Monday, February 8, 2010, Camden, Maine Archive #70 From the 2010 US Toboggan Nationals

"I thought you told Jack!"

For years Jack Williams was the first person in the first toboggan down the chute at the Nationals. He always holds the American Flag as his toboggan whisks past the crowd during the singing of the national anthem at the opening of the championships. For years Jack has shown up right before 9am to make sure he has time to get to the top of the chute and into the toboggan so the race can start on time.

2010 was no exception. Jack turned up right on time.

The race however, started at 8am. There was a lot of "Where's Jack?" at the top of the chute before his arrival and a lot of "I thought you told Jack" among race officials afterwards.

It's not an insignificant oversight. After all, the toboggan chute's official name is the "Jack Williams Toboggan Chute" as it was named in 2005 to honor the man that spearheaded the effort to bring the 1930's era train-wreck of a toboggan run back to life.

We are all indebted to Jack, just not enough to call him to make sure he knows the schedule was changed.

By Sunday however, things were all straightened out and it was Jack again in the front of the first toboggan with the flag as the national anthem sounded. To make up for mix-up, the announcer told everyone who saw Jack Williams to offer him best wishes for this was his birthday.

As Jack came off the ice he fended off birthday wishes as if people were trying to rush him into old age, "It's not my birthday" he explained baffled, "my birthday is in July"!

Well, it's good to have you back Jack.

Jack Williams: "It's not my birthday. My birthday is in July"

Flag run
Sunday morning flag run with Jack Williams

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