Colin Chisholms emotive plea for restraint in the development of the Squaw Valley ski area is particularly poignant and compelling. The power of the piece is found in his dramatic and impassioned scene setting. He cleverly intertwines the imagery of the valley with endearing anecdotes of the time he and his family spent there establishing a subconscious link between the two main focuses of the piece.
By the time Chisholm begins to develop the conflict in the story, the relationship between the valley and his family has been established. He wants the reader to associate the fate of the forest with that of his mother and father. On page 79, Chisholm writes, during the time we were losing the meadow, we found out that my mother had cancer. Chisholm doesnt even expand his explanation of the disease that has invaded his mothers body.
He doesnt have to. He has already described his mother as a beautiful woman of Eskimo descent and Chisholms writing powerfully understates the tragedy. The devastation of the Squaw Valley region paralleled a time of great sadness in Colin Chisholms life and gives him a unique, and compelling activist voice. His advocacy comes across not as radical environmentalism but more appropriately, as a man trying to preserve the fond memories of his family. His clever scene setting gives life and personality to the Squaw Valley region. This personification-of-sorts allows people who can not relate to Chisholms love for the outdoors, to associate with the emotions he felt for his mothers falls and his fathers meadow. He is hoping that, at the very least, these individuals might understand where he and others are coming from in their pursuit to save Squaw.Bibliography: