Janet Day: This heavy traffic is our salvation
December 29, 2008
Old Friends. It’s good to see the Winter Park Ski Train back on the tracks. Big and noisy, it’s like an old friend who can be irritating but has been gone so long that you miss even the annoying aspects and smile when they return.
The train and those Denver-area residents who fill it, and the others who clog the highways, may be our salvation this winter. While we all prefer the destination visitors who spend a lot of money in a short time, frequent visits from the Front Range may be the best this economy has to offer. So be nice to them.
It’s also good to see the sun again. I’m already tired of the gray and snow with few breaks in between. But that’s part of living up here and weather is always a good conversation topic with visitors from afar. One of my favorite weather Fraser sayings used to be, “It’s warm enough to snow.” But I think the past weekend’s forecast has given me a new one. The prediction for Saturday was that temperatures would “warm up to about zero overnight.”
Forecasts like those are a great way to keep annoying relatives from visiting (they don’t spend much anyway and leave a mess in the guest room). We don’t have to tell them about the days when blue skies, sunshine and fresh snow make it worth suffering through the gray days.
“I’m usually a half-day kind of guy anymore,” one Denver visitor said on Sunday. “I skied way too much for my age today, but it was great.”
Old Films. I spent one evening during the holidays with a friend and her mother, watching old home movies from the late 1940s and early 1950s that had been converted to DVDs. The movies depicted her parents’ ski trip to Winter Park from Kansas and they were fascinating.
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The old Practice Hill, formerly Lower Parkway and now named Lower Village Way, was different ” narrower generally or maybe it was the camera angle. The jumps were in place and in use. Larry Sale seemed wider in the films. Lower Hughes looked exactly the same with the same tree islands midway up the front face. The general scenery was the same, too ” sunshine and fresh powder. The Moffat Tunnel is unchanged, as is (it appeared) the volume of traffic on U.S. Highway 40. The resort buildings are obviously different.
The long skis and horrendous poles with huge baskets generated a few laughs, but I’d love to have some of that clothing today: soft cream-colored wool jackets, fitted at the waist with a little flair over the hips and a slight poof in the shoulders, red sweaters with fur trim or big buttons, flattering, comfortable-looking high-waisted, pleated wool pants that tapered down to a small cuff at the ankles.
We have a question for anyone with a long memory or good notes from a half century ago: What was the name of the big St. Bernard dog at Beaver Village Lodge around 1949? If anyone knows the answer, let me know.
Who’s Your Daddy? Head over to Byers Peak Veterinary Clinic today to place your bet as to the lineage of Jon and Francie DeVos’ dog Cuervo (“he’s a licker.”) The pair is having his DNA analyzed just for fun, but are also using the opportunity to raise money for the Pooky Fund, which helps pet owners who are unable to pay for necessary veterinary care for their animals. Take a look at the photo of the pink-nosed, pointy-eared little guy and place your bet. Or send your guess and donation to email@example.com.
Cuervo’s true bloodline will be revealed tomorrow. According to Francie, the winner “gets to feel good about themselves, as well as receive some kind of fabulous, but as-yet-undetermined doggy or kitty prize.”
Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com.