Friday, May 26, 2006

James Niehues - Ski Map

In the summer of 1999 I was traveling around North America (I drove 20,000 miles in 4.5 months and covered about 33 states) and stayed with a friend near Vail, Colorado. I went hiking in the local ski resort (summer - no snow) which was pretty much abandoned and I was the only one there that I could see.

I think I had to jump to reach a ski map in a holder on a pole because during the winter there is usually several feet of snow to lift you up there. I took the map and sat on the deck of one of the lodges and tried to construct what the surroundings must be like in the winters.

I then noticed a signature on the map that read J Niehues and I thought - this can't be. I was at school with this guy in Africa. He's an old friend of mine from Zambia. I was positive that this was the same guy because at school he was useless at everything except art, where he was a genius and scored top marks all the time.

Since then, for the last 7 years, I've been telling all other old school friends that I know what J Niehues is doing. He's drawing ski maps for a living in the USA.

Today I serendipitously came across J Niehues' web site and got really excited that I would be able to email this old school friend again. After further research on J Nieheus' web site I discover that he left school 20 years before us and on a completely different continent. Just a bunch of coincidences and now a very misinformed network of old boys from our school.

James Niehues - Map Artist - Vail

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