Long time no see, folks. Sorry for the break. I’ve mostly just been skiing and snowboarding too often to write much. Vail’s gotten smashed with snow over the last week (two feet!), plus I learned to ski after being a lifelong snowboarder. I was on the mountain every day last week, concluding with a trip to Keystone Resort in Summit County yesterday to see some of my fraternity brothers who are visiting from San Diego, California.
Beta Gamma Nu
I founded a fraternity chapter while I was in college, mostly because even if I ended up hating the experience, I knew I’d get some good stories out of it. I certainly had some good times, some bad times, and made some questionable decisions with my fraternity, all of which make for great stories— but along the way I also found a lifelong family. I would go far, physically, mentally, and emotionally, for any of the brothers of my chapter. Surprisingly though, I find myself willing– not willing, wanting– to extend that same generosity to my brothers from other chapters, even those I have never met.
Our fraternity only exists in two states: California, and Colorado. We have a small number of chapters, and are a young organization in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps because of this, our chapters are closer to each other than you might see in another organization.
I am not a particularly warm and social person; I prefer the company of words and the wild, generally. But when a member of my fraternity comes to Colorado to visit, it seems essential that they be welcomed warmly and treated with respect.
We have a saying: “We’re not a fraternity, we’re a family.”
And when an out-of-state bro comes to town, it really does feel like a visit from a family member you rarely see. It’s nice, especially after last time I went out-of-state to visit my biological family, I found myself homeless on the streets of New York City (true story for another time). Although some of our time may be spent drinking and partying, it is still refreshing to be reminded that fraternities aren’t simply about “buying friends,” as you will often hear. Our startup fraternity is perpetually broke, and we still like each other.
Myself, I drove over Vail Pass in stormy weather to bring a huge load of ski gear down to Keystone, so that everyone would be comfortable. (Showing up perpetually unprepared is another characteristic of my fraternity). Despite (or perhaps because) of the fact I was the most advanced skier and snowboarder present, I spent most of the day working my way down a single green run, coaching a total newbie through the pain of learning snowboarding. It was a blast.
It’s always refreshing to see your world from the viewpoint of someone who is a stranger to it.
Vail was knee-deep in powder and the main arteries on Keystone were as icy as the East Coast ski resorts, but I didn’t want to be anywhere else.
P.S.: Special shoutout to the Inxpot coffee shop in Keystone for delicious drinks and a cozy atmosphere. I would kill for a place like this in Vail. Yeti’s Grind has no real soul (like most of Vail) and the Starbucks in Vail are some of the most expensive in the world.
I bet you’d see a lot more blog posts if we had a solid coffee shop here. Regardless, look forward to more content coming more regularly.