Last week I was in North Carolina helping my daughter by watching the three NC Crankettes. I had a good time reacquainting myself with these three. We made pancakes in the morning, played games, watched “Sponge Bob Squarepants” (my personal favorite) and went to a local pool.
One bonus of any NC visit is I get to see my Editor/Sister-in-law, Judy. This year the visit included my scientist genius nephew, Jimmy (yes, I still call him Jimmy) his scientist genius wife, Melissa, my PHD niece Alison, 35 first cousins-once-removed and a six month old Yellow Lab “Captain” named in honor of my Brother Jim.
Dinner was beer-can chicken skillfully grilled by my nephew.
We had a great time, solved many of the world’s problems if only anyone would listen to us, and told some old stories. I love old family stories, and I like to put them on paper, or the internet in hopes they will not be forgotten.
My niece told this one as an example of youthful exuberance and ambition. She relates it to her students from time to time when they think her expectations are too high. I hope I do it justice:
My brother and his family were all skiers, especially when the kids were young. They were all good skiers. Good, not great. My niece, Alison, recalls watching her two brothers, Jimmy and David, at the top of an extremely long steep hill. The hill was not just steep but was covered with huge moguls (not rich old men, but severe bumps and dips in the hill.) The hill was very icy which is typical when steep and bumps are involved as the good snow gets pushed off to the side leaving crusty packed icy snow.
Both boys eyed the slope with trepidation when Jimmy suddenly just pushed off and attempted the run. Heading straight down the icy slope, Jimmy navigated about half of the bumps with skill and dexterity when he caught an edge, flipped to his side, fell and tumbled about 100 yards down the hill ass over teacup until he finally slid to a stop. Jimmy did not move for what seemed like a minute, and then he slowly pulled himself up, dusted off the snow, and adjusted his hat. Looking back up the hill, bruised but still intact, Jimmy cupped his hands and yelled to David,
David, of course, followed!
AFTER THE BLOG
Apparently I got some facts of this story incorrect. This comment from nephew David sets the record straight. Please note David’s obvious resentment at being called “good” skiers, they were in fact “Fairly Great” skiers. Also note I am Joe, not Uncle Joe, I still don’t know what I did to lose my title…anyway still love you guys:
Sorry to miss you Joe. We got there late that night. The quote is correct, though the story is wrong. We were fairly great skiers for that time period (mid-80s), not just good. And it was me, not Jimmy, actually attempting a helicopter (a 360 degree twist) off a particularly large boulder. I landed backwards, which is indeed a bad outcome - though the depth of the powder made it a goggle packing, snow eating wreck rather than a painful one. Despite the absolute muff of the trick, I was convinced it could and should be done (though perhaps not by me). So "It's doable" was born... Alison wasn't there, but my Dad was, and he loved to tell the story, which is likely why she likes to tell the story. She has the details wrong, though not the point.
OK, the facts are now straight, and the saying officially becomes Family Lore.