High school basketball is rather like Christmas; it gets me through a dark and dreary part of the year. Walking into the brightly lit gym, with the pep band playing, is like entering another world. Youth rules. Kids rock. Looming old mountains and foul weather stay outside and I spend a few hours with the vibrant energy of hard working teenagers. Songs like "Smoke on the Water" and "Surfing USA" blare out from the balcony and ring in my head for days.
Mostly I come for the basketball. I really love the game. Originally I went along with some friends of mine who had a freshman son playing on the varsity team. One year our exchange student, Leonardo, was a member of the stunt team and I had a quasi-parental reason to go. But I don't really need a reason beyond a simple enjoyment of the show.
Our high school teams have done well over the years, winning both boys and girls state championships several times. One boy from Juneau made it to the NBA and is racking up double doubles this season for the Utah Jazz. This year two of the seniors, one girl and one boy, have already committed to playing Division I college ball. It is gratifying to see such fine results of the all out effort and commitment these kids make to the game.
Each year some of them graduate and move on. Former players appear in the stands every season, home from college for Christmas break or home from the war. Wedding pictures are printed in the newspaper. I hear from parents about jobs and babies and medical school and all the things that people do after high school. Their years on the basketball team or the dance team, playing in the pep band or cheerleading do not define these students now or in the future but they are shaped by putting their young hearts and minds to this work. They mostly look like kids having fun and the faces of their parents and fans look proud.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
There is a bus that goes directly to the ski area on weekends and school holidays. It leaves from a mall about half a mile from our house and only costs $5 round trip. Parents ride free. Yesterday's load of passengers ranged in age from 13-16 with the exception of Ray and his old mother. It was a pretty fun ride and was certainly no slower than driving ourselves. We ended up riding back down with some friends who live nearby. It was Ray's call; I rather liked the bus.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Last week the motorcycle got new tires, a jack for the snowmachine needed to be modified and the new lift for working on the bike had to be assembled. There is always something to do at the hangar.
There is a bar/restaurant in town called The Hangar. Sometimes we joke about Dave being there instead, drinking beer or ogling waitresses, but that wouldn't amuse him for long. He could be getting something done at the airport.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
It was too cold to be outside for awhile this month so I resolved to go check out three of the local gyms. I only managed to walk in to one and I didn't last long. I don't think I am a gym person. Besides the weakness of the overall atmosphere, the $150 membership fee and the fact that I have to drive somewhere to exercise put me off. I was glad when the temperature rose to 20 degrees. I strapped on the snowshoes and have been back out in the fresh air. The first day I was breaking trail and up to my knees. It has been progressively easier since then and way better than that gym.