cups of a white liquid cascaded out. Milk. In both boots.
Now, the thing about milk in boots, is that the damp will dry. But the smell? Another matter entirely. I was able to relive the hijinks well into the next season. Hilarious. Thanks bros.
And that was small potatoes compared to other pranks in that era. Ask Mike Olson and Pete Saari from Mervin Mfg about stunts involving wetsuit booties. And substances other than milk.
Be safe. Be well.
Happy birthday, Elmer.