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TIME TO REFLECT - by Joe Stevens

03.13.11 05:34 PM

Hello Everyone –

Usually in this space each week you read my thoughts on where the ski industry in the southeast has come, where it currently stands and where it might be headed. This week, other than being on the best winter recreational website, there isn’t going to be much about sliding and riding in this column. To tell you the truth, with what has taken place in Japan the last couple of days, I just wanted to put some words of reflection on the computer screen.

I stand guilty of taking things for granted. For instance, while most people are wanting weather conditions to become more like spring these days, I have been making sure that every knows that spring doesn’t officially reach us until March 20. I’ve been trying my best to convince folks to head to the mountains one last time this year. With that thought in mind, there are probably millions of people in Japan right now hoping just to see tomorrow. I can not imagine the type of catastrophe that nation is facing and I don’t think many of us in this region really can.

I believe the US based networks CNN, Fox News, The Weather Channel, etc. are trying to do their best to inform everyone on this side of the world what is happening, but I just feel something is missing. It might change as they crew up over there, but for some reason I think they are missing the human element of the story. I can’t put my finger on it, it’s just that my stomach is talking to me and all I am hearing from are government officials. I know it is early in the information process, but I want to hear from the people, not a government flack.

As I write this the sun is shining right now in Charleston, WV. My son is wrecking cars with his Monster Jam game and my sweet wife is fighting a cold. So life is normal here, but I still can’t stop thinking of what is going on nearly a day away in Japan. I am at a lost to be able to really explain to my son the destruction that has taken place and cities aren’t like Lego blocks that can be torn apart and put back together within minutes. I am sitting here wondering what this is all going to mean to the future of my family and friends. I am sitting here reflecting and not worrying about the next time my board hits the snow.

That’s it for this week, just remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.

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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.

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