Spring Awakening

Driving my legs into the ground, I exploded off the line, pushing the big, yellow cardboard box with the familiar “Hummer” logo splashed across the side as hard as I could. Two steps, three and then, with a grunt, I gave one last mighty shove and watched my three helmeted kids rocket down the hill towards the finish line.

Well, rocket, might be a bit of an exaggeration – more like moved quickly. It’s hard to rocket when your box is spinning in circles, threatening to tip over if somebody leans too far left or right. Sometimes the box crosses the finish line, sometimes my kids need to get out and drag it down the hill. Either way, their laughter and the raucous encouragement of the crowd and p.a. announcer make the whole event worthwhile.

After the cardboard box race, we take our creation, mount it on a set of skis, stick a homemade dummy in it and send it down the dummy downhill course – a big hill with a huge jump built at the bottom. The goal is to have your dummy hit the jump at Mach 3 (not as easy as it sounds – again, it can be tough to have your dummy run a straight line), sail through the air and, if you’re lucky, crash spectacularly. The dummy that generates the most crowd noise wins.

Like the cardboard box race, we haven’t yet won the main event. But we did once win for a dummy that was deemed “Most Lifelike.” This, in the world of skiing, makes complete sense because our dummy was a handmade replica of Gumby. Apparently, we created a spot-on imitation.

Both of these events are part of an annual weekend celebration at Holiday Valley Ski Resort (western New York) designed to celebrate the end of yet another winter season. For our family, it’s also a sure sign of spring – just as important as leaves on the trees and the chirping of birds as the sun peaks over the horizon before it’s time to get out of bed.

My point? Special, public events are an important, needed part of our culture. Done correctly (and consistently), they can help mark time for generations of families – helping ease them from season to season and creating memories that are as good as gold.

Or, put another way, what you do is important – even if nobody ever stops to say “thank you.” Without you, we would miss the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Memorial Day parade, Fourth of July Fireworks extravaganza, Summer Concert Series and Christmas Celebration. We’d miss t-ball, basketball, football, swimming, biking and hiking.

So, as we head into another season, all of us here at PRB decided to recognize that, since you have so much on your plate, we would investigate common sense solutions to your spring maintenance needs – so that your fields, streets, parks, pavilions, rec centers, pools and other facilities were ready to shine during your upcoming events. I hope you find the information useful.

If you do (or if you don’t), please drop me a line (rodney@northstarpubs.com) or give me a call 866-444-4216. I’m always looking for feedback.

Till next month…

Rodney J. Auth