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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / Read 102-Year old skier's autobiography on your computer

Nov 21, 2019 03:56PM ● By Harriet Wallis

102 year old George is an awesome skier and always has a positive outlook / photo: Harriet Wallis

George Jedenoff skis with enthusiasm. Alta skiers look to to him for inspiration. "Age is just a number," he says. Don't let it keep you from doing what you want to do. His positive outlook is a cornerstone of his life.

George's autobiography, My Centenarian Odyssey, chronicles his life and adventures starting with his family's flight from the Russian Revolution when he was just a toddler, coming to America, and later working as a young man in a California magnesite mine for 50 cents an hour.

He graduated with honors from Stanford, served in World War II then worked his way up in the steel industry to become president of Kaiser Steel, a premier supplier of shipbuilding steel.

Along the way he learned to ski, and he's passionate about snow and the beauty of the world around him.

Read his autobiography on Apple Books. Click here for a preview.

From publishing to party

Getting his book ready for EPUB on Apple Books was a new challenge for this 102-year-old. He wrote the book in one platform and was a bit confounded when converting it to Apple's format. But just like he recommends, he never gave up. George stays ahead of most of us whether on the ski slopes or publishing a book.

Flight from Siberia with a teddy bear

Here's one of my favorite vignettes from his book about fleeing from Russia in 1919.

"We were making the long rail trip across Siberia to our destination of Harbin, Manchuria. We started comfortably in a private rail-road car assigned to my dad. In Siberia, railroads provided the principal mode of travel -- since roads were very primitive and often not connecting. River traffic was also important where there were rivers.

"Somewhere along our journey Dad's private car was confiscated by our (White army) forces because our troops needed more rolling stock to support their combat. Sometime later, our train was stopped and taken over by the rebel red force and still later the royalists 'white' forces recaptured the train, only to lose it again several days down the road.

"Each time the rebels took over, all the passengers were searched and robbed. Mamachka [mother] prepared for this. Brother Alex, about eight, and I was about 2 at the time, each had a large teddy bear to travel with. Mom had cut open the teddy bears and hid jewelry, money and valuables inside the Bears.

"The scheme worked well for a while, until one communist approached us and retorted,"how come your kids have two bears -- and my kid doesn't have any?" With that he grabbed one of the bears and went off with it. There went one half of momachka's wealth."