One thing we do well out west is play, and nine times out of ten summer recreation includes water and yes, typically boating. I’m Susan Allen stay tuned for Open Range. For the majority of my life despite a varity of locations I have lived near the mighty Columbia. The river is special to me, initially as five year old and now as an over fifty year old I’ve skimmed it surface more times than I care to count on a ski. A rite of passage for our family and many boating enthusiasts has always been the annual boat show. Boat show season has begun again and if you are in the market for wake board, ski or fishing boat, it might be the year to bite the bullet and go for it. The deals couldn’t be better. Sales for the company that makes Bay Liner, Boston Whaler and Sea Ray for example are down 64 % . The fact 20 percent of boat dealers have closed shop means that manufacturers have cut production and dealers need to move product. The national Marine Manufacturers Association predicts that 140,000-150,000 powerboats will be sold this year and while sales remain flat, analysts are optimistic that the worst is behind and prices will trend back up. I still ski behind the 73 Glastron. I grew up with. For me the purr of her Johnson defines summer. Old "greenie" has taught my kids and legions of folks to ski. While she’s been pampered like a show horse and still throws a perfect slalom wake according to my extreme mini men she’s weak on wakeboarding, so it might be time to wander the boat show.