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.

En­joy the is­sue. ● gditrinco@skimag.com

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