TRUCKEE, Calif. - In the early 1970s, Bruce Turner left his job at the Federal Reserve to cross the country in search of something greater - good skiing.
"It was a pain in the neck to drive to Vermont," Turner said. "My wife was going to have to move to a ski area."
When the young couple moved to Truckee in 1972, they paid $30 per month for a piece of land.
"I told her, 'It's gonna cut in to my beer money, but sure,'" Turner said with a laugh.
Turner is the financial adviser at Edward Jones where he has worked for 23 years.
"The guy is kind of like a fixture here in Truckee," said Senior Branch Office Administrator Barbara Jajko. "... Everyone knows who Bruce is."
Turner does seem to know everyone, and he surely knows the town of Truckee. He described it as "the white spot in the road" when he first came - a "wild town" - a place where he paid so little for his land and so much for his ski pass.
"My season pass to Squaw Valley was $1,300," Turner said. "With inflation, I think we worked it out to being the equivalent to 5 or 6 thousand dollars."
Turner defines himself as a ski bum, being one of many who worked odd jobs such as night maintenance or summer construction to pay the bills and be able to ski the slopes
"We spent all our money on that," Turner said. "It was a wealthy man's sport."
Besides the mountain and the snow, it was the people who also solidified Turner's sense of belonging. He says in an era when Truckee was home to "the help" of Lake Tahoe, he found long time friends who had come for the same reason he had.
"Everybody was geared toward the outdoors and athletics," Turner said. "There was a whole handful of disciplines coming here. People that have all now become major figures in the fabric of the town."
Turner's office now has been in the same location since 1990 and is in the same building as Dr. Donald Orme, DDS, and next to the office of architect Bourke David - "all guys from the original group," Turner says.
Having moved around a lot growing up, it was important to both Turner and his wife to stay in one place. And after 40 years in Truckee, the couple have watched their family and their community grow.
"I really got to see what people in America are all about," Turner said. "Truckee gave me a perspective I never had - a real appreciation for the American work ethic."
What Turner found in Truckee contrasted vastly with the environment he'd come from in Washington, D.C., working as an economist. Turner went to the nation's capital initially when former President John F. Kennedy was elected, but said he felt disillusioned with the political process. Small town Truckee seemed a better fit for the longhaired, bearded son of the peace and love generation.
"I know it sounds corny, but we worked to help each other," Turner said. "Lawyers lived next door to ski bums, accountants lived next to carpenters. It was this frontier mentality."
Over the decades the financial state of the community and of the country have had their ups and downs. However, not much has changed for Bruce Turner. He is still an avid skier, a proud family man, and still lives in the home he and his wife built in 1978.
"I've sat here in the same spot and watched it all unfold," Turner said. "It's kind of like skiing, it hasn't really changed, you're just sliding down the hill."
He has been doing the same job for 30 years, something he says isn't "the picture we paint for successful people." But with a close knit family and long standing business he measures his success by his own happiness.
"What I've done here has really been helpful to a lot of people," Turner said.
Turner spends most weekends now on the mountain, whether with his wife or watching one of his grandkids' ski races.