'Fly Baby': An 'epic' story of Kimberley Jochl's rise to fame

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"Fly Baby: The Story of an American Girl" by Kimberley Jochl is the next in her memoirs after "The Aviatrix," this time going all the way back to the beginning.

Jochl starts the book with being born with her identical twin sister, Krista, recalling memories of growing up in Lee, then deciding and focusing on serious alpine sports alongside her sister, and training for and achieving international excellence.

What follows is her transition to "civilian life" working at Sugar Mountain Resort ski area in the Village of Sugar Mountain, N.C., marriage to her husband Gunther, the birth of their daughter Olivia, and becoming Vice President of Sugar Mountain Resort, which includes many community enhancing achievements. In the middle of this extraordinary tale of life adventures are two chapters that are an abbreviated form of what is chronicled in "The Aviatrix," her story about learning to fly, mastering her pilot's license, and owning her own airplane.

Jochl's action sequences are riveting. Her description of skiing in the giant slalom at the Junior World Championships at Alyeksa Ski Resort in Alaska is as thrilling as it gets in sports literature. The author took the gold medal in giant slalom that day, making her the best junior ski racer in the world, and her team did so well she states she was "on what is still the most successful U.S. Junior World Team on record." It is one of the high points in this epic story that also includes her low points when injury and circumstance influence life-altering decisions, always forward, always for the best.

An impressive aspect of Jochl's writing is her remarkably lucid memory, how she and others reacted, inspired each other, and reflections on the impact of sometimes life-changing eventualities. This book is exciting from start to finish because the reader is taken along on the intensity of every experience, fully considered, with an unmatched enthusiasm for life. Her memories for how her parents supported and encouraged their daughters is heartwarming, inspiring, sometimes very humorous, and a nice tribute. Her memories of George Bisacca's Eastover Resort when she and her family enjoyed it and it boasted one of largest collections of Civil War paraphernalia in the country, is a treasure and an important addition to Berkshire history.

A reading and discussion with Jochl is scheduled at The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 13. Books can be purchased locally from Jiminy Peak Ski Area, The Gift Shop in the Red Lion Inn, and The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar in Lenox.

Colin Harrington is the Events Manager at The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar in Lenox. Colin welcomes reader comments at charrington686@gmail.com


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