Squaw Valley

by cheri block

We’re staying in Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics. For those of you who are interested in Olympic trivia, tiny Squaw Valley beat out Innsbruck, Austria in their bids to host the games.

I was ten years old when the Olympics came here and a new skier. We were glued to the TV and especially excited that the sports world was in our backyard, as we watched the coverage from our little cabin at Tahoe.

Yesterday, Judge Blah asked me to play golf with him, so I packed my book, my camera, my water, and oh yes, my golf clubs, hopped  into the golf cart, and off we went.

Did you see that drive?

Those geese are referring to my drive which propelled the blue balls I use (so I can find them in the rough) into a ridge of grasses, never to be seen again.

"She's probably a better skier than golfer," said the geese to each other.

We played on, deep into the afternoon. The waning summer sun was chased by the familiar nip in the afternoon breezes of fall. And then I hit my blue ball into a water hazard. When I looked up, the hazard was really a gorgeous picture, waiting to be taken.

We headed around to the back nine, my score in the high 80’s. I’d lost at least 20 blue balls. While trying to find one of them, this opportunity for a vertical shot presented itself to me.

Somewhere in this Lincoln Log hedgerow, lies my ball

I lost interest in golf.  Suddenly, we were surrounded by gold dragonflies, so many that one fell in Judge Blah’s vodka tonic. “Shame on you, Edmund, for drinking while flying,” I thought.

Do you see Edmund in this picture?

I took one last picture and totaled my score, over 100. Time to go into the lodge and think about Edmund and Alonzo’s next moves and my look into my own mirror.

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
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35 Responses to Squaw Valley

  1. Philippe says:

    A lovely evocation, and pictures, of your day on the links. You can be quite proud of your 100 score.

    Yes, 1960 – fifty tears ago. I remember that year too, not for the Squaw Valley Olympics though, but for a high-school Civics class, the topic of which that particular morning was the forthcoming Kennedy – Nixon presidential election, and who would win.

    Who did win, by the way? I don’t remember.

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you.
      (My score was much higher than 100, but I do enjoy the golf experience.)
      Kennedy won the debate. Lots of commentary on Nixon’s sweaty upper lip.

  2. jenny says:


    Just beautiful. And, now, I must try not to feel unhappy about my landscape of relentless corn and soybeans.

    Dragonflies! Now there’s a magical creature! Enjoy yourself.

  3. sledpress says:

    I can’t think who it was that described golf as “a good walk ruined.” At least you had your camera!

  4. Richard says:

    The waning summer sun was chased by the familiar nip in the afternoon breezes of fall.

  5. A fun read with great pictures. You play golf like I do–both from a scoring perspective and also because the walk outside is more important than the game!

  6. wkkortas says:

    I believe it was one Mark Twain who said “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”

  7. Cyberquill says:

    I sympathize with your patriotic gloating over tiny Squaw Valley having beaten out Innsbruck for the 1960 Games. However, we should add that in 1976, Innsbruck beat out Denver, CO.

    So there.

    Sorry about your blue balls. I feel your pain.

  8. I see youn have those pesky Canada geese. Perhaps they swallowed you blue balls or made them brown?

  9. Cheri says:

    I love Canadian Geese, especially when they fly in formation. I always wonder about the lead goose.

    • The formation is a way of diminshing wind drag so the flight is less arduous. As for the lead goose, it is rotated, after a while the lead goose falls behind and is replaced by the one behind it and so on. Every goose in the formation thus leads at one point or another. A very clever way of saving energy.

  10. Cheri says:

    That is ironic! Are you a pretty good golfer? Certainly the twists and turns of each hole might provide poetic inspiration? Maybe you could write a poem to soothe frustrated golfers?

  11. Man of Roma says:

    Since Rome hosted the (non Winter-time) Olympics in 1960 and I was the same age as yours, I was hit when I read this post.
    I agree with Mark Twain in any case.
    And the pics are just great. My folder, Cheri’s pictures, is getting thick.

  12. Cheri says:

    We steel Tigers, those 1950 babies are we, G!

    And our cross-continent connection, so long ago, cements that link, no?

    I’m so pleased you enjoy the photos. I so love taking them.

  13. Man of Roma says:

    I should have written ‘around the same age’. I was 12 in 1960. Oh yes we a tigers, and well connected, and I forgot to say that I too loved “Baby you can light my fire” song. So many memories linked to it and to San Francisco!

  14. Magnificent pictures, Cheri. Love the phrase “We played on, deep into the afternoon.” Happy travels.

    • Cheri says:

      Maybe I should take my knitting needles in the golf cart…

      • Douglas says:

        One should not have sharp implements with one when playing golf. The temptation of self mutilation would be too hard to resist.

      • Cheri says:

        You are so right. JB could easily do this when his long drive goes into the trees. What I can’t get over is how long he will continue to look for his wayward ball. I mean forever. Good god, it’s only a ball.

        That’s why I have taken to bringing along diversions in the cart.

  15. Cheri says:

    My pleasure, Man of Roma.


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