I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m tired. In the past 13 months, we’ve suffered a pandemic; contentious elections; not a few moments of momentous internal strife, a few international crises; and bizarre and pervasive conspiracy theories. And, then there was winter.
At least winter seems to be over, though it was hard to tell this week. There were two blizzards in three hours at my house on Saturday. I think, though, it was the last hurrah. And, I’m grateful for the few inches of creamy snow it left in certain places at a certain mountain resort nearby. Ferreting out those inches made the last day of the ski season extra special.
I’m avoiding mentioning the name of the resort, as that might further upset folks who are already upset about the recent change of the resort’s trademark. Some are taking it pretty hard; as if the new symbol has somehow changed the mountain itself.
I use “mountain” in the singular, though the resort has grown to include several mountains over the past 58 years. But when we visit, we are “on the mountain.” And it’s still right next door. Still big and beautiful. Still prone to Pend Oreille Premix on certain days and muddy parking lots this time of year. Still the biggest and best skiing within 100 miles of home, sweet home.
Varied opinions are being expressed about the new logo. From what I understand, some are not very complimentary, verging on vitriolic. I can’t say for sure, because I’ve not read them. My rule for dealing with undue criticism — from friends or enemies — is, “What you think of me, or something I care about, is none of my business.”
That maxim isn’t so easily applied to an enterprise that depends on public support. Listening to your clientele is a good idea. But it seems in this case that a mole-hill has become a mountain. And we already have a fine mountain. We don’t need another one, especially one that will be identified eventually as a hill of beans.
The resort’s symbol has changed several times since we were urged to “fish the big hole and ski the big bowl.” If you’ve lived here long enough, the “new” stylized “S” is familiar. A similar “S” arrived in 1963 with Sam Wormington and Chair One and survived until the day they burned down the day lodge in 1989. The new “S” is not quite the same, but it’s close enough to recall the days when Pend Oreille Pete skied the Big Potato, we had just one basin served by a single mile-long double Riblet, and Schhhhhhweitzer was a big secret.
Oops. I mentioned the name. Sort of.
This is an interesting study in the proprietary tendencies of humans. It’s good to remember that the complainers are also upholding their claim to a place they love — or at least appreciate — as a sanctuary from the crazy world below. There were not a few who complained about the new lifts in Colburn Basin two seasons ago, as well. But they eventually took joy in riding them and skiing all the new terrain afforded by their installation and the glades that came with them. The new symbol is just another step in a direction declared long ago: Schweitzer is becoming an all-season resort. Winter is not being kicked off the mountain. And neither are we.
There is a human tendency to lash out at those closest to us when we are tired and hurting. Many of us are mourning the end of the ski season; and other, more profound, losses. It’s been a long, strange, exhausting year.
How about we all take some time off and just stay home and rest. Summer’s coming. And beyond that, another winter. You can bet your sweet “S” on that.