Something we do right
“Skiing consists of wearing $3,000 worth of clothes and equipment and driving 200 miles in the snow in order to stand around at a bar and drink.”
I was looking for a quote drawn from Ian Fleming’s The Spy Who Loved Me that I could tie into skiing. Why you ask, well for many this movie did for skiing what the The Great Escape did for motorcycles. Just as it appears as though the bad guys are going to get James Bond he jumps off a cliff and a Union Jack parachute opens up. Wow! For a while I was concerned he wasn’t going to make it to Moonraker. As I was just out of university skiing naturally became attractive, if for no other reason than that someone could mistake me for James Bond. The only thing I lacked from PJ O’Rourke’s comment was the 3 in front of the 3,000 as I already had the 000’s covered.
Much older now, I aspire to merely make it down the hill. This is where the CSEG Ski Spree comes into the conversation. For over the past twenty years plus, the first week in February has meant Ski Spree. It is a date that is circled on the calendar and looked forward to by all in my family. Unlike the other social events that the CSEG sponsors, the Ski Spree requires no skill for the attendees to enjoy themselves. A good part of the last decade, my wife, Susan has been in charge of the U-12 room. With my youngest son migrating past that age she elected to pass the torch this year. In a dramatic change we were actually able to see the back of the vehicle this year as opposed to having it crammed to the roof with crafts and treat bags.
Twenty years brings with it many memories. Spotting my son taking a jump at full speed, albeit with no prior jumping experience, would be one. Arriving upon the accident site I informed him that there wasn’t that much blood, but to be responsible we would still need to get the Ski Patrol involved! I also recall back around 1990 when upon time to return home we were informed that Highway 93 was closed. Detouring through Golden we then found out the Trans Canada was now closed. Securing one of the last rooms in town I was forced to solve the mathematical challenge of one double bed among five people with no clean clothes. While this led to a sleepless night, an incident a few years ago tops the list.
Having forced all the Children’s Room goodies into the van along with coats, boots, school work and an endless supply of snack food, I was finally able to squeeze the door shut. Arriving at the Fairmont Lodge I made repeated trips up to our room unloading everything we brought. All my helpers (offspring) seemed to vanish like parishioners at the end of a service. It was then that my wife asked me the defining question of the journey, “Where is the red suitcase?” My color blindness only temporarily delayed the painful response,“ What red suitcase?” Over the course of the weekend we became quite comfortable with our one set of clothes. It helped save time in deciding what to wear every morning. It was also reassuring to know that the suitcase was safe in the living room back at home.
While I do recall the humorous incidents I am also aware that all my children and my wife share nothing but fond memories concerning the Ski Spree. It is something that was done right and continues to be done right. It is something we can take a great deal of pride in and speaks to the best of fellowship that our society aspires to achieve. As to the first part of Mr. O’Rourkes commentary, I still haven’t yet made that investment. Although, I would point out that over the years I have improved my performance with respect to the final task.
With this month’s column I complete my responsibility for composing this Presidential Column. In April the torch will be passed to our new President, Francois Aubin. I have enjoyed the monthly ritual of commenting on what I felt was appropriate. As always in doing this I have attempted to follow advice of another.
“I’ve always followed my father’s advice: he told me, first to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally. If I insult you, you can be g*ddamn sure I intend to. And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble.” Quote attributed to John Wayne
“I’ve always followed my father’s advice: he told me, first to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally. If I insult you, you can be g*ddamn sure I intend to. And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble.”
It would also be appropriate to give thanks to those who have proofed my column so that it was grammatically correct and hopefully inoffensive. I hereby give thanks to both Mike Cardell and Jon Howlett of WesternGeco for their editing efforts. Any errors or omissions would therefore become their fault.