Ski Bum Chronicles by Jeff Lyon
It’s 1981. Ross Ryan leaves Texas to pursue ski bum dreams. He joins a cast of outlandish characters that run Elk Valley Ranch near Winter Park, Colorado. They are seasonal staffers willing to postpone careers and take menial jobs to live and ski among the wealthy in the Rocky Mountains. The peons of paradise are survivors of the disco decade and careen into the 80s with a vengeance. Self-centered baby boomers flourish. Conspicuous consumption is cool. Status seekers are the rage. The reckless youth that cook meals and clean rooms are often fueled by pot and alcohol. Ross’s attempt to delay growing up is derailed by a near fatal skiing accident, getting busted, death of a friend, tragic romances and work responsibilities. He discovers that the bonds of love and friendship will pull him through catastrophic events, even when the people he feels closest to are just passing through. Crank up your bindings and get ready for some wild bumps and deep powder. This is an out of control run full of fun and mayhem.
Fabulous read! By C. Meridith on April 18, 2011 Format: Paperback I got it on a Friday and was done by Monday. Fabulous fast read full of 70-80s fun in the mountains. Looking forward to Jeff’s next adventure.
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Reviewed by Michael McManus for Readers’ Favorite
Ski Bum Chronicles by Jeff Lyon is a complete delight. I never skied in my early years, and I never had the pleasure of working in a resort, but Jeff presents the episodes of his experiences as a resort employee and ski enthusiast with such relish and joyful passion that I feel I was there alongside him, taking it all in. From the moment he arrives at the EVR, the acronym for Elk Valley Ranch, the mythical resort in Jeff Lyon’s story, when he gets a job at the gigantic gymnasium that houses a roller rink and basketball court, you are drawn into a youthful introduction to work and responsibility that is the means to an end – the end being a constantly stimulating free-time lifestyle in the Rocky Mountains. Jeff paints a picture of his time in Colorado – and he admits that most of what he writes about is based on actual events – that will make you wonder how he survived.
What is so special about the writing in the book is the way the characters are handled. You get to know them very quickly, the ones that were around all the time, and you fall in love with each of them for the strengths and quirks. Then, as the seasons change and the temporary help is introduced, you want it to continue. You want to see how they will replace the ones you think must be indispensable. You want to see how the misfits are winnowed out. Mr. Lyon has done a great job of taking us back to spend time with him in the 1980s, when he did survive a couple of years in paradise, living free where the limitations were few.