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Original Issue

Wintertime and the Watsons

In Vermont's Green Mountains, at the famous ski resort of Stowe, Tom Watson Jr. built a ski lodge for his family that serves the twin purposes of sport and home. Here is an intimate look at the Watson domain

As the early winter breezes rustle cheerily through the trees on almost any bright weekend morning at the bottom of Mt. Mansfield in Stowe, Vt., the door of the roomy ski lodge at left opens, and out strings a line of children, who immediately bend to the task of buckling on their skis. An adult or two quickly takes position, and in single file the skiers move toward the nearby lift. The Watson family is out for a day on the slopes. During the week Tom Watson Jr. is down in New York managing the vast affairs of the International Business Machines Corp. But Friday evenings he deserts the world of calculating machines and flies to Stowe with his family. There the Watsons have perfect surroundings for a life of skiing. The lodge was planned for the Watsons in contemporary style by Larry Hess of Stowehof inn, and the handsome furniture was selected by the Watsons during a vacation in Scandinavia. At the lodge social after-ski time starts when the children troop back from the hill late in the afternoon for a snack at the food bar (see next page). More often than not, the evening ends in song by the hearth. Then the light from the fireplace is reflected in the high cedar wall paneling, highlights glow in the natural woods of the tables and chairs, and the lodge is at its best as a place for bringing the warmth of family life and the sport of skiing together.

Setting out to ski , Watson family heads toward Mt. Mansfield, with Tom Watson Jr. in the lead. Family, from left: Watson, Jeannette, 14, Tom, 15, Olive, 11, Lucinda, 10; Mrs. Watson and Susan, 7. Sixth child, Helen, 3 years old, stays home when family skis. Ski lift is a few hundred yards from the door of Watson lodge.

Late afternoon snack from a bowl perched on the head of bearskin rug is shared by Susan, 7, Mrs. Watson and Olive, 11, in front of grandfather clock.

Evening song by guest Watson Reid entertains family group, including Tom Watson (second from right), Stowe neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Harry Larsen (left).

Preparing hot chocolate for kids from next door and her own daughter Susan (far left), Mrs. Watson, standing on far side of breakfast bar, heats water and gets ready to pass out cookies to appease hungry young skiers. Lodge kitchen itself is hidden behind well-designed hanging cabinets which open on two sides.

Doubling as instructor on Mt. Mansfield, Tom Watson in sealskin parka steadies 7-year-old Susan, who is just learning to get around on skis. Mr. and Mrs. Watson, like their four older children, are competent recreational skiers.