Action County: Leon Joseph Littlebird
Winter is a busy season for moonlighter Leon Joseph Littlebird. Littlebird, a Silver Plume native turned Frisco local, is a ski instructor by day and a musician by night. “I pretty much go mach nine this time of year,” he said on Saturday, during a rare day off from skiing. Littlebird has been certified with the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) for 22 years and now works for Copper Mountain Ski and Ride School as a part-time trainer.He describes his job duties as being more inspirational then technical.
“I think an instructor’s main job is to ignite people’s passion for the sport more than it is to teach a technique,” Littlebird said. “People should walk away saying: ‘That was the most fun I’ve ever had, I want to do it again.’ “After Copper’s lifts close, Littlebird can often be found performing to local audiences at the A-Train Bistro in Frisco (Thursdays) and the Storm King Lounge at Copper Mountain (Fridays and Saturdays). He plays the Native American flute, the acoustic guitar and he sings. The third-generation Coloradan has two new albums out: “Higher Stakes” is in the singer/songwriter genre and “Talking to the Ancestors” is a collection of seven ancient Navajo stories that Littlebird has put to music. He can also be heard on the airwaves Saturday mornings on Krystal 93.9 FM chatting it up on the “SnowShow” from 8-9 a.m.”We talk about everything that’s fun to do on snow,” he said.Perhaps the most interesting fact about the multi-faceted Summit County resident is the fact that he is a cancer survivor.”The biggest change that ever happened to me was when I had leukemia ten years ago and they only gave me 18 months to live,” Littlebird said. “I had what the doctors called a spontaneous healing. That was a real eye opener and I decided, I’m going to do what I love in life, and that’s ski and play music … Now that’s all I do.”
In what ways are your two types of work similar?”They’re the same. It’s about freedom and self expression. I love writing and performing original music because there will be an idea, a brand new seedling and it will start to grow. All of a sudden there is a song, where before there was nothing. It’s like when you hike up to some amazing place on your skis and look down at a virgin powder field. Then you take off your skins, tele down and leave your signature on it. How cool is that?”Leon Joseph Littlebird
Decade Born: 1950sFavorite Band: John HyattFavorite Team: U.S. Ski TeamFastball or Curveball: “I would throw a really fast curveball.”
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