Firefighter Jon Pasternak moved to Maine in 1993 for what was initially a fleeting career as a snowmaker at Sunday River.

“I lasted a month; it was a year we had all kinds of snow so I was laid off,” he said.

In 2001, he saw an ad — the mountain was hiring again — and jumped on it.

Pasternak had a great interview.

“Two or three weeks went by and I didn’t hear anything,” he said. When he called to touch base, his future boss told him, “‘Congratulations! I’ve been meaning to call you, you’ve got a job.'”

Awesome. He thought.

When Pasternak went in the next day to shake the boss’s hand, the man was surprised — he’d meant to hire someone else.

Thankfully, it all worked out, and better than expected. A snowboarder for 30 years, Pasternak is now the manager of lifts, ticket checking and tubing. He met his future wife, Angela, on the mountain.

The rest is, well, a gondola ride into history.

Name: Jonathan Pasternak

Age: 40

Lives: Bethel

Maine vs. New York? I moved to Maine from New York because while on vacation I discovered that the people here were really quite different than back home – they were actually nice!

Highlights of your average day on the mountain: There is so much that goes into making the magic. I knew back in ’93 when I started as a snowmaker that working at a mountain would be fun, but I had no idea how much effort and determination went into it. I have been known to shout “Come on out, guys” in the middle of the night as I dream about loading people onto the ski lift. Just yesterday I was talking to one of the guys who (while dreaming) had actually “saved” his girlfriend from being hit by a chair in the middle of the night. There really is no beginning or end to our days, just the beginning and end of the seasons.

Word has it you once rocked waist-long dreadlocks and spent a ski season tucking them into a pillow case. . . Although Sunday River had embraced snowboarding (in the early days) I’m not sure my new employers embraced my hairstyle. I was actually asked to store my dreadlocks in a black pillow case that was adorned with a Sunday River patch, and was reminded often, “How nice it would be to have a normal haircut.” After 10 years of having my dreads, I wasn’t quite ready to cut them off so the pillow case was cool with me. It’s 2013 now, grunge is out and having a family is in. Although I miss them occasionally, the days of the dreadlocks are gone.

You and your wife were married in a SR gondola? Six years ago they hired a beautiful girl for me to discover, who I found sitting behind a desk in our maintenance garage. A few years later, during Christmas vacation, we got married in a gondola cabin right here on the mountain. The resort has had dozens of weddings at the North Peak lodge, but I am certain that we were the first to actually get married in the gondola cabin on the way to the peak. Who needs to get married in the spring or summer when you can get married in a cabin getting rocked by the wind? We weren’t exactly able to stand up to take our vows, but we couldn’t think of a better way to tie the knot.

Each winter you help hire about 130 seasonal employees — your best interviewing advice: Show me your passion for service. Show me that you will be willing to do anything to make our customers love you and this resort.

Best pickup line you’ve overheard on the mountain? Worst? They are both wildly inappropriate and can tell you (from my own experience) that neither one worked.

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