Saw “The Punisher” tonight. The moral of the story? If life’s got ya down, KILL EVERYONE. Such lessons are no surprise for me, ever since I penned “Everything’s Better With Handguns.” Now I want to get me an old metal teacher’s desk and fill the filing drawers with guns and ammunition and get beat up by a huge fellow that looks surprisingly like Tons, my gigantic Canadian friend from Hood River.
Ahh, the gang from Hood River. Summer is creepin’ up fast, and pretty soon I’ll be able to hook up with all those crazy cats again. One could say they were a cast of thousands, but more accurately they were a thousand of casts… casts… of… people. Like, metal casts or something. But made out of persons.
Joe, my partner in crime for dominating Mount Adams and chasing squirrels around Mount Hood with long knives drawn.
Sara, my friend from Duluth who is a killer windsurfer, and will soon be marrying Erik, a Washingtonian climber/mountaineer/insurance salesman extraordinaire.
Pat, David, Heidi, Steve and the rest of the Samba Hood Rio crew.
Leslie, my companion for hitting up downtown Portland for Mates of State and Guster concerts, between waiting for her Jetta’s oil change at the Volkswagen dealership, walking in the spitting Northwest rain, snatching free cheesecake from Safeway, protesting on street corners with abandoned picketing signs, and building absurdly sophisticated structures with Duplos. Her Jetta has heated seats, too. Heated seats. “These heated seats go up to eleven.”
Dills, the wetsuit poster boy for our windsurfing shop, as well as the kindest glass-blower and least technical gear technician you’ll ever meet. Last seen riding a snowboard with no bindings down the rocky slopes of The Hook.
David, our obligatory Swede who disappeared for some reason.
Nelson, who is, well, Nelson. He has that Fahey appeal to him, where for some unknown reason you like the guy because he’s such a jerk, and you’re convinced that he can’t be that much of a jerk because he’s so nice about it. Nelson works at Crystal Mountain during the winter, where Joe worked as a cat driver for a season, and where I tried to get a job last fall but was a couple months too late.
Sparky, the only fellow I know who has single-handedly constructed a complete Captain Jack Sparrow outfit, from the leather boots to the tri-corn’ hat, and wears it while running errands around town.
Bobby (“The Greatest Instructor Ever”) and Randy, our resident Floridians who apparently spent their winter teaching windsurfing in the Caribbean.
The Army of Gates, who manage to dominate the windsurfing sales and instruction, as well as the realty and construction sectors, of Hood River. Steve watched shop, Erin worked as a ski instructor at Steamboat and Jodie ran off to college, never to be seen again.
My old roommate/landlord Michael, whose soap opera life will no doubt inspire a series of saucy novels penned by yours truly.
Motoshi, my roommate and friend who taught me how to cook, kiteboard and “custom” all in Japanese Style. We went snowboarding on Mount Hood in July and were both equally baffled by these stupid Flow bindings on his rental board.
Miho, Motoshi’s girlfriend, who we picked up from the airport in late-June and was a killer kiteboarder herself. Last I heard the two of them were in New Zealand ripping it up, but last summer there was avid talk about coming back to Hood River. One can only hope.
All the people who came out every Friday to hear us whoop it up for karaoke night at Jack’s.
Bruce Peterson, the Bruce Peterson of Sailworks, who would walk into our shop quite often so we could tell him how much his new sails sucked. Or rocked. Cuz we were finicky little bitches like that.
Peppy, the rep for Mistral and Sailworks and just about every other company under the sun, who taught me that a full night of Jack’s and the Shed and scorpion bowls and Rolling Rock and Jagermeister was a full night indeed.
Wyatt, whose dislike for Europeans will always be embodied by, “Daht spiyn loope whass off ohf nahsing! Off ohf nahsing, nahsing!”
Adam, who taught me and Kelsey how to fence.
Kelsey (with the awesome hair!), one of a few select people who can vouch for me when I say that I traded words with Jon Krakauer. And they weren’t all swears!
Matt, the bartender at 6th Street.
The Thai Winds trailer.