Lately I’ve been thinking about the good ’ol days.
No, not the ’60s; or the ’70s; or even the ’80s, for that matter. I should probably mention here that I’m a 23-year-old millennial-or-whatever, so what could I possibly know about the good ’ol days? Well, I know what I learned from growing up in a small mountain town, similar to Truckee in many ways, and I’ve seen firsthand what makes towns like ours so unique; so soulful; so tirelessly captivating.
It’s the warmth of a tight-knit community that I loved about my hometown, and which drew me to Tahoe/Truckee. It’s never skiing alone, because you’ll always see your buds in the lift line. Out here in the mountains we’re all on the same team, and when it really hits the fan — like it did when January’s atmospheric river brought its hydrological hammer down on Tahoe — we don’t riot, we unite.
When homes and businesses flooded this month, neighbors brought sandbags and shovels to the rescue. When three power lines went down, cutting off power to most of the west shore, Liberty Utility employees worked tirelessly through the storming night to resupply power to the area. Even as I’m writing this, they’re still out there working on the lines.
I know I’m not “from ’round here,” so to speak, but since coming to Tahoe I’ve seen this community glue is starting to wear thin in places. At Alpine Meadows this week I saw a man partially buried in an avalanche, and the first two skiers on the scene passed him up to catch air off the debris fan. One of the town’s online personas — the Facebook group Truckee/Tahoe people — is potentially shutting down because its administrators are “blown away at the hurtful, cruel, and derogatory comments posted on this page daily.”
Tahoe/Truckee still has the magic, but we cannot afford to lose it. We cannot lose sight of why we’re here. There is a reason that people still work absurd hours just to make a living in Tahoe (here), pull out all the stops to protect this land (here), and make their voices heard on important issues — at every age (here). I believe the reason is that we all know, at one level or another, that we’re still smack-dab in the middle of the good ’ol days.