Peter Shelton

Thanksgiving Circle Game

Posted in Confessions of a Grandpa, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on November 25, 2010

During the ski school years, Thanksgiving was lost to us. Mostly.

We’d get together with other twenty-somethings if we could, friends from the ski area, fellow instructors, patrollers, lifties. And, assuming we had Thursday night off, we constituted a sort of substitute family. Nobody had time to cook, so our gatherings were more like impromptu parties where we might put together a baña calda: massive amounts of garlic and anchovies in hot oil; dip strips of cheap steak; retrieve. It was fun. It helped to be drunk. (more…)

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What the coffee table said

Posted in At the Movies, Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on November 18, 2010

The coffee table was piled high with stuff, as usual. We had a visitor coming, a friend from New York who stopped in rarely and so warranted a neater living room than the semi-pigpen we allow when we are home alone. I waded in.

First thing to get put away was the road atlas. We’d had it out to look at New Jersey. We’ve been watching old episodes of The Sopranos, and Ellen wanted to see where the Pine Barrens are. I’d also wanted to check on the whereabouts of Wasilla, Alaska.

That little bit of research happened after I read Nancy Franklin’s hilarious review of Sarah Palin’s new “reality” show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska. (more…)

Vicarious Magic

Posted in At the Movies, Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on November 11, 2010

It works every time. The season’s new ski movie comes to town in November just as snow is starting to fly, and all those dreams and memories built up over the summer come rushing out like a wind between the theater seats and the screen. (more…)

Seven At One Blow

Posted in Animal Dreams, Watch columns by pshelton on November 5, 2010

Tonapaw, when he was still with us, decided that one of his most important jobs was to catch and eat houseflies. He’d pin them against a windowsill with his paws, peer under, and gobble them up with a couple of quick bites.

Ellen and I praised him every time he did this. And he did it right up until the last month or so of his life. Did it with astonishing dexterity and reflexes: the reflexes of a cat.

The only problem was, he was too good at it. In the fall, during Indian summer, when the days are still quite warm and it’s maximum housefly season here at Boulder Rock, Tony could consume dozens of flies in an afternoon. When he overdid it, we’d find disgusting puddles of cat barf swimming with fly bodies, some of them maybe still struggling in the soup. (more…)