Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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Within a half-hour, the day went from a failed mission to an outing full of photographs, kids flying by and catching air, and an army of happy mountain bikers all around me.
It went from a wash into wonderful, as so often happens in Maine's outdoors.
When I rode down, I stopped to share the story with Kuller, thinking he would enjoy it. And showing his obvious love of the Snow Bowl, his expression changed as the story changed.
"It went from one of the most ill-planned stories to one of the coolest," I boomed, and Kuller's frown spread into a grin.
As I left the old, empty ski lodge, he yelled after me: "Don't have so much fun!"
But I could hear him smiling, and knew what he meant -- go out and have as much fun as possible on your bike.
Moments later, as I strapped the bike on the car, I looked up and saw him walking by, out toward the high school team, a smile still on his face.
He didn't stop to pitch another story or tell me to come back when the chairlifts were spinning. He didn't say anything at all. He just smiled.
After I backed the car up and turned to wave goodbye, I saw he was already giving me a big long wave from where he stood on the hill, watching the kids ride bikes around him, no doubt still smiling.
It's a great last memory to have of a man who was a great friend to this happy outdoor corner of Maine.
Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: