From the Archives: by “Georgia” David Michael: Henry Skagway Pinkham in front of Mt. St. Elias
Originally uploaded by American Alpine Club Photo Library
The AAC has a paintings collection, and, for the past year, we’ve been working on gathering information about some of them.
When Dee Molenaar was in Golden for the 2008 Annual Dinner, he stopped by to look at some of the paintings. He identified the subject of this one as being Bill Putnam’s dog.
Bill confirmed it: “His formal name was Henry S(kagway) Pinkham and he was once proposed for membership in the AAC. He would have been elected except that Brad Gilman decided the by-laws did not allow for canine membership. Gilman was Secretary of the Club at the time, and left the entire episode out of the minutes.
He later told me that “the Pinkham episode’ was the “best piece of tomfoolery ever in Club history.’
Andy Kauffman and I were his sponsors, his age was given in months (39), his record of climbs (including several first ascents of 10,000 foot peaks) was true, and his address was given as Petersham, MA, where I had an arrangement with David Lord, the postmaster, but we had not reckoned on the fact that Gilman always retreated to his dasha in Barre (the next hill town over) to write up Board minutes, and (upon reflection) felt that if there were anyone with that kind of climbing record in Petersham, he surely would have heard about it. All Brad knew was that I did. Indeed, have a relationship to Petersham — and still do. Then he read between the lines and held the application over to the next meeting for further consideration.
The last time I saw Bradbury Baldwin Gilman — at Henry Hall’s funeral — he reminded me of the event.”
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