Grasshopper Soup: Summer simplified without TV
July 6, 2010
Ah! July! The greatest month of the year. Plenty of baseball, bugs, barbecues, barometric pressure, barefoot girls dancing in the moonlight, the birds and the bees, bears, beaches, bicycles, boats, blastogenesis, block parties and barely a drop of rain or snow.
Best of all though, for me, is the fact that our cable TV quit working. Thereand#8217;s a blessing without disguise if Iand#8217;ve ever seen one. Life becomes more real without TV. Even the news, which is mostly gossip nowadays anyway, takes itand#8217;s rightful place when the TV screen goes blank. Iand#8217;m not missing much. There is nothing on TV that anyone in their right mind canand#8217;t do without. If World War III breaks out I guess Iand#8217;ll find out soon enough, by word of mouth. When you hear news by word of mouth it always seems to take on a more pleasant, or at least familiar, tone. And if you have to hear about World War III, it might as well sound familiar and pleasant.
Speaking of news by word of mouth, I was out for a walk approaching the light by Fanny Bridge and the Bridgetender from quite a distance and noticed what looked like a large family waiting to cross. By the time I arrived, they were still standing there as patiently as birds of prey. I waited with them for what seemed like several more minutes. It finally occurred to me that maybe they didnand#8217;t know about the button, so I squeezed my way through them quietly and pushed it just in case. The tallest one in the group noticed what I had done and said, and#8220;Oh! No wonder weand#8217;ve been standing here so long.and#8221;
The very next day I was waiting to cross at the and#8220;Wyeand#8221; and a couple on bicycles pulled up to cross as well. Even before the man got both feet off his pedals he asked, and#8220;You did push the button didnand#8217;t you?and#8221; I just had to laugh. He was trying to be diplomatic, so he phrased the question in the most positive manner possible.
I told him I was wondering if he was going to ask, and that I had decided to keep him in suspense. I could tell he had a good sense of humor so I said, as if I were him speaking and referring to me, and#8220;Is this guy smart or clueless?and#8221; We both shared more good-natured laughs as we crossed the street and more conversation about what a great summer we were having.
If everyone could make friends with, and laugh with, people who call their intellectual abilities into question the world would be a more peaceful place.
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Another great thing about July is that the end of the fireworks is the first sign of winter. Iand#8217;ve seen it snow in July before, once on July 17th.
Not that I am ready for summer to end, no way. Summer has barely just begun. Iand#8217;ll take mine through October please. The woods are just too lush and green. The wild is calling, but, the way this area has been getting to be so popular during the last 20 years or more, it makes me think about moving back to Alaska to live deep in the wilderness.
As Robert Service says in his poem about Alaska called and#8220;Iand#8217;m Scared Of It Alland#8221; (referring to city life), and#8220;I want to be back in the avalanche belt and#8230; with wolves at my feet and#8230; for I know that itand#8217;s safer up there.and#8221;
I would like to personally thank those local citizens who made a valiant attempt to get the federal government to release water from Lake Tahoe for the Fourth of July weekend so the local economy could get a major boost and locals could get back to work. We know who you are and we are very grateful that you tried to persuade the powers that be on our behalf.
Mark Twain said something to the effect that there are two things that are sure to make men fight and#8212; whiskey and water. Add women to the list and what chance does peace have?
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 27 years.