Friday, September 28, 2007
Sometimes it takes a trip out of town to learn something new about home.
During a jaunt to Boulder last weekend, I spent some quality time at a patio table in the backyard of my friends' house. Fallen leaves were everywhere - they had just fallen the day before, all at once, in a heap that did as much to signify the end of summer as snow on Storm Peak.
To celebrate the changing seasons and their cluttered new house, my friends had a yard sale. They live on a part of Boulder known as The Hill, near the University of Colorado and, in their case, near a fraternity. During the yard sale, some of the frat boys wandered over to check out the wares - surprising because these are women in their late 20s, professional, tasteful, and seemingly not offering the kind of products stereotypical frat boys might want. The yard sale did not feature posters of scantily clad women holding foamy beer mugs, cases of Excedrin or ping-pong tables, for example.
But the boys were curious about the candles.
Yep, a big ol' box of candles, multi-colored and scented in all kinds of enticing flavors, on sale for the low, low price of $5. They bought the box in a heartbeat.
My friends thought the boys were planning on wooing some ladies. Perhaps a formal fraternity/sorority mixer was coming up, or maybe a dinner party.
Those guesses were wrong.
Almost immediately after the sale, my friends spied the frat boys on the sidewalk in front of their house, scraping the candles on the curb like sailors scrubbing the deck.
Summer breeze, autumn mist, ocean wave, tropical midnight, vanilla, jasmine, citrus : candles of every scent imaginable blended together along the curb in a rainbow of crumbled romantic nights.
It made for some sick skateboarding.
Waxing up a surfboard, skis or a snowboard is old hat, but I gotta admit, waxing a curb for better skating and curb-slides, or whatever they're called, is new to me. And all weekend, probably because I was watching for it, I saw people skating all over Boulder - and then all over Steamboat, once I got back. Now that the tourists are gone and all the school kids are back in town, it seems like skateboarders are coming out of the woodwork.
Maybe summer isn't quite over yet.
- Mike Lawrence