Ode For A Truckee Town Portrait 2000
Editor’s Note: Truckee’s Steve Coniglio gave a little oral invocation at Town Portrait 2000 Sept. 17; we’ve been asked for the benefit of those who weren’t there or couldn’t hear it at the somewhat crowded event to run this little flight of poetry in the Sun. We’re glad to oblige, and our thanks to Steve for his permission to run this piece.
To be shot?
Or not to be shot?
To all of us here
There is no question!
Why else would we have suffered through
Public transport and vehicular congestion?
Why else would we have assembled here
Under this noontime sun most stark,
And sold the rights to our first-borns
Just to find a place to park?
To plant down our spirits, smile at the lens,
Here on this somewhat barren land
And stake a claim to our own commitment
To Truckee’s Town Portrait 2000.
And the pride I feel for all gathered here
Cannot be measured by any amount!
For it’s the same pride I feel in being part of a town
Where, indeed, all of us can still count!
A town set up in an attempt to hear
All our grievances with relative ease –
Unless, of course, you live out near Prosser –
Known as “The Land Of The Falling Trees”!
Unless, of course, you live out at Donner Lake
In a home passed to son and daughter
With hopes that by the next millennium
You be able to drink the water!
Unless you’re a merchant or employee
Writing rent checks each month with a frown
Wondering why we’re charged such big city rates
For our little bleak one-street downtown!
Unless you’re caught up in traffic, bumper to bumper,
Along the full length of Donner Pass
For if we endure any more influx
You can kneel and kiss my bypass!
But, woe, to serve on our town’s government
Is, indeed, a thankless task at best!
For you’re damned if you do
And damned if you don’t –
And then damned by all the rest!
‘Cause you can search the whole world over
And you’ll be sure to never find
A place that’s just like Truckee –
Where everyone’s sure to speak their mind!
— — —
Or not to grow?
That is always our small town’s question!
And for those of you new to Truckee
Let me give you this brief digression:
For a law was made a distant moon ago here
July and August cannot have much snow!
And there’s no legal limit to the roadwork here –
As you all well know!
The summer is forbidden ’til September
And exits September 17th on the dot
No memory of it lingers to remember-
It’s just forgot!
We wait for trains at dawn that end at sunset
To some our town council’s always proven wrong
With so many big fish swimming in this small pond
We get along!
To be this is never Truckee’s claim!
But not in Camelot!
Is where we all choose to remain!
And spend quiet Fourth-Of-Julys down at our lakeside,
And guess which fast-food chain will next appear!
In short, there just can’t be
A place where one’s so free
To happily ever . . .
As here in our TRUCKEE!
And on this subject, my anger cannot be subdued
And this plea I must again shout!
I still don’t know how you drive through
That damned round-about!
Traffic doesn’t slide through
It slithers through like slugs!
You’d swear the thing was designed by some
CalTrans guy on drugs!
Stay to the right, and through the traffic you do wind,
And end stuck right up in the middle
Of your very own behind!
— — —
But Truckee’s changes flash by me in such a whirl!
I feel like I’m a 14.4k modem in a DSL world!
So, yes, I’m from Truckee,
Our little town’s beyond compare –
And when all else fails in life
I’m glad I’m here!
It’s a place high in the Sierra
Where mountain vistas clip the skies!
A place where all big heads
Gravitate, inflate and rise!
It’s a place where all of the women
Are beautiful, rough, and hot!
And if you steal their dress Sorels
You may even get shot!
It’s a place where a man’s home is his castle
Along with his dog and his pick-up truck!
And if his scent of hard work offends you
You are, indeed, out of luck!
It’s a place where most of our children
Wish they were anyplace else but here!
But after a bit of age and wisdom
The reasons for staying are clear!
For for all of our moaning and our groaning
We should consider ourselves lucky!
For we don’t have to live here –
We choose to live here –
And that’s what’s special about Truckee!!
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