The first time, on long wooden skis, heavy leather boots,
They laced both front and back.
It started there and progressed up slope —
Until you got the knack.
With bamboo poles, a jacket snug and
Cable bindings snapped down tight.
To the bunny hill, a glove-eating monster
A hundred kids, like ants, on hills of white.
The diesel smell and clang of fitful starts and stops,
The rope tow’s safe, you know
Oscar Hamilton will save you fingers, if only treated right.
As you aged and skied and learned the ropes,
The T bar loomed, the ridge, the trees,
The bumps, the open track.
On holidays and weekends, for just nine bucks
Stoner slopes always asked with grace,
Nudged politely, said its piece,
“Please come back.”
The red plastic locks would form a chain on winter coats,
and tell of countless visits,
Chili in the lodge and hundreds of people
Drinking in the mountain spirits.
If you helped the Clarks, and stayed at the lodge,
You knew you may be scrubbing dishes.
The T-bar spring was a deadly tool.
It would take your hat, rip your shirt, rake your back,
Snatch you bald, and prove the fool.
The trick it seems, you skied it twice
On boards, its true, both up and down the hill
From ‘51 to ’83, to the slope, the kids they came,
From towns along the river,
but the special use permit was not renewed,
and Tramway asked for things that area just couldn’t deliver.
It closed, they pulled the hut, the T-bar was taken down.
By ’91, the deed was done. The area was no more.
But if you learned it there, skiing up and down its slopes,
‘Ski Stoner,” they said. “And you can ski anywhere.”