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Publisher’s Note: 1.23.13
I’m ambivalent about a lot of things. Add gatekeeping at ski races to the list. I was a gatekeeper all weekend at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for the Wes Barron Memorial race. Like most things that are good for me and expand my horizons, I was forced into it. The Jackson Hole Ski Club requires me to “volunteer” three days a season, or I have to pay more money for my spoiled brat’s training fees.
The kid really is spoiled. I grew up night skiing on 200-foot vertical hills in Minnesota at 20 below zero wearing jeans. This kid’s playground is 4,000 vertical feet of spectacular terrain. Pretty cool place to hang out with your buddies.
OK, I’m a little jealous.
I find gatekeeping a real challenge. It’s almost impossible to multitask on my cell phone and computer when every 30 seconds a skier comes rocketing by and needs to be observed closely so that I can mark down on my card any gates he or she might miss. I’m sorry, but it’s a bit cold and boring standing there all day waiting for something to happen. When it’s not boring it’s even worse, because that means skiers are careening out of control and crashing, and now I have to make all sorts of diagrams on the back of my gatekeeper card describing what happened–forensic evidence for a possible judges’ meeting that may be necessary to resolve any disputes.
I generally don’t do well with standing-around- doing-nothing type jobs (actually, I’m not so great at hard work either). Sure I could just relax and enjoy the beauty of the moment – spectacular weather and scenery, impressive athletes – but where is the challenge in that?
I noticed that the News and Guide reported last week that “News&Guide staffers win 16 Pacemakers.” Apparently the Pacemakers were given out by the Wyoming Press Association. Since the average Wyoming Press Association member is about 100 years old, Pacemakers are probably their idea of a really cool prize. Maybe next year they will give away colostomy bags. Let’s hear it for rad old-fashioned newspaper dude schwag.
I’m glad that the proposed merging of the Bridger-Teton and the Caribou-Targhee National Forests has been scrapped. The best government is that which is closest to the people. Large unwieldy government entities marginalize the ability of individual voices to be heard, and enforce one size-fits-all solutions on problems that need locally specific solutions.
Just F Y I, Judd: If I’m not mistaken, the WPA brings in outside journos from other states to judge Wyoming newspapers for their awards. I don’t know which state did the honors this year, but it’s never done by the ink-stained ‘geezers’ from Wyoming.