Monday, October 16, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Mt Sitzmark - Part 1

“They” say writers should read newspapers to glean ideas for stories and articles. Beyond the whole “they” conversation we could launch, I must share what I gleaned yesterday while reading the Sunday World Herald.

Truth is stranger than fiction. I’ve heard it said by a famous “they” – and I believe it. But the tidbit I’m sharing is not fictionalized at the moment, so brace yourself for cold, hard facts.

Yesterday, in the column written by the genius Mensa chick (yes, I read it) I discovered the word “sitzmark” means “a mark or hollow made in the snow by a skier’s backward fall.”

Ha. I’ve never heard this word, yet I identify with it.

My aunts took me on lots of great Colorado vacations when I was but a wee little lass. One year we skied in Steamboat Springs. (The town may remember me.)

At 14, I imagined myself pretty cool and able to accept the challenge of downhill skiing. Instead of ski pants, we purchased a pair of slightly oversized jeans and waterproofed them with 47 cans of Scotchguard, in case I fell. (disclaimer – the number of cans may be a slight exaggeration.)

This was in the day when denim didn’t undergo coolifying processes that affect color and fabric stiffness.

Day one in Steamboat dawned beautiful and bright. We dressed in our ski bunny finery and donned sunglasses. Fittings for boots and skies took a while.

My aunts had mastered flying down the side of a mountain and they stared with longing at the intermediate hill. At the school of non-initiates, they dropped me like a used tissue, and gracefully swished toward the ski lift.

I suppose my instructor was an amazing beefcake of a guy. This I don’t remember. “They” say that ski instructors are hunks so I’m sure he was. He may even have been European. For the purpose of illustration I’ll call him Instructor Hunky Sitz (and make him German).

Though I’ve forgotten Instructor Hunky Sitz, other things were burned into my brain.

To be continued…