Fall 2017 | 23 Norman Hayes By Norman Hayes Published in the Nov. 1976 VAST News My introduction to snowmobiling came with the purchase of two used Ski-Doos way back in 1965. I tinkered them up and started for the trails. What trails? There were none. I got stuck, tipped over and fell off so many times that I almost gave up. In 1967, I joined the Green Mountain Sno Cats. I served as vice president for one year and president for two years in our club. Our club was one of the founding clubs of VAST and I soon joined the statewide association. At this stage of the game all I wanted to do was snowmobile – no meetings, no fights and no extra work. Then came that fateful snowy night in Montpelier when the public hearing was held on snowmobiling. I sat there in amazement as our most noted anti-snowmobile doctor tore into the sport and into the people that used the monsters. I had not planned to speak but I had to. I can remember saying that the sport of snowmobiling was here to stay. That night, I made a vow to myself that I would continue to fight for snowmobiling. I had spent eight years in the Navy in World War II and in the Korean War fighting for what I believed in. Here was a third conflict, so I jumped with all four limbs flying. Two years as vice president of VAST, most of it spent in the legislature. Then two more years as president of VAST. Out in Milwaukee for the International Snowmobile Council meeting, some people asked me to run for co-chairman. A very beautiful lady from Montana said “snowmobiling needs you.” Who can turn their back on a persuasive woman? Well, I ran and was elected co-chairman of the ISC. This past year in Williamsburg, I was elected chairman of the ISC. The fight still goes on now but it encompasses the North American continent and nine million snowmobilers. Just a little word of advice: There isn’t any organization that can give you everything you want. The way of life is a tale of give a little and take a little. All across the North American snowbelt there are men and women working to ensure the future of snowmobiling. They are all unpaid volunteers. How much would you do for nothing? To criticize is very unfair. Stop, look and think before you blast off. If it were not for your club, not for VAST, not for ISC, ISIA, IASA and the SSCC, there wouldn’t be any snowmobiling. Think it over! In Memory: Norman Hayes By Carmi J. Duso Published in the Feb. 1991 VAST News Norm, an avid snowmobiler from back in the sixties talked about snowmobiling throughout the year. In his last few weeks of life, he asked that his snowmobile be serviced so that if he should have a good day, he would go snowmobiling. However, his illness from cancer was unrelenting and he passed away in mid-January before we had sufficient snow. His dedication to VAST never faltered. He even came to the VAST office during his last few months to find out how things were going. His camp up on Kirby Mountain was his pride and joy as a snowmobile headquarters for family and friends. Hardly a weekend went by that it was not used and a good time was guaranteed. Norm always liked to lead when riding, exploring the country, stopping often to light up his pipe and walk back to visit his companions or whoever happened to be out on the trail. Helping to build a fire for trailside cookouts was another of the many reasons Norm just loved being out there. Norm was quite easily recognized, wearing a jacket that showed very little original surface material as he had it completely covered in patches. For quite a few years, his current snowmobile was similarly adorned. Norm was one of the earliest members of the Green Mountain Sno-Cats and he remained loyal for over 20 years. In the late sixties, the sport of snowmobiling was very controversial. Norm joined me as a lobbyist at the legislature and he wrote several editorials to answer the anti- snowmobile faction many times. This was a very interesting period in the history of snowmobiling and Norm was right in the middle of it. He was elected vice president of VAST in 1972 and became president in 1973 and served through 1975. In June of 1975, after having passed the gavel on to Darwin Rogers, the three of us attended the annual International Snowmobile Congress. That particular Congress brings back fond memories of Darwin and I working hard politicking and we got Norm elected as co-chairman of the ISC. He was then elected chairman in 1976. Norm was quite proud of this, and well, he should have been. The role of chairman of all the governing bodies of snowmobiling on the national and international level was most prestigious. We were all very proud of him here at VAST. Through his title, he became well-known and liked, traveling and making friends in the snowmobiling world he loved so much. Norm will be missed by many, especially those who rode with him and his little drag he pulled behind his machine. Snow Sage