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Opinion: Preparing for Life as it Were

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By Bob Hall

I don’t know about you, but I am anxious to return to the way things were.  Perhaps a bro hug from one of your old pals, an invite to go have a beer at your neighbors, or to go for a workout in your favorite gym. A crowded Lotus Pad, a line for coffee at Toast, or seeing the spring offering at Grizzly all sound pretty enticing right now. There is a short guy on TV most everyday named Dr. Fauci who tells us things are forever changed – could this be true?

Let’s examine something as traditional as the hand shake- it’s an age-old practice. We all have had a mom or dad tell us, look them in the eye and give a firm shake. I have been practicing for over 60 years and am just about getting it right. A hand shake is an amazing thing, it provides an indication of what someone might be like within 30 seconds of meeting them. I am not sure you get the same feedback from an elbow tap? Well, I guess we are going to have to monitor this virus situation, but I for one, am not ready to give up the hand shake.

How about parties? That one word invokes so many connotations. Is it the blow out fraternity gig with eight kegs, no food, and a song like Sand Storm turned up to eleven on the sound system (for you Spinal Tap followers!). Perhaps it’s a holiday party where you actually do have food, lots of red wine and you have invited 20% more people into your home than capacity.  Then of course, there are the various pond skims, ice bars and outdoor concerts that all constitute major gigs! These are all highlights of any given year, and I am not ready to give them up for a life of self-quarantining!

How about shopping? While there are times when it can be a bit arduous finding a parking space, not having a size 12 EE in your favorite trail runners, or waiting for that perfect boot fit from one of Big Sky’s best.  Having said that, is there a better way to hear how The Big is skiing? Inquire when the new Community Center is opening? Or hearing you gotta go see Andy Frasco during music in the mountains – he kicks ass! The other benefit you get is some of your purchases just might spruce up your wardrobe. Hey, that gold North Face jacket from the 90’s needs a lift, 115 powder skis actually make you float and nothing taste like a Double Latte from Caliber.

When will we go to a restaurant and not be met curb side for take-out? I know I yearn for things hopping at the River House, having to wait for a table at Ousel and Spur, or standing in the bar at ByWOM. Fun to run into that guy from the pick-up line at school (even if he drives too fast), the patroller who talked you down Lenin when the light went completely flat (buy that gal a beer!), or the snow boarder who cut you off trying to get on Swifty (sorry, couldn’t resist). And just think, your choice of one of the ten beers on tap at most of the restaurants in town and opening up that menu- yes, choices. You get to compare notes on what Netflix shows to watch with your server, enjoy a great dinner and NO DISHES.

Wow, these are such honored traditions that can’t just go by the way side. Yup, there are a lot of smart people that are going to tell us what to do.  There are also a lot of smart people working on therapies, vaccines and other preventative measures. Yes, it might be a while, but we have survived worse (or at least our Grandparents have) and we will figure this out.  When you have not just the entire country, but the rest of the world breaking the back of this virus, good things will happen! Keep the faith – its hard to stop a lot of very smart people with a laser-like focus on battling this virus. In the meantime, if you get the elbow tap from a buddy at the grocery store or at the post office, have solace – you will be hugging it out soon!

You got this Big Sky!

Check out Hall’s presentation at the 2020 TEDxBigSky.

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