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Summit Up

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that’s going to hand out big, red capes to all the ski area parking lot attendants.

Not because they’re heroes, though.

Well, they are. In our mind, anyone who gets up that early in the morning and stands out in the cold in a parking lot directing the hordes of yahoos is a saint. Or an undead Eskimo. One of the two.

No, what we’re talking about is the fact that they’re matadors. That’s right: bullfighters.

At least that’s the impression we’ve gotten the last few times we’ve been too late or lazy to ride the bus ” there’s a certain skill set that the two occupations have in common. First, they both have to attract your attention (of course, thankfully, the parking lot attendants don’t have to wear those spangled excuses for ballet costumes and the goofy hats to do it; they could, and we’d all get a kick out of it, but we’re all probably better off without the Spanish zoot-suits).

The next skill they both need is the ability to lure you in, to direct you exactly where they want you to go. (This is where the cape comes in ” matadors got ’em, parking lotadors need ’em.) Regardless, it’s a pretty important skill: When you’re staring in the face of a two thousand-pound beast (a bull or a Chevy Suburban), you better be able to maneuver it out of your way, or vice versa.

The two artists diverge, though. With the matadors, there’s plenty of flair, panache. They twirl, they stand on tippy-toe, and there’s plenty of full-body, dramatic gesticulating. The parking lotadors could take a page from this notebook.

Again, that’s where the cape would come in. With it, we think they’d approach the job with a bit more joie de travaille, if you will, pushing what might otherwise be a very droll task to the level of art. Those already parked and standing outside their vehicles putting on their ski boots would watch as these brave souls taunted the incoming SUVs (maybe even joining in, poking the arriving cars with their ski poles like alpine versions of picadors), cheering as the parking lotadors danced, spun and cajoled Jeep Liberty after Ford Explorer after Toyota 4Runner into just the spot the lotador wanted, pirouetting out of the way at the last possible second. And then the skiers and boarders gathered around burst into cheers and applause, showering the lotadors with roses.

See how fun that would be? We just need to find them capes.


We have more fans across the country!

Robert Livengood, Jr., wrote us from Charlottesville, Va., wondering if he was “the only dude east of the Mississippi River that faithfully reads this article.”

Robert pines for the mountain life, and even has our website booked as his home page. He writes, “From my very first trip 10 years ago to those sharp jagged snow covered mountains that seemed like they disappear into the heavens, I have often wondered what it would be like to pack it all up, head West and find employment driving a shuttle bus so I could turn my week into well, forever.”

Apparently, the local hill, Wintergreen, can’t compare to our resorts, even with its new six-pack lift.

Fret not, Robert, you’re not alone: We have field agents throughout this great land, from Valerie in Atlanta, to Mary in Las Vegas, Ann in Ohio, Edith in Texas, Andy in Chicago, and on and on. And that’s just the ones in this country.

So take heart until your annual February visit. And to our readers here in Summit Up Land, take it upon yourselves to welcome these unfortunate souls who live so far from where their hearts reside. There but for the grace of .. well, you know.


Santa Clara University tells us that Kathleen Lackey, an SHS grad from right here in Frisco has made the fall dean’s list ” that means she finished in the top 10 percent of the class. Keep up the good work, Kathleen.


It’s Saturday, folks, so we urge you to avoid labor of any kind, at all costs. If you need suggestions on how to do this (excuses, fake injuries, and we also do a pretty good grandma impression over the phone if you need a live alibi) contact us at, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just do the same for us by calling (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.

We’re out putting together a mariachi band for the parking lot …

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