Edward ‘Moose’ Damp was born July 21, 1921, in Pittsburgh, PA, and passed away on March 3, 2009 in Sarasota, FL. The second son of Albert and Elizabeth (O’Grady) Damp, he had two sisters and two brothers.
Ed graduated from Peabody High School in Pittsburgh, PA in 1939 and soon after set off on adventure trips to the White Mountains and Rocky Mountains. While hiking the Appalachian Trail, he and his hiking companion, Johnny Mayer, were camping in the vicinity of Madison hut one cold rainy night. The crew invited them inside to warm up, a chance encounter that ultimately led to a job offer from Joe Dodge. Ed worked at Pinkham Notch in the winter of ’41, and stayed around through ’43, working at Madison and as a donk skinner. It was during this time that he met Jean Newton, a college student from Rhode Island. While working in the huts, Ed acquired the nickname “Moose”, a name that would stick with him the rest of his life. Moose enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh but left to serve in WWII. He served in the Army Air Corp’s 401st Bomb Group of the 8th Airforce as a navigator from ’43 to ’45, flying more than thirty bombing missions over Europe. His B-17 bomber “Noot” was shot down over Belgium, landing among friendly Canadian forces where by his own account he enjoyed himself before returning to England to finish the war. By war’s end, he was decorated with the Flying Cross, Battle Stars and a Presidential Citation. Returning from Europe in ’45, he and Noot (as Jean was called) were married, honeymooned at Pinkham, and lived in Washington DC until he was discharged.
Moose then took a position as a navigator for Trans World Airlines and the couple settled in Barrington, RI, close to Noot’s parents. Moose flew overseas routes to Germany and later to the Far East. While not flying, Moose and Noot started a family, eventually having four sons, and one daughter. In 1956, he took his young family to live in Bombay, India, where they stayed for four years. During this time, he flew a route to Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, and Japan, and took several vacations to Kashmir, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Europe. Moose always claimed that people in Bangkok thought he was Yul Brynner. In Bombay, the family’s first landlord was the Rushdie family, and young Salmon became the children’s first friend.
Returning to RI, Moose decided he missed the mountains, so he moved his family to North Conway, NH in 1961, opening a German restaurant, the Edelweiss on the West Side Road while still continuing to fly part-time. Numerous OH were approached as potential investors. His culinary skills and hilarious antics with dining friends became legendary in the Valley. Where else could you ask to have a water glass refilled and be treated by Moose bursting from the kitchen in leather apron and cook’s hat with a garden hose in hand? Flying for Seaboard World Airways as a navigator, he made 311 supply missions into Vietnam during the Vietnam War. In 1973 after many years in North Conway, his kids grown up, Moose and Noot moved north to Errol, NH, opening the Umbagog café-store there. After Noot passed away in 1981, Moose left the store and turned to managing the Mollidgewock campground at Thirteen Mile Woods north of Berlin. He married Giselle “Kitty” Sauvageau in 1990. Soon after, they moved to Sarasota, FL.
Moose is survived by a brother, Jim Damp of Pittsburgh, PA (Lakes), two sons; Jeff (Zealand, Greenleaf, Carter) and Jonathan (Madison, Carter, Mizpah, Zealand); eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Jean (Newton) Damp who worked at Pinkham passed away in 1981; a daughter, Lucinda, died shortly after childbirth in about 1950; a son Eben (Lakes, Madison), died in 1994, and another son Andy (Lonesome, Carter, Madison, Zealand), twin brother of Jeff, passed away in 1995.
A private memorial service will be held this summer and memorial contributions can be made to the Appalachian Mountain Club, 5 Joy Street, Boston, MA, 02108.