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home : opinion : columnists June 24, 2016

2/28/2013 4:17:00 PM
Please Celebrate This Day
Victoria Sanborn Leavenworth

Today (Feb. 19) is the anniversary of the avalanche that took the life of Johnny Brennan and two other world class skiers Jim Jack and Chris Rudolf. All residents of Leavenworth, all family at Stevens Pass Ski Resort. The forecast for today was rain. These gentlemen, now with pull in the skies above, would not hear of this and it was blue skies. The staff members at Stevens were visibly emotional. The woman who directed our car in the parking lot welcomed us saying, "Please celebrate this day." Being from Leavenworth I knew what she was saying. If I was not from here I would have found the place oddly eccentric. When we arrived at the lodge there was a large group gathered in costumes ranging from 60's funk to Tigger. Many had large top hats, colorful wigs and, yes a few with Pabst Blue Ribbon boxes on their heads. Three cannons shot off from the top of the ridge. With each blast the crowd cheered. Then in unison they headed for the mountains. First stop for many was 7th Heaven, the last chair lift ride for the fallen men. My nine year old son Hawkins and I spread rose pedals at the bottom of the lift and said a special word. But we were only in our moment for a moment as four guys took off their tops and got onto the chair bare chested despite the 35 degree weather. Yes, a day to celebrate the good in people, the greatness that these men had embodied. Throughout the day we heard lots of hoots and hollers as people descended the slopes in colorful adornment. We saw a man lowering himself down an ice cliff with a climbing rope, skies on, and a sign which looked like he was going to affix to a ledge. But most of all we saw groups of friends gathered laughing and hugging. The three in the heavens would have loved it, a reminder to us all to celebrate the day, celebrate friendship, and celebrate love.

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