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Summit Up


Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column, once again, glad to be where we are.

We gripe about a good many things in this space – the weather, politics, people who insist on parking in the fire lane in front of the grocery store. We don’t have to tell you, you read it every day.

But after talking with one of our thousands of worldwide field agents yesterday, we decided to take a day off from moaning and groaning. This particular agent is currently assigned to our San Francisco Branch Office and Earthquake Factory (motto: “Shakin’ the Booty of the Bay Area Since 1906!”). He asked us how things were here in Summit Up Land and we shrugged the question off like we imagine most of you would: Ah, workin’ and playin’, you know; not too much excitement.

So we felt pretty foolish when he began to describe his work for a big cell phone company, his wife’s until-recent position with Arthur Anderson and, basically, how there’s a lot of people who formerly were living large and are now applying for unemployment, selling personal possessions and soaking shoes for soup to save money on the grocery bills. Well, maybe that last part is an exaggeration.

We heard even more about families breaking up, relatives in rehab, kids with head injuries and more stories. Like we said, it kind of puts everything in perspective for you. Now, as we write this, we look out the window at cotton clouds in a bluebird sky, hear a radio off in the distance and, for once in this dry summer, realize our nostrils aren’t full of dust.

If people ever figure out how good we have it here, Disneyland is in for trouble.


We’ll be the first to agree that dying is never good. But you have to admit some ways are better than others, if you have to go. Take, for instance, the case of 19-year-old Yoni Cordon. Cordon worked at a candy factory in Hatfield, Penn. until Tuesday. That was the day he fell into a 1,200-gallon vat of liquefied chocolate. If you’re cocoa addicts like us (e.g. brushing with frosting, brunching on Godiva omelettes, etc.) this has got to be one of the better ways to go.

Which brings us to our next topic of discussion and feedback prompt of the day: If you had to go, how would you prefer to make the exit?

We spent Wednesday riding around with a state trooper (just because you’re riding in the back does not mean you can call the driver a “chauffeur,” by the way) and heard about some scary highway accidents. Not the way we’d wanna go. Skydiving without a parachute from a few miles up, however, has its appeal. As does the heroic hold-the-door-frame-up-while-all-the-kids-escape-from-the-burning-building scenario.

Let us know what you think at, fax at (970) 668-0755 or sing it in the style of a Balkan dirge on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237.


Yet another news item has given us an idea to solve all of Summit Up Land’s economic woes. According to an Associated Press story, voters in San Francisco will decide in November whether the city should grow its own marijuana (gosh, if we’d only read this before talking to our field agent there – we could have offered some hope). California has distribution centers for medical marijuana, and supporters of the plan say city-owned land can be used as a garden, providing product, not to mention jobs for the unemployed.

Who needs tourism? Who needs snowmaking? We could build greenhouses instead of Big Boxes and sell our harvests to all these other states instead of them having to come here and spend their money.

Yeah, you’re right, that’s just crazy talk.


Thursday or not, we’re out gluing golf tees to VW bugs – because there just aren’t enough giant porcupines in the world …

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