Riding Shotgun, Christmas Ornaments, and (Very) Loud Disco Music
LaRue, is still scarred by the experience. Hand-me-down equipment and apparel was part of how the LaRue family kept skiing affordable when he was a kid. One year that meant sending poor little Bailey out on the slopes in a one-piece with pink accents, outgrown by his older sister.
LaRue, now a well-adjusted young man clad in gender-appropriate clothing, has plenty of fond family-ski-trip memories too. Like the long car rides from his Texas home to the slopes in…Minnesota. “The anticipation of getting there was excruciating.”
The topic of family ski traditions came up while we were brainstorming ideas for our “True Believers” package (see page 58). Chances are if you’re a skier, it’s because you grew up in a ski family. You have childhood memories of your own, and you might be making new ones with your kids this season. Here are a few from the SKI staff:
Jackie Bradley, SKI’s art director, grew up in a hardcore Colorado ski family. “We were always the family that was waiting in line for first chair. And not just on powder days.” Her mom ran a tight ship. “There was always a game-time strategy discussion the night before, and everyone had a job. If we were supposed to be in the car by 6:20 a.m., we were all in there by 6:19.”
For Vermont-based deputy editor Joe Cutts’s twin daughters, “It was all about who got the front seat” (and with it complete dictatorial control over the car stereo). “‘Shotgun’ had to absolutely be called the day of the ride to the slopes. No dibs the night before. And whoever got it for the ride to the hill, the other girl got it on the way home, so, like, who cared?”
Senior editor Samantha Berman and her three boys, ages six to 10, annually turn their Christmas tree into a photo album of ski days past. “We save all of our old season passes and turn them into ornaments to hang on the tree,” Berman says. “The kids love to look back through the years at the passes and end up saying they can’t believe how young they look.”
Keri Bascetta, SKI’s director of photography, may have had it best. She grew up in Vermont, and her parents worked at Mount Snow. “My mom would let us play hooky on powder days.” Better yet, because Christmas week was all-hands-on-deck for resort employees, “They’d pull us out of school the week before Christmas to spend the week skiing together.”
At the Ditrinco household, ski Saturdays start with Dad playing loud disco music at, oh, about 5:15 a.m. to get the blankets off and the energy up for the I-70 commute to the mountains. This goes over well with the two dogs (it signals chow), is mostly tolerated by the two kids, and can be a point of discussion with one spouse. This stick is followed by a carrot—Colorado’s finest homemade waffles—and a more expansive playlist while gearing up. (Teen daughter: Twenty One Pilots; tweener son: soundtrack from Guardians of the Galaxy; spouse: Tom Jones…don’t ask.)
We’re sure you’ll enjoy creating your own tales and traditions this season. Loud disco music may or may not be a good place to start.
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