Irwin Selfranga 1954

Selfranga T-bar, 1952. Klosters is still… Klosters: cow barns, deep snow, wooden skis with red lacquered soles and screwed-on edges. Summer farmers doubled as winter ski teachers, apres-ski was clumpy dancing in heavy boots to a Italian trios at the Chesa (or the old Vereina). and apartment building pretending to be chalets were not yet on the horizon.

capa irwin 52

Capa and Irwin on the Chesa terrace, January 1952. Could it really be that Capa had taken those pictures in in Omaha Beach only eight years ago? Life was good. Tola Litvak sent this snapshot to both his friends. But it would be from Klosters, two years later, that Capa would leave for his last assignment, for […]

Truehearts Shaw Klosters ldef

Dinner in Chalet Mia, circa 1956 with our Paris neighbors. Left to Right: Charlie and his father Bill Trueheart, Marian, Fedora (standing) and Phoebe Trueheart (sitting between Adam and Irwin). An ex Army captain and State Department intelligence officer, Bill was then at NATO. Later, named Deputy Chief of Mission in Saigon during the Viet Nam […]

IS skiing 1961

Irwin beating the Gotschna into submission.
“The love of speed and motion is deeply seated among the primal instincts of mankind and skiing an activity in which you move on your own two feet, the prisoner of no machine, using the earth’s rich gift of gravity to rush you toward the valley floor, gives the fullest play to that instinct.”
— Irwin […]

ghia hesa marian adam lodef

Marian always loved pretty Cars. Here she and Adam are waiting for Irwin in front of the Chesa in her Karman Ghia… the one in which she’d almost die, a few months later, when a drunk ran a red light in Paris. It was on the day Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth in Sputnik. Irwin was driving and, […]

IS king klosters

Magazines began to run glitzy pieces (they still do…). Real estate prices exploded, skis got short, the lines at the bottom of the Gotschna got long, the dollar plunged, and snow-cats rolled the powder into concrete boulevards. Klosters had become “in.” And the village under the mountain was no longer magic, just famous.

MORE TO COME IN THE WEEKS AND MONTHS AHEAD…