In Loving Memory ....

Taylor Cook
December 1, 1978 - July 19, 2002


"Taylor was more to me than the assistant ski patrol director. He was a best friend, some one I could depend on, some one I could laugh with and some one who loved to help me with the crossword puzzles. I miss Taylor and his presence will always be felt within the ski patrol hut."

Steve Paquette
Snow Bowl Ski Patrol Director








Thoughts from the Snow Bowl Ski Patrol in the wake of Taylor's tragic passing ...

Doug Dagan's all-patrol email ... Sunday 21, July 2002

Hey Patrol

I am deeply saddened by Taylorıs tragic death. Taylor was an amazing person who taught me much in the three short years I knew him. When I found out about his death I had so many questions and I suspect that many of you do too.

The crash happened around 6:30pm on Friday night outside of Middlebury. He was on his way home from wishing a friend a happy birthday. Taylor was fallowing a car when a second car traveling in the opposite direction lost control and entered his lane this car then swerved back into the correct lane to avoid the car in front of Taylor. Then the driver lost control of the car and swerved back into the wrong lane broad siding Taylor. Taylor died almost instantly form blunt head and neck trauma. The state police are conducting an investigation. The driver of the car that hit him was 17 and she was speeding. Witnesses say that there was absolutely no way for Taylor to avoid the car. I took a little comfort in knowing that Taylor did not suffer.

The wake is set for Tuesday the 23rd from 6-9pm at the funeral home near the college. There will be a memorial service on Wednesday at the Bowl, the time has not been finalized but it will be around 11 or 12. Taylor will be cremated and some of his ashes will be spread at the Bowl and the rest will be spread at the family burial site in Weybridge. If any of you want to attend the wake or memorial services your support would be a welcome comfort to the family. If you cannot attend and want to offer your condolences or express what Taylor meant to you to his parents or brother feel free to contact them. His mothers name is Kim Porter (802)767-9713 and her address is 77 Kennedy Drive, Rochester VT 05767. His father is Peter Cook (802) 388-2571 and I donıt know his address. Colby (his younger brother) can be reached at either place.

Taylor was down here visiting me the weekend before last and one of the things we talked about doing was keeping a scrape book of this year, because this was to be his last year patrolling and my last year at Middlebury. I would still like to make a scrap book as a gift for his brother. If you have any photos you would like to share or any stories you think should be included pleas e-mail or send them to me, my summer contact info is below. I canıt imagine what it would be like to lose a brother and after talking with Colby I thanked God for how fortunate I am to have three healthy living brothers. I think that a scrap book would bee a nice gift from the patrol and I know he would appreciate it. If you have anything you want to contribute pleas let me know.

If any one has any questions or wants to talk feel free to give me a call. It is good to talk about this with patrollers. Hunter was down here visiting this weekend and Andrea and Harvest are both living on the cape so the four of us spent the afternoon together. It was vary comforting to be around fellow patrollers. If any of you want to talk call me. You are all in my thoughts.



Steve Paquette's all-patrol email, 25 July 2002 ...

All patrollers, I know I am missing some patrollers who have graduated and Knew and loved Taylor as much as we all do so if any of you have their email address, maybe you could relay any information.

Taylor's mom just stopped in and we talked about Taylor and she looked at some more pictures and read his comics that were on his locker. I've been good friends with his mom since high school and she use to stop at my house once in a while and Taylor and his brother use to play hide and seek in my corn. Lots of great memories of Taylor.

Yesterday's service at the Bowl was beautiful. It was a perfect sparkling kind of day. A lot of people spoke about Taylor and there were a lot of funny stories. I really want to thank all of you who made it to the Bowl , I know Taylor's mom and dad appreciated it and it was very comforting to me and to you guys. I also want to thank all of you who have emailed me. For those of you who couldn't make it, we all know you were here in spirit.

Hope you're all doing ok and we will get together this fall. Love all of you guys. Steve



Erica Martling's email, 25 July 2002 ...

Hello Patrol and friends... I must agree that the hardest part about dealing with this tragedy is being away from all of you and all the warmth and love that radiates around us when we are together. But I know Taylor is watching and will forever be a part of patrol's heart and spirit, he was so unique and made such a contribution to patrol with his committment and devotion to what we are on and off the bowl.  He will be impossible to replace but the memories never die nor the continuing hard work and inspiration that this experience can give us.  Life hands out a lot of curve balls and this was definately one that hit hard, but that is why it's life one minute you are sky high the next six feet under. So I give a special shot out of Pepe's finest to all of you and especially to Taylor, wherever he may be, probably ripping turns in some amazing champagne white powder soaring through the after life as he should be... All my love to everyone and hasta september.



Chris Kautz's email, 29 July 2002 ...

Hey Patrol,

Here I am in Fresno, California, trying to cope with the death of a friend. There really is no way to do that here, so far removed from everyone and everything I associate with Taylor and his life. And here we are, patrollers trained in the tricks of keeping others alive- to be the ones in control, detached, and wise. It's hard to be any of those things here, away from all of you.

I've found myself thinking a lot about how I left Middlebury at the end of the year. As some of you know, I headed out after graduation on my bike- home to Maine under my own power. I rode out through East Middlebury and up the gap road. In Ripton, by luck and chance, I saw Taylor standing on the top of the stairs to his house. I stopped and went up, and after making fun of my biking shorts and yelling "Kautz! Kautz!" a few times, Taylor invited me inside to watch a new video he had just bought. It was a motorcycle trick-riding video- beautiful skillful riding, and its energy and focus glowed out from Taylor's face and words.

We talked about motorcycles, and how this coming winter would be his last patrolling at the Bowl. Taylor mentioned that he felt like he belonged to this year's graduating class- all of us folks who owe much to the patrollers of an even older generation- patrollers like Andy Wall, Josh Cole, Jim Thompson, and many others unnamed here. Now that Taylor has left the patrol, I'm grateful to have been lucky enough to say goodbye, something that not all of us got to do, whether it was just for the summer, or for an unknown length of time. Taylor and I weren't sure when we would cross paths again, and we said goodbye as such, with Taylor offering me one last time to tow me to the top of the gap behind his new car.

I hesitated a long time before writing an email about Taylor. As all of us feel, email is not the way that any of us would prefer to voice our farewell to a fellow patroller. But it is all there is here for me to connect with all of you. My peace, like many of yours, will not come from email. But I take comfort in knowing that I will return to the Bowl and look for resolution there, maybe on an overcast late afternoon in February, with a backside trail rolling out under my skis, and the snow falling in silence. Go well, patrollers,




Brendan Bechtel

"Taylor was unflappable. He was solid - in so many ways. His medical skills, his skiing ability, his unfaltering loyalty to his friends, his character. He was respected by all those who had the privilege of working with him at the Bowl. I will never forget my Ski Patrol orientation teammate, lifting me up when I fell (quite literally), carrying me to the finish. Always dependable, always humble, always smiling, always helpful … Taylor will be missed by so many more than he knows. The warmth and the presence he contributed to the Bowl Patrol will glow forever. Carry on, my brother. Taylor would want us to. Celebrate him and never forget. He was what we call 'good people'. Team Volkl Forever, Taylor!"