News travels fast these days. “Stump here,” began the e-mail from an old Whistler friend. “How are you? I've been in Hawaii all winter healing my knee and working getting funding for my new movie Legend of Aahhh's .” And then he jumped right into the meat of it. “I read your Plake article with interest,” the e-mail continued, “as Glen called me ranting and raving as soon as he got his phone back at YVR.”
Turns out the Mohawked-One did not take kindly to being refused entry into Canada last week. “I've heard Glen pissed before,” wrote Stump, “but nothing like this... he kept telling me what an idiot I was for spending so much time in the stupid country... he referred to the border agents as ‘unarmed goofs who think they can control me’... They went so far as to search him... ‘Why do you have Euros?’ they asked. ‘Because I was in Europe last week and I am going back next week...’”
But as harsh as this sounded, Stumpie’s punchline was still to come. “You know, I had a similar experience myself in December,” continued the legendary filmmaker. “They treated me like a criminal, Michel! Two charges (not convictions) came up on the screen for me... charges that were dropped! They said I could stay in the holding pen for twenty-four hours and prove they were dropped. All I had was a cell phone, no charger, and it was a Friday night... not likely I'd get any courthouse or lawyer in the States in the next twenty-four is it? I threw in the towel and said, just let me go back to Seattle... that act required me to sign a statement saying I was rescinding my right to come to Canada voluntarily. Now I am red-flagged — unless of course, I’m ready to pay $5,000 US to Immigration lawyers (and Canada Customs) and ‘buy’ my way in on a temporary visitor permit…
“So you see — that’s why I couldn’t come and heckle you at Words & Stories last week.”
It also explains why things seemed so tame at the festival this year. Frankly, I’d been surprised by the Stumpmeister’s no-show at the ’07 WSSF. Gauging from past events, this was one party he’d never miss willingly. As Doug Perry used to say about Stump: “No matter how wild and crazy he may be perceived to be, his personality truly mirrors what this festival is supposed to be all about…”
Theatre brat, mogul skier, filmmaker, editor sans-pareil, music connoisseur, creative genius, bon-vivant, rebel, frustrated romantic, jester — Greg Stump is as complex an artist and person as you’ll ever meet. But his contributions to ski culture are beyond question. Though his film oeuvre might seem slight when compared to the Warren Miller juggernaut — who, let’s face it, needs a recipe change — Stump’s ski movies have always resonated deeply with viewers.