Franconia 2 3/09
The day starts with a bang, cindy leaving early in a flurry of activity to secure a prime spot for our bbq lunch on the mountain, pancakes flying low, a new gallon of mape makes the scene to sweeten things up. It is still over cast but warm and sun is promised for afternoon. I pack up ski gear, head for the mt and watch the stream of cars pack ing into cannon parking lot. We ignore the signalers and find cindy parked next tot he bunny slope, booting up, ready to rock n roll. Steve and phil dunn are already on the mt, Kathleen is there from montreal, the troops are gathering. Now we have a group of about 10, kids, sibs old friends, skiing fast, long swoopting carvers on the open slopes.. still haard up top, we can see the ice rink of profile trail glinting high above. I get a senior ticket for 36 and off we go, the rat pack, moving smoothly through the lines, greeting old friends, cindy knows everyone local, and we get a great hit of cannon comaderie. Down to the tram after a false start, and I enter the hallowed ground of my youth, flashing on my first makeout session in a snowbank with terry norton, right in front of her fathers office window. My mouth still hurting from being hit by Malcolm grandy,the bad guy at high school, going up after a basketball. I pushed off and he landed on his back, wind knocked out. It really made kissing interesting, but we orally exchanges precious bodily fluids in a fit of passion, rollijng in the snow.
We try the top, now blasting raggae at the lift station, a guy in natty dreads stands guard. We fly down ravine, playing with the snow along the edges, now soft with rising temps. We follow each other in a line, blowing past the standers and snow plowers. I look around and the mountain is coming out, our mountain, Lafayette, how many times did we top out there, hunkering down in the stone shelter smoking a tobacco pipe while the snow blew by, snug in our tight group shot through with testosterone with mountains, rock climbing, ice climbing skiing a way of life. We cruise down to the parking lot where the briquetts are sizzling dogs and burgers, beers in hand sitting in folding chairs, with the sun breaking through. It is a real scene, kids running around, skiing on one ski, munching dogs, friends dropping by, and the 4 sibs reveling in the reunion. Phil dunn is there too, tall white moustached gent, our neighborhood friend, and Kathleen, cindys tuckermans friend from montreal. She and cindy were at tuck on 4 th of july one year and suddenly Kathleen wasn’t there, she had broken through a snow bridge and was 20 feet down in a crevasse upside down, hanging from her skiis. The patrol extracted her, but not until a great deal of rope arranging and derring do on the part of swampy paris and his crew. So we retell the old tales, reliving the past triumphs and disasters and all taken back to our invincible youth.
We head up the chair, spirits high, me feeling the effects of a nooner beer. Get to the top of the chair and I make the fatal mistake of weight too far back, cant spring up in time and my skiis go sideways and I crash, a resounding thump on my helmet tells me where the chair is hitting. The lift guy is on top of it, and stops the chair from running over me, and a crowd helps me up, shaken, the high destroyed, but ready for more.
Now more top runs, and I opt to return for my nap with steve and Ronnie. Alls set for the party and people arrive , some of the older guard, including dick bennik a class mate of dads at Harvard, and Duncan cullman, old boyfriend from telluride. We rev up with catered munchies, and when the crowd is in full swing, I get tom and we suit me up with the elvis costume, turn the lights on in the pimpdaddy coat and im off down the back stairs, hanging out on the lawn, in the dark until cindy and part of the crowd emerges, and I walk waving my lighted arms, to the great enjoyment of all. Cameras click, cindy and I grind out, “you aint nothing but a hound dog” in gravelly voices, more cameras and people crowd around to feel the coat and cuddle. A great thing that, cathys gift after burning man 3 years ago. And now my staple costume.
We gather for buffet and sitdown dinner at a long table, 21 people and toast cindy, tell tall tales, and have a great meal. Cake ice cream, and good cheer, lots of wine. I sit with Irene and we strike up our old friendship, she still in town, doing body work, and living off the land, skiing as much as possible. We relive old times, old friends and revel in the atmosphere of community.
I tell the story of taking cindy over the headwall the first time, and other stories abound. Even little Carolyn gets in the act and tells a Lapland story. Irene and I repair to the living room and I show the burning man slides and a few more shows. Now people leave, and I cruise to the apt and sleep soundly, rain pounding on the roof.