2015 Reunion

Da Big Sky Boogie 2005


OH MY, not another world class reunion.  What a déjà vu, flashback-fest it was to see so many old Raiders, meet new ones and have some of the most fun on skis I’ve had in years.   Thanks to Bill Henning and Brad Richey for puttin` on an awesome spread of fantastic skiing at Big Sky, great food, lodging and industrial sized hot-tubs at Bucks T-4 and a host of AFRC alum.  For me, these things keep gettin better and better.  Maybe it’s my CRS (can’t remember stuff), but I seemed to ski better, act better and have more fun, but that’s just me, your mileage may vary of course. 


For Karen and me it was part honeymoon and part ski trip.  Having recently gotten hitched for the first time (I figured 50 years was enough time to get it right) and her being an avid skier, I thought an introduction in AFRC bonding and skiing would seal the deal.  We planned on a 2 weeks ski trip with the reunion starting off the fun.  After a day and a half of driving from wet and dreary Southern California we pulled into Big Sky.


For us and a few hardy souls, the fun began with a guided snow-mobile tour thru Jellystone Natl. Park a day before the reunion officially kicked off.   Paul Lambres, Steve Lingnau, Steve Ahnmark, Deb Deskavich and Steve Roberto, Dirty Harry and his mo betta half Laura along with Karen and myself were treated to some wonderful winter scenery as well as an up close and personal encounter with an awesome bull elk and some frisky bison on the road to Old Faithful.  We covered over 100 miles and had a blast trying to go faster then the 50 mph the governors on those snow mobiles topped out at.  With incredible weather and a desire to open the throttle, we all looked forward to the next three days.


Thursday dawned krystal clear with moderate temps.  Everyone was itching to get on their skis.  So after waking up with a little help from the nice breakfast spread the staff at Bucks T-4 put out for us, we drove up to Big Sky.  For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of skiing Big Sky, I can only say you really, really need to ski this place.   It has it all, steeps, open bowls, wide open tree runs that beg you to open it every run you do.  Unfortunately for us, the snow was a bit sparse on the upper advanced runs off the top of Lone Mountain, but other then a few moans about tagging the occasional snow snake, everyone had big ole grins on their faces at the end of the day.  As would be the case everyday we were there, the two industrial sized hot-tubs were filled to capacity with laughter, beer, shenanigans and oh yeah, more beer.  Even the Head Coach, Mike Derosier and his lovely wife Kristy, along with JJ, showed up right as things were heating up in the tub.  It had been 15 years since he had attended a reunion and his appearance leant a hint of the old days that lasted for the rest of the reunion.  That night, as more folks began arriving, the reunion keg was tapped, munchies were consumed and memories or lies were told…over and over again…LOL


Friday again dawned perfectly clear again, and with the night time temps going below freezing while the prime daytime ski temps hovered in the low 40s to mid 50s, one couldn’t ask for better conditions for fun.  Glancing around the restaurant during breakfast I did a mental run down on who was up early for coffee. There was Big Pete Simpson, as big and boisterous as ever, Boyd Colt looking fit as always and having more fun at breakfast then should be allowed.  Scotty Farrel had blown in the night before from Aspen, with his bud Jeff.  Scotty had brought a few copies of the Aspen Times issue that was dedicated to Hunter S. Thompson following his recent death.  I was lucky enough to snag one, as I’m a huge HST fan.  Jim Wilson, Paul Lambres, Bob Hood, Marilyn and Sue, Sunshine, Tim Ibey and his new handler Kate (simply the fastest skier of the bunch) were there, as were a whole host of AFRC types, grinning that smile when one sees old pals again. 


Up on the mountain, bunches of Raiders could be seen and heard tearing up the goomers and letting the locals know we were around with well timed yodels.  The runs at Big Sky are sooo nice for high speed cruisers I couldn’t believe how much fun they were.  Smooth as a baby’s butt with styrofoam snow to set an edge on.  The hot-tubs that night were SRO with rounds of Fat Tire Ale being brought in from our keg.   A few of the boys, Big Pete, Steve Ahnmark, Tim Ibey, Boyd Colt and Paul Lambres got in touch with their feminine side by raiding a Victoria’s Secret bargain bin and putting on a floor show for the hot-tubs.  Man-O-man if I ever see a sight like that again it will be way too soon for these old eyes.


That night was the dinner and dance with a wonderful spread being laid out by our hosts at Bucks T-4.  But prior to that great feed, we dined on Bongo Bill’s succulent oysters he had shipped in.  Man, those things were big and “fresh”.  They were snapped up in good order…ahhhh a poor mans aphrodisiac, there were lots of folks wandering around with a gleam in their eye, soaking it up.  After dinner, a new award was introduced to the crowd.  The Baz Cup will be presented every year to whoever best epitomizes what it means to be a Raider.   This year, it’s first, the honor fell to Paul Lambres, who has done so much to keep these reunions going, year after year.  Way to go Paul!!! 


After the presentation of the Baz Cup  everyone found the dance floor and danced to the swinging tunes the band was playing.  Somehow another bottle of that fountain of ute, Patron Anejo, showed up and well, you know how these things can go once the cork’s been thrown away.  Yep, we were dancing like we meant it.  As the night wore on, our energy levels started heading south toward mid-nite or so and we turned in.  It was a great party and I only wish I were younger so I could have enjoyed it longer.


Our last day, seemed like an exact replica of Friday, with great weather and wonderful skiing and Raider’s yodels echoing across the piste.  Old Steve Ahnmark, made a good impression on the local folks when he tried to show how well he could ski a U shaped gully, but after a turn or two he went tips up and tried drilling a hole in the snow at the bottom with his noodle.  Lucky for Steve his melon was up to the task and saved us all a bit of worry by shrugging off his head plant.  That boy hopefully got a bit of sense knocked into him but I doubt it.  By the end of the day, I was shot, knackered, blown, cooked, weak kneed and just plain tuckered out.  The group “PROIST” on the deck helped rouse me, and the hot-tub helped soothe dem bones.


 What a gas we had.  What a great bunch of folks to see over and over again, year after year.  The hair might be thinning on some these days and our collective waistlines are definitely expanding, but that’s just a sign of good living and fast skiing.  Till next year at Snow Basin outside Salt Lake City, where our 32nd reunion will be held.  Mark you calendars now, make your reservations, cause were gonna put few crimps in ole Joe Smiths land of milk and honey.  Till then, the memories I took with me this year will have to hold me over till next year when we can again sing those great songs of AFRC…on 3, ah one, ah two, ah three,


Oh, we’re the Chiemsee Raiders

The Raiders of the night

We’re the goddarn @&^holes who’d rather #%&* then fight


Oh highty, highty, Christ almighty

Who the hell are we

Zim Zam, God Damn Chiemsee are we


Freckles on a ducks ass

Quack, Quack

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