By Sarah Schrock

Competition builds community, or at least camaraderie. This was true for the varying sporting events and games that folks participated in over the weekend. 

Peewee wrestlers aged 3-12 took to the mat in Chelan for a regional tournament on Saturday morning. As part of the annual tradition to build team spirit, many kids in the wrestling program dye their hair yellow and green, and some take it further with shaved patterns eliciting mascots or menacing symbols. This year’s wrestlers in particular are donning some noteworthy heads: paw prints, claw marks and lightning bolts. If you see a youngster around town with a day-glow green-and-yellow head, you can bet he or she’s a wrestling cub.

Meanwhile, up at the Loup, 19 three-person teams took to the slopes and trails to compete in the second annual Community Challenge. Up from eight teams last year, the event seems to be growing in popularity with costumes and enthusiasm growing along with it. Kids 7 and up along with adults competed in the friendly relay that included a downhill Grand Slalom course, a tubing climb and slide, and a 3-kilometer Nordic race. The Loup is no longer open on Wednesdays, but will be operating weekends through March 26 and Fridays while the snowpack lasts. The conditions have been great, with very few hazards, so check the website for Friday operations to confirm if the lift will be open. 

Competition, however, is likely the culprit for the end of the Valley Video Store in Twisp, which will be closing its doors at the end of the month. After a decade of providing the valley with an awesome selection of movies and video games, the treasured store is selling off its inventory and closing shop. As online providers and networks become the main portal for entertainment, it’s no surprise that brick-and-mortar video stores are part of bygone era. Still, the store has had a loyal following of patrons who will miss browsing the shelves, finding hidden treasures and obscure cult classics, and the friendly staff. 

I remember when my family bought our first Betamax machine. I was probably 8, the current age of my son. My entire family went to the local video store together and we rented “Flash Dance” as our first home cinema. The remote control was attached with a cord to the main silver-colored console, and you needed to take care not to trip over it when you got up to grab another pop out of the fridge. Similarly, we had an Atari machine, with a corded joy stick. Betamax soon fell out of favor, and within a couple years we had to convert to VHS. If you were born after 1980 you probably have no idea what I am talking about. Certainly, if you are a millennial, or a tech native (born after the advent of the personal computer), you likely only remember DVDs as the home movie hardware.

My teenage brothers quickly figured out that if they borrowed a friend’s machine, they could pair one console to another and began copying videos. We soon had a home library of duplicated videos.  On more than one occasion, the bootlegged versions inadvertently got returned in the black box to the video store. Thankfully, the video store owners who, like Valley Video, were independently owned, would kindly call my mom and inform her that the copied version was returned and could we please return the commercial copy. 

Within a decade, corporate video stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood outcompeted the local shops, so it’s really quite unique that Valley Video Store has been with us for so long. You can purchase any of their old releases now for $5 each, and in a week the new releases will be on sale, so make a point to stop in and help them clear out their inventory.

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