13 Can Sometimes Be Lucky

2013-01-16 17:48:06.000 – The Kinneys,  Summit Volunteers


It’s January 2013 and we are finishing our week on the ‘Rock Pile’. It might sound pessimistic, but the number 13 has, historically, been unlucky. My grandmother had all her family for Christmas dinner every year but never sat at the dinner table as she would have been number 13. Many buildings are missing a 13th floor. The first woman to die on Mount Washington, Lizzie Bourne, died February 13th at 23 yrs. old. Fearing there was some credence to the myths, I decided to look deeper. My mother, well on her way to 107, was born on the thirteenth. My older brother was also born on the thirteenth. We lived in southern New Hampshire at number 13 West Rd. My immediate family numbers 13 presently.

The life I’ve led, very rewarding, is a direct result of my mother’s influence and Irish stubbornness. Not unlike Lizzie, I grew up with asthma but my mother never let it control my life. My older brother, now deceased, was always my mentor (and sometimes savior). Jeanine and I, as I mentioned, lived at 13 West Rd. for 40 yrs., raised three great kids, and became members of a great New England community, a very rewarding experience as well.

My wife and I have been volunteering here since 2002 but it is our thirteenth week on the summit. The fact we lived close enough, we had the opportunity to fill in. Every visit has had its memorable moments and some exciting ones. We have tried to walk the deck in 100MPH winds, watched the moon rise and the sun set at the same time, rode to the summit in near zero visibility, and stood on the deck with 5,000+ ft. undercast, making one believe they’re the only ones on earth. We have hiked to Lake of the Clouds hut and around parts of the summit cone in very different weather conditions and, best of all, met dozens of wonderful people. This year was no exception, with four groups visiting adding to an ever increasing circle of friends capped by a visit from Good Morning America and WMUR staff.

We leave today with hopes of returning for yet another adventure. A sincere thanks to the crew here and the valley staff for always making us feel at home. The number 13 may, in fact, be unlucky but you couldn’t prove it by us. Happy New Year to all and let’s make this another great year, no luck involved.


The Kinneys,  Summit Volunteers

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