For some people, getting older means going over the hill. For Bob Yerman, it means going downhill - fast.
The 77-year-old already has his season pass for the Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah for the coming winter.
Bob Yerman shows off his handcrafted skis, paddles and poles. Yerman builds skiing equipment out of his Warren home.
"I've had a locker there for 21 years," Yerman said.
Other favorites in that state are the Canyons and the Park City Mountain resort.
He lives in Warren, but his license plate says "ALTA," a ski mecca in Utah where he can be found from December to April.
And not only can he ride those skis down the slopes, he can make them.
One wall in Yerman's dining room is covered with wooden skis that he has made himself. They range in height from "tree huggers," a shorter ski helpful to hunters and others needing to make quick turns, to the longer skis with names like "Izzy" and "Nice Daddy."
There are replicas of skis used in 1845 by Sondre Norheim, who is given credit for the first ski with a heel strap and side cut, enabling him to make a "telemark" turn.
To accompany these smooth, richly-colored skis are Yerman's homemade poles. Made of bamboo from the Far East and leather from the Amish, the poles themselves are a work of art.
"Old skis are pretty, there's no doubt about it," he said.
Yerman also has been a collector.
"At one time, I had 100 pair of antique skis - a hundred pair," he said.
Yerman once ran a television repair shop and rebuilt TV picture tubes. He worked for GM for 15 years and took the first buyout offered.
He also had rentals and sold them, then went out west. There, he bought several "first class" condos and rented them out, selling them after about 10 years.
"I'm a busy guy, but I have fun," he said.
Much of this was accomplished with his wife, Juan (pronounced ''JoAnne'' by Yerman). While he was skiing, she was sewing clothes, tents and sleeping bags to fit American Girl dolls.
The couple had two children - a daughter who teaches second grade and a son who is an air traffic controller, and of course, a skier.
Yerman's wife became very ill a couple years ago and died after they shared 52 years of marriage. He now is working to get back into his ski-building hobby.
"When she died, it took the wind out of my sails," he said.
Considering his level of physical activity, Yerman seems mostly unaffected by age. But when hospice came to help with his wife - "finally, she died in our bed," he said - he had a heart attack.
"I was really stressed."
Another one came this year on Jan. 3 while at the Canyons in Utah. He was told to wait several weeks before hitting the slopes. Looking out over the snowy landscape from his room, he lasted three days.
Yerman said his parents were from Yugoslavia and aside from hunting weren't really outdoor people. He didn't start skiing until he was in his mid-20s, when his children were small.
Yerman has all the equipment needed to create wooden skis (he uses the modern ones, himself) and can easily explain the process. Starting with a paper pattern, in very short form, it goes something like this: plane, edge, sand, steam, bend, cover with the heater and dry for four hours, sand again, cut the edge, add metal trim and base epoxy, then seal and lacquer.
"We're pretty well-equipped," he said.
Look up in the rafters of the workshop, and there is another unique way of traveling on snow - longboards. These skis are 16 feet long and based on those used by gold miners in LaPorte, Calif., for downhill racing in 1867. They can reach speeds of 65 mph. Yerman said he's tried them, but he "can't turn 'em."
And, for some fun back at the lodge, there is the shot glass ski. Yerman's own design includes a vinyl holder for each of four shot glasses, which can be removed for washing, and of course, drinking.
The single skis are labeled "Last Run Tavern."