Tahoe Pine Nuts: Why there are so few funerals at Lake Tahoe | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Pine Nuts: Why there are so few funerals at Lake Tahoe

McAvoy Layne
Special to the Bonanza

Lake Tahoe was formed two million and fifty-four years ago. I know this because while lifeguarding at South Shore in the summer of '61 I was told by a Washoe elder that the lake was formed two million years heretofore, and that was 54 years ago.

Following quick stops in the rain at the University of Oregon, the rainforests of Vietnam, and tropical rainfall of the Sandwich Islands, I came home to my first love to admire her vermilion sunsets and adore her cerulean spirit. I found her exactly as I had left her, heartbreakingly beautiful.

What enchants me most about Tua Tulia is the way she can hook her little finger into your buttonhole and pull you close.

Whenever I'm feeling lonely and forlorn I dive into her cobalt deeps and voila! She renews my faith in myself, mankind, and the world around us, not to mention spiking a desire for a snuggler with extra Schnapps.

Then too, there are the people she attracts to her sylvan shores. They are the finest metal the earth has to offer. If not sterling when they arrive, they are fired to sterling in this basin that serves as a crucible.

Where San Francisco fosters competition and innovation, Lake Tahoe fosters moral expansion and cultural awareness; here the app-addled culture of San Francisco yields to, "Can I help you with those chains?"

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Altruism is not exclusive to alpine lakes, but seems to thrive at lakes above 5,000 feet. Perhaps those negative ions that hover over alpine waters serve to energize the thin atmosphere, I don't know.

All I know is the friends I have here at Dao-Aga are some of the heartiest, lovingest, givingest souls I've ever encountered. There's not a one of them that harbors enmity toward his fellow man.

No, show me a Tahoe man and I'll show you a man who will babysit your kids, loan you money, but will not help you move away.

"You can have my truck for the day, but I have a pass at Squaw that needs some attention, I hope you understand." This young Tahoe lad is wearing a t-shirt that boasts, "No Job, No Prospects, But I Snowboard!"

Show me a Tahoe woman and I'll show you a woman who will pull over and haul you out of a snowbank, then entertain your kids with a story about the Donner Party before driving away.

Alpine lake people know their neighbors, look out for their neighbors, and take comfort in knowing their neighbors are looking out after them. Yes, Tahoe folks are some of the best people you will find anywhere, including Texas.

Another thing I appreciate about Tahoe is the fact that we hardly ever have to attend funerals. Our backs give out from shoveling snow and we move down into the valley long before we are prepared for promotion to glory.

As Buddy Garfinkle reminds us, "There might be places as nice as Tahoe, I suppose, but none nicer."

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghostoftwain.com.