Marolt: A jack of all trash
It’s about this time every year that I start to have withdrawal symptoms from lack of any local high school football games taking place to apply my unique set of skills in wearing an orange vest while moving the measuring sticks and chains up and down the field, shadowing the action and keeping track of the downs. It sounds really complicated, and it probably is, but I’ve been doing it for so long that it kind of seems second nature.
The legend about the chain gang is true — somebody has to die before a new member can be admitted by the remaining members. I can’t remember who passed away to allow me to join, but it was so long ago that it is probably safe for me to say I’m glad they did. I mean, I’m not literally happy about them dying or anything like that, but it sure opened up a nice opportunity for me. Maybe I should leave it at that.
Anyway, I get the itch to get back out there and, just about the time I do, the folks at Trashmasters call me. You know the Trashmasters, right? They are that wholly organic local nonprofit organizations that raises tons of money and hell through the craziest golf tournament on the planet for college scholarships that go to your friends’ and neighbors’ kids. I love it because it rewards good but kind of messy golf, and I have half that formula down pat.
But they don’t call me in the middle of July to play in the prestigious version of the tournament. I wait to play in the fall version, which is designed for, let’s say …bigger hacks than who play in the July tournament. Sometimes it’s better to just let the truth out.
At any rate, they call me to “come out and help get things ready for the tournament.” It’s code for calling together what amounts to the secret society meeting that is Snowmass Village’s version of Aspen’s Chain Gang.
If you didn’t know any better, it looks like a bunch of guys driving around the Snowmass Club golf course early in the morning with carts loaded down with tents, tables, coolers, grills, signs and other trinkets that look like they would make a golf tournament fun. What makes the ruse work is that we actually do set up stations of fun at every hole on the course to make the day enjoyable for those who donate a lot of money to the cause and play in the tournament as a “thank you” for dong so.
But, if you look closely at the “workers” driving those carts around, the observant observer will notice that they are the same people year after year. Nobody leaves the secret society of Trashmaster “volunteers,” either because it is so much fun or they have accumulated a lot of dirt on all members and it is an unwritten rule, as are all the society’s rules, that it will get out just as soon as they do.
They didn’t disclose who died when I was invited to join the group of volunteers but I consider it a lucky break. I mean, it obviously wasn’t lucky for the volunteer who died but it would be dishonest to deny that it opened a door for me. I’ll leave it at that.
Be that as it may, a lot of the world’s problems get solved and much of its good gossip gets repeated during those golf cart trips around the course. The best of everything gets disseminated at the continental breakfast buffet set up in the club house, which is raided each time we come back around for more supplies to deliver and set up; so about six or seven times due to our purposeful inefficiency. So thorough is the exchange of information that I would venture to say that if you are reading this in the newspaper right now, chances are really good that you have been discussed over a cup of coffee on that morning at least once in the past three years, probably much more if you lead any kind of interesting or disreputable life at all.
I would like to reveal all the names of the members of the Trashmasters Volunteer Secret Society, but for punishment they would put me in charge of keeping score next year. Due to the complexity of keeping track of points and enforcing rules, that job is best left to bona fide badasses who honestly enjoy tequila with a sugar doughnut before coffee in the morning. That’s pretty much everyone else but me. I’m the new guy.
Roger Marolt is a jack of all trash but a master of none. Email at email@example.com.
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Snowmass Ski Area tested its first five chairlifts in 1967, just before opening day.