Tag: The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I hated water skiing with Uncle Ralph.  He was Aunt Alida’s second husband and they lived in a ranch house perched on the edge of a quarry lake.

What’s a quarry lake?  Basically a pit filled with water.  The house was kind of a normal house on top of a steep driveway as you got near the edge of the crater.  The downstairs was a game room with a Pool Table and a genuine One Armed Bandit that paid out real money and was totally illegal as Uncle Ralph would proudly boast.

And a rack of water skis and pile of life vests and a changing room and laundry so you could wash your bathing suit before you got home.

When you stepped on the patio what immediately attracted your attention were the pike and walleye heads nailed to the trees while you clunked down the steep terraces toward the dock.

It was a funny kind of lake.  Three feet deep for about thirty feet out.  Then a watery plunge.  The dock was set up so you could step off the side and play around or dive straight into hell.

As a two ski skier I was sneered at as worthless and weak- real men (and women) slalom.  Uncle Ralph delighted in throwing me at rocks and docks and generally jerking me around.  He was a mean boat driver, I’m not kidding.  Last time my dad skied he skied with Ralph and dad could slalom and went down hard.

Still, it had its good points.  After you had suffered enough you could climb up and play pool with cousins you didn’t know and can’t remember; and later, when Uncle Ralph had driven everyone into a cliff, he’d give you a cup of quarters and let you play slots ’til you lost them all.  Then it would be about dinner time.

If you brought your own money you could play nickle, dime, quarter with Uncle Ralph and all the other older relatives on the big felt pool table.  It was an odd night I didn’t walk away $4 or $5 dollars richer, but they were my relatives and I didn’t see them that often and I am a very good poker player.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I don’t really like swimming very much though I’ve done a lot of it.  I find it difficult to enjoy myself in the water because there’s always this sense that I should be doing something.

When I was in Swim Team we’d do 3 to 5 miles a day and it is the most boring, grinding, isolated kind of exercise you can imagine.  No view except the feet of the person in front of you.  Nothing to hear except an occasional whistle when you breathe.  Endless circles of aching effort regulated by 15 or 30 second breaks before it is time to push off again.  I’d sing symphonies in my head (I was into long haired music- Mozart, Bach, and Brahms) to alleviate the endless counting.  Stroke, stroke, stoke, stroke, stroke, stoke… 25.  Stroke, stroke, stoke, stroke, stroke, stoke… 50.

Everything about me stank of chlorine all the time.  My hair turned green.  I’d tell you my fingers and toes turned permanently pruney but that’s not quite true, they usually recover after a couple of hours.

Monday through Friday 6 to 8 and if you were on the elite squad there were the mandatory practices from 6 to 7 in the morning.  In the winter your hair would freeze and in the summer?

Ah… nothing like an outdoor pool in the early morning after it’s had all night to cool off.

I’ve had my head burnt to near Emergency Room levels when someone flushed the toilet while I was in the shower (actually I should probably have gone, it was that bad).  I’ve swum in pools so green you couldn’t see the bottom and had to feel for the wall (no flip turns, Team safety orders).

You get to a point where you can tell by feel fast water where you’ll get good times and personal bests from slow water.  But it’s slow for everybody as coach would say.

Anyway, now that I’m no longer a professional Life Guard and have to do my 400 yards every day, I rarely swim except to get somewhere and it should be somewhere fun.  A rock you can jump off.  A boat you can sail.  I will take a dip to cool off, but I hardly call it swimming, in and out.  I watch kids play in pools and I think- how are they having fun?

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I frequently liken my family to the Gilmores.  Part of that is I have lived a life of privilege, the best schools (like Chilton and Yale), Summer Camp, Music Lessons, a library within walking distance where I spent much of my youth, large areas of undeveloped land practically in my back yard, Scouting, Swim Team, Golf, Skiing, Sailboats and Canoes.

Not too bad Richard and Emily did for my brother and sister and I, but there’s also the personality similarities, especially between Emily and my mother.  If it’s not a name brand it does not exist.  I’m sure she would have put plastic on the davenport, but midwesterners don’t do that sort of thing.

Anybody have any pop?  I like Vernors but you have to import it.

I’m only half troll though, Richard’s a Yooper and his dad came over from Denmark as a child so I know how to make pasties AND ableskiver (first you need an ableskiver pan, Gilmores get them on their thirteenth birthday, Emily had to learn from Lorelai The First before she was allowed to marry into the family).

But the most startling similarity between the Gilmores and my family is the dialog.  Guests sit down at the dinner table and leave impressed by the viciousness and wit.  Reactions have ranged from- “So who IS afraid of Virgina Woolf” to “Me Oww Ms. Parker” to “You should be writing this down dude.”

As if.  But I am sooo good enough to write for The Stamford Eagle Gazette Mr. Huntzberger.  In fact, I bet I could get a gig at The Baltimore Herald if I put my mind to it, following around Obama on the campaign trail.  I am the reigning Lorelai and if you want to sit down at the table cocktails start promptly at midnight.

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