Mammoth loses Skip Harvey in 2012

Cancer silences a joyful, obstreperous voice

Skip Harvey died on July 16, leaving an empty spot in Mammoth that nearly everyone felt.

A two-term Mammoth Lakes town councilman and mayor, ski instructor at Mammoth Mountain, and owner of the Base Camp Café, Harvey died at home after a long battle with throat cancer.

He took on just about everyone at one point or another with his iconoclastic points of view, but no one ever questioned his love of the mountains and of Mammoth in particular.

In his last appearance before the council, June 6, Harvey made an impassioned speech about his love affair with Mammoth.

“I have to say, I came back up from Santa Monica last Monday. I’m just in awe of the high mountains and the deserts.

“The farther north I come, the better it gets. I can’t help staring at them.

“It is beautiful, and then as I turn up 203 to come up to town, (I slipped in between rainstorms), I could see the beauty of the crest, I could smell the pine. It’s gorgeous, it’s enchanting and it’s beautiful.

“No one, no matter what, can take that away from us. I love this town. It’s a wonderful place.”