Nothing like it
My father, who is currently battling stage four cancer, has one regret this year.
His treatments did not allow him to travel here to watch his grandchildren ski and race at Hickory Hills.
My mother-in-law made a photo album in January 2012 of my youngest daughter's very first day of skiing.
It is full of pictures of joy, family, snow and tow ropes. My grandparents come to town every Sunday to watch and cheer for their great-grandchildren racing on Swede, Buck and Birch.
All three of my children have learned to ski at Hickory Hills. My two oldest are pacing the house right now with tears in their eyes and heavy hearts. We all can't breathe.
Hickory Hills draws us to town and connects us with an amazing community.
It is the local place that all of the children (and adults) go to play in the winter.
Skiing at Hickory is synonymous with winter for us. Please save this northern Michigan treasure; there is nothing like it in the world.
Continue the vision
I am a third-generation native of Traverse City. I, too, recall many fond memories of growing up spending numerous nights and weekends at Hickory Hills in an attempt to try to learn how to ski.
The snack bar with its unending plethora of sweet snacks, along with the roaring fire, and a steaming cup of hot cocoa is where I spent most of my "ski" time.
While these images are wonderful keepsakes, my heartstrings are attached to Hickory Hills because of a different reason.
My grandfather was Oscar "Swede" Johnson, one of the founding fathers of Hickory Hills. In fact, the hill "Swede" was named after him.
He, along with his cohorts, had a vision for the residents and youth of our fine city.
He spent countless hours of his time and money to make that vision a reality.
I applaud our current city commissioners (grandpa also served as a city commissioner) and residents in their ongoing attempts to continue that vision for future generations to come.