Peter Shelton

The Geezers Club

Posted in Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on February 27, 2010

Sometimes when I’m at a loss for something to write about, Ellen suggests, “Write about cats.”

She doesn’t mean cats, themselves, necessarily, though we are wrestling with end-of-life, quality-of-life issues (his and ours) for dear old Tonapaw, who is at least 17 human years old: skinny, stiff, irascible—prone to what the vet calls “inappropriate vocalization.” He yells a lot. It’s apparently a sign of kitty dementia.

No, Ellen means write about what’s in your lap. Right now. Where do your thoughts go when you’re not monitoring them, when you’re not on guard, at work, or in public? (more…)

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Jimmie Heuga, Little Big Man

Posted in Olympic Games, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on February 17, 2010

It’s Monday, Presidents’ Day. Bode Miller just won bronze in the Olympic downhill. (I predicted he’d lay down a brilliant run or two over the fortnight. With the pressure all on Lindsey Vonn and with Bode happy, finally, with his skis and with himself, I thought the genius might shine again.)

Today is also the public memorial for Jimmie Heuga, who died at age 66 on February 8th, 46 years to the day after his bronze medal in slalom at the Innsbruck Olympics. (more…)

Salinger letter surfaces in Ouray

Posted in Watch columns by pshelton on February 11, 2010

I was intrigued to learn, a few days after J.D. Salinger’s death on January 27, that Mary Ann Dismant, for many years the director of the public library in Ouray, had a letter from the famously reclusive author.

Salinger wrote stories in the 1950s and 60s that deeply affected millions of readers, me included. I devoured Catcher In The Rye, of course, and clutched its irreverent teenage hero, Holden Caulfield, to my equally (or so I thought) sensitive/rebellious heart.

Holden is so funny—unintentionally most of the time—and so right on: “Take most people, they’re crazy about cars. . . I mean they don’t even interest me. I’d rather have a goddamn horse. A horse is at least human, for God’s sake.”

Or: “That’s the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they’re not much to look at, or even if they’re sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.” (more…)

Groovy Vancouver will not be immune

Posted in Olympic Games, Watch columns by pshelton on February 3, 2010

Opening ceremonies are a little more than a week away. And it’s still warm in Vancouver.

Of course, it’s always warm in Vancouver compared to Colorado in winter. It sits right at sea level, and the climate is tempered by a warm Pacific Ocean current from Japan and warm air from Hawaii. Vancouverites like it that way. Except when the weather threatens to jigger some of the most popular events at the Games. (more…)