Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, Inc. Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, Inc.

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Newsletter

May 2007

Grand Finale The year end TNSAR team meeting is coming up, Monday, May 7th. We will meet at the Granlibakken Hut at 6:00pm for cocktails and dinner. Thanks to Debra Schroepfer in advance. The general meeting will follow dinner.
Campaign 2007 Team candidates for Board and Officer positions will be kissing babies and shaking hands prior to the general Team meeting. Candidates will give impromptu stump speeches and sign autographs prior to the official elections. Over-ripe tomatoes, decomposing heads of lettuce, and fruit fly laden bananas will be provided for your tossing pleasure. We are still working on the peanut butter filled dunk tank. Please stay tuned. Actually, in all (or at least partial) seriousness, the end of year Board and Officer elections are an important aspect of the Teamís function. As an incorporated, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, we are dependent on Team Officers and Board members to guide, oversee, and regulate the Teamís activities. Not the least of which is fundraising. Our non-profit status allows us to seek and accept tax deductible monies. Legally speaking, we must catapult our collective self through a series of hoops to maintain our 501(c)(3) status with the State of California and the Internal Revenue Service. By proxy, the Board and Officers do the Teamís collective gymnastics to get through those hoops. It may seem all pomp and circumstance to outsiders, newcomers, or those unfamiliar with Federal tax codes, but our fearless leaders really do work for the Team in addition to slogging through creeks in the middle of the night and swilling adult beverages at monthly meetings. To date all Team Officers are running unchallenged, so now is your time to write yourself in as a candidate and get up there on that stump. Or not. Sarah Lagano will be stepping down from her Board position and Mark Johnson is up for re-election. So far Mark, Peter York, Jimmy Smith, and Jim Coffey are vying for those coveted two Board positions (Paul Honeywell and Jonathan Laine have only served one of their two years but will be up for re-election this time next year for those of you planning ahead). So get out and vote and be sure to thank our elected officials for volunteering to do this extracurricular work for the sake of the Team.
Though I donít know why Iíve lately been drawn to the obituaries. Perhaps itís a sign of the times or a sign of times to come. Regardless, my heart gets heavier with each passing. This year we have suffered some incredible losses. Edna Obexer, Alice Standteiner, Dorothy Mercer. All legendary in their own unique way, all indelibly carved into their own piece of Tahoeís history, all gone forever from this life. This is so unbelievably sad for me, and I canít exactly say why. Maybe itís because I never really got the chance to ďhaveĒ a Grandmother. My Grandmother Alice died when my Mother was only four. My Dadís mom died before I was one. Maybe itís because Iím watching my daughter Anna grow up with her Grandmother and Iím empathetically grieving for the day when Anna has to suffer the loss of a Grandmother. Maybe itís because death is just so damn permanent and I canít help but think of what weíve missed. With each new entry in the obituary column, Iím painfully reminded of lost opportunities. Several years ago when TNSAR was working on the Winter Aware video with filmmaker Elizabeth Rogers, Elizabeth and I daydreamed about having enough time and money to go around and film and record all the remaining Tahoe legends, the elders, the men and women who came to Tahoe in the ďold days.Ē The premise was simple: travel around Tahoe and interview and film the old-timers. Record at least some of their stories, ask them questions and take what they know, what they have seen, and what they hope for and turn it into some kind of curriculum for Tahoeís future. We thought, ď..wouldnít it be cool to walk into the Gatekeeperís Museum and be able to hear real stories of the winter of í52, watch the facial expressions, the gestures, see the emotions of the people who helped shaped the place we call homeÖ.?Ē Think of what we could learn! And then we listed all the people who were already dead, all the people that we already missed, all the stories, the lessons, the hopes and fears that were already beyond our reach. And now Iím reminded again. It is such a painful loss.
Humor is the best medicine Readerís Digest said it so it must be true. Actually I believe there is clinical evidence that humor does play a major role in healing ailments of all sorts, including depressing newsletters about death. In 1979 Norman Cousins wrote a book called Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient and it told the story of how active participation in oneís illness can in and of itself be healing. Humor, according to Cousins, plays a major role in the restoration of oneís health. More recently, and more apropos for TNSAR, Laurence Gonzales wrote a book called Deep Survival: who lives, who dies, and why. Gonzales also points out that humor, especially so-called black humor, is pivotal for maintaining sanity during insane survival ordeals. Indeed, Gonzales argues that humor is one of the key ingredients to tip the balance away from catastrophe and toward survival. Deep Survival thoroughly examines the makeup of disasters and identifies key components of survival ordeals. He really does explain who lives, who dies, and why. While reading this book, I constantly found myself deconstructing past searches and finding all kinds of relevant information that was consistent for multiple search situations. I highly recommend this book for your summer reading schedule. You wonít see it on Oprahís list and thatís a good thing.
Looking forward to my farmerís tan
----B. Wright

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