I have learned an important thing this weekend. It is a lesson that I imagine most people learn at their high school reunions when they run into their high school boyfriend and find that he has put on weight, gotten halitosis, doesn’t skateboard anymore, and all bets of some nostalgic hook up are off, because you’d feel bad about the situation the next day for different reasons than you expected. You can’t recreate the past. You can, however, find out that the nerdy kid from sophomore year has cleaned up his act, learned impeccable fashion sense, and talks about D&D less (oh, stereotypes), making him a prime candidate to hang out by the punch bowl with, reminiscing about the 90’s and spending the whole night laughing and enjoying yourself. The times, they are a changing constantly, and that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s not how you remembered it, but it’s just what you’re looking for now.
It’s almost two decades since 93/94, and while the PBR-chugging, limo-riding, late-night-charging spirit still remains, the landscape has changed a bit. There’s still plenty of beer, but people have gotten older, more responsible, and can’t always close down the bar on a random Tuesday night. There’s a new crop of kids, but they don’t seem to want to puke on anyone quite as easily as their older counterparts once did. Enter the Colchester Drive-in. Like Doc’s Delorean, but with no time-travel needed, the drive-in is the link between the mischief and debauchery of the early 2000’s and the same love of snowboarding and rabble-rousing that continues to permeate Northern Vermont.
It’s been some years since the last 93/94 Fall Down, a legendary annual event that drew snowboarders from all over the East to Burlington to watch some of the year’s best movies. The Fall Down introduced many a young snowboarder to the East Coast community. Its stories are the things of myths, best heard in person from those who were there to see it and vaguely remember it. It was a fall event that typified why local snowboarders love their region and the people who choose to inhabit it. When the Fall Down dissipated (after an odd last year in the local Hooters, instead of at the drive-in), it left a hole in the premiere season line up. Well, you can’t replicate such an epic event, but you can bring the crowds back to its birthplace to see what the heck is going on now.
Two nights after the bi-coastal world premiere in New York City, Burton’s newest team film, 13 was projected on the big screen at the Colchester Drive-in. A plethora of Northern New England resorts set up tents, there was a miniramp, cornhole, and a ton of excited snowboarders looking to get their first taste of winter. Mother Nature saw it fitting to drop the temperatures, giving way to the first cold night of the fall, as well as to some intermittent rain that held off during the duration of the movie and didn’t seem to bother the crowd at all.
To hear about the movie itself, check out what the fine fellows at SNOWBOARDER Magazine wrote, it’s very well-put. 13 showcased the epic riding that you would expect from the Burton team, with equal parts big mountain, park, and rails. There were many stand out moments, but one unforgettable part was a POV shot of Terje dropping into a line that hardly looks rideable. Mind-blowing.
Once the movie was over, folks filtered down to the official afterparty and then late night spot, Esox, which was conveniently right next door. Friends hung out, drank cheap beer and moderately expensive whiskey, and had a good time. The next morning, varying levels of hangover had attacked various people, and the good stories were made up of foggy details. And that is what premiere season, exemplified by a Burlington drive-in showing, is all about. That, and wishing you were riding powder all the time.