Roger Marolt: The ebb and flow in stream of Snowmass summer events |

Roger Marolt: The ebb and flow in stream of Snowmass summer events

Roger Marolt
Cluster Phobic

I like the rodeo, even though I never go anymore. When the kids were little they liked to do the calf scramble and the mutton bustin’, so I had to tag along to sign the release waivers. Now that they are old enough to drink beer, I figure they are on their own. What I can say with certainty is that I never bought a ticket to the rodeo. That was back in the halcyon days when a local could enter by the back gate and it wasn’t considered sneaking in.

As I live nearby and can hear the entire amplified program every week, my subconscious mind has the script memorized. Lots of neighbors complained about the noise, but I credit it for my developing my phonographic memory. The old announcer, Twirp Andersen, was so consistent in his spiel that you would be forgiven for thinking it was an old record playing over the scratchy PA system. One night he remarked after a bull rider got chucked, “Ladies and gentlemen, give that cowboy a hand because that’s all he’s going to get tonight.” Without so much as a glance at my watch, I thought, holy cow, it must be 9:13. I have to get the kids home and ready for bed!

We used to go to the Thursday evening concerts on Fanny Hill as if our continued existence upon this planet depended on our attendance. We planned our week around it. We trudged up there dragging the kids along with our dinner and a bottle of wine every single week all summer long, rain or, very occasionally, shine when the weather forgot what day it was. It felt like a personal failure and flaws in our character if we ever missed one. I muscled through some minor surgery one time to arrive there when I should have been home recovering and immediately fainted onto our checkered picnic blanket. Nobody gave us a lapel pin to commemorate our dedication.

I guess it was all a little too much. I suppose we missed one free concert for a very good reason and then missed another for less of a good excuse until finally we made up a reason not to go and justified it sufficiently so that eventually we were just blowing it off nonchalantly and realized we felt OK about ourselves anyway. This may coincide with Netflix’s meteoric rise into the core group of needs for the average American or when they made it illegal to bring your own booze into the venue, I’m not sure which.

What I am immediately excited about now is the summer solstice that locally will, for the first time ever, mark the beginning of pass holder week on Snowmass Mountain. Of course there will be no skiing to take advantage of, but I consider that a merciful ending to a ski season too long. If we had been playing baseball, it would be like winning the World Series on April 22 and then immediately returning to preseason games — enjoyable but basically dull, like shagging balls during batting practice with your cap on backward to work on your tan.

What it does mean is that the roller coaster up there in the Decimated Woods, or whatever they call that place where they built an amusement park in the middle of a forest, will be free to ride for those with a season pass. Wahoo! Since I have never ridden on an alpine slide-type roller coaster, I hope to answer my one burning question about them: Why do they have hand brakes? My guess is that, in our litigious society, they are designed to run full-hatchet for the length of their engineered rails without any risk of jumping the tracks. I am willing to take a completely hands-off approach to testing this theory. Then again, talk is cheap, especially when you put it in print and publish it.

One thing I really like about Snowmass Village is that it is an event town. I like this even when I don’t participate in the events, especially in the summer. Town Park becomes like a virtual virtual-reality game where tents and stages pop up one weekend only to be torn down and rebuilt the next in different configurations to accommodate the next greatest show on turf. The result is that weekends are breathtaking and weekdays allow us a few days to catch our breath. If you feel the need to frazzle your mind in between, there’s always a trip to Aspen where craziness and non-stop awful driving around town are as abundant as parking is scarce.

Roger Marolt wonders if there is such a thing as an out of style concert shirt or what happens to all those new cowboy hats in the stands after the rodeo. Email at


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