This is skiing weather!

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The current snow storm has gotten me to thinking about an event from my childhood. Pardon me whilst I reminisce.

I was only a pup, maybe 6 years old, when a particularly big snow storm hit Memphis. Snow lingered in the yards for several days, and while temps climbed high enough during the day to start some melting, at night everything froze solid. This had the end result of coating the streets in a nice layer of ice. The city made a token effort to clear the main roads, but the less traveled streets were quite dangerous. Bear in mind that this was long before the days of ubiquitous SUVs and AWD.

My father, about whom I could tell so many outrageous stories, got a crazy idea. He went down into the basement and pulled out a set of water skis. With a screwdriver, it was the work of a few seconds to remove the fins from the underside of the water skis. He then proceeded to tie a ski rope to the bumper of the familial station wagon and loaded me and my brothers into the car.

I was too young to do anything more than watch from the tailgate of the station wagon, enrapt by the sheer lunacy of it all. I don’t recall which of my older brothers (6 and 7 years older) tried the skis first. But I do remember them jumping the curbs and the occasional garbage bag of leaves, like a water skier jumping the boat wake. At some point my dad skidded the station wagon around a corner and a brother attempted to occupy the same physical space as a big blue mailbox. There were multiple falls and much skidding, fraternal and automotive, but somehow we all made it back home with nothing more than scrapes, bruises and an excess of adrenaline.

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