Grasshopper Soup: Good old friends are always there | SierraSun.com
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Grasshopper Soup: Good old friends are always there

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; Now that winter is over (knock on wood), old friends we havenand#8217;t seen much since last summerand#8217;s concert in the park (thatand#8217;s generic for Kings Beach, Truckee and Tahoe City) are beginning to emerge from the last remaining, remote outposts of rugged individualism, like Tahoma, and Arizona.

Now we can enjoy their company again, hear new stories, marvel at their wealth of experience and depth of perspective, entertain new ideas and enrich our minds with both sides of the story; transcend opinion and break the ugly bonds of bias and prejudice.

Like bright yellow mule ear flowers and the crimson bells of the snow plant, Captain Ron Kirby and Denise are back from their winter in Arizona to serve as camp hosts for the campground in Tahoe City. I took the new lake front bike trail to see them, hoping for the pleasure of my annual visit with them Sunday evening and was not disappointed.

Donand#8217;t miss the grand opening of the scenic bicycle and pedestrian path in Tahoe City on Thursday, June 21st. More festivities are also scheduled for Sunday, June 24th.

Captain Kirby and Denise were as gracious and as generous with their time as they always are, even though I popped in unannounced. They are two of the most beautiful people on planet earth. They are always full of great, true life stories and rarely, if ever, have I seen them shy away from any topic under the sun, no matter how personal or controversial. As usual, they refreshed my soul with humor and insight and their inexhaustible zest for life. But they make sure to get their beauty sleep.

Years ago, Ron attended some events offered by the Windstar Foundation, which was started in 1976 by John Denver and Aikido master Tom Crum to promote learning how to live in harmony with the spirit of the universe. Not everyone can explain how to do that.

In one of those programs, Captain Ron was introduced to the brilliant and humorous idea that, not only do we experience hardening of the arteries as we grow older, we experience and#8220;hardening of the categories.and#8221; In other words, we get so set in our own and#8220;superiorand#8221; way of thinking we canand#8217;t consider other ways of seeing things, and harmony is broken.

Like ragged raccoons crawling out from under the house, or drowsy marmots poking our noses up through the snow that still clings to the rocks on some steep couloir in the higher elevations, we hope to see the sun and not the talons of a golden eagle. Obsessed with our own limited and narrow mind-set, the sun is so blinding and radiant to us we recoil, thinking it is the sharp talons of the eagle whose meal we are about to become, and, instead of celebrating the light, we dive back into the darkness of our little hole. Maybe, by the time the eagleand#8217;s talons finally do get us (and they will), we can enjoy that too.

It is spring. New life blossoms from every living thing we thought was dead.

To appreciate and understand both sides of the coin is a rare and great gift. Those who can appreciate both sides of an issue, can more fully appreciate life.

A big mountain thanks to Scott Zumwalt and his new partners, Kurt Hyatt, Carmine Bovine and Chris Schuster at The Bridgetender in Tahoe City for a great 35th anniversary spaghetti feed and costume party last Wednesday. Patti DeRykeand#8217;s spaghetti was a huge hit and deserving of special thanks. Scott and company were going to charge $5 for dinner but changed their minds the night before and fed at least 240 people for free. Thatand#8217;s the spirit! One good turn deserves another. Drop in to the BT for a meal this summer.

Costumes included hippie chicks, go-go girls, huge and highly flammable and#8220;Afroand#8221; wigs and disco attire that has fortunately gone out of style, but was perfect for the occasion.

The best costumes were worn by people who werenand#8217;t even alive during the 70and#8217;s. Thanks to the younger generation for the memories! Long live nostalgia and the rebirth of old friendships.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.


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