Compromise is the key to resolving recreation disputes, mechanic says
Peter Cocores, 57, owns Ted’s Electric next to the 7-Eleven on Emerald Bay Road. At the business formerly known as Ted’s Fix-it, he can fix any motor that runs on electric power. He’s been here 44 years and was once an advocate for keeping Rubicon trail open to four-wheelers.
Q: How long have you had this business?
A: Since 1963. I bought into it in 1974.
Q: Who is Ted?
A: Ted’s my dad.
Q: How long have you lived here?
A: I’ve been here 44 years. I was the last to graduate from the intermediate school before the high school was built.
Q: What do people know you for in town?
A: Most people know I was an avid Jeeper, I was in the four-wheel drive club for a number of years. The Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s.
Q: Why not anymore?
A: There’s too much politics between four-wheel drivers and the environmentalists and it got overwhelming.
I fought tooth and nail with the county to keep the Rubicon Trail open. I was a big backer for the Tread Lightly program.
Lahontan wanted to close the trail. We had meetings, with mediators, and it was all positive and productive.
We said, “We want to keep it open, what can we do?” and got a lot of response from four wheelers going out to help.
The type of Jeepers has changed.
A: There’s a lot of Jeepers that don’t go by the same rules nowadays. We used to do it to enjoy the countryside and get out. A lot of people now come in there just to party.
Q: How do you do what you love to do without getting lumped together with the bad apples?
A: People should govern their own. It’s an overwhelming chore for the Forest Service to go and patrol every four-wheel-drive road. But there’s enough decent four-wheel drivers out there that could help with enforcement.
Our club used to do that.
There’s a lot of decent people out there, and the ones that get the most recognition are the ones fouling things up and they don’t really care.
Another thing about closing trails is you close some of them, the rest of them get overused, and there’s more of an environmental impact.
Q: How can we move forward?
A: It’s got to be compromise. You can’t just look at it. A lot of environmentalists say no more motorized anywhere, and that’s as bad as the people who are trashing up the countryside. It should be for everyone. I see no reason, with compromise, why they can’t all enjoy the land.
You don’t have to ruin the countryside to have fun out there. We’ve packed out trash. If all the Jeepers would do that, the situation would be healthier. You’ve also got to stay off the trails that are too wet to travel.
Don’t judge somebody by what they do for recreation.
Q: How have things changed in South Shore?
A: Drastically. One of the best things probably is snow removal is considerably better than it used to be.
One of the worst things is probably the people have changed. They are not as laid back as they used to be. You used to be able to leave your door unlocked. Everybody knew everybody.
Q: How did you learn what you know?
A: I did a lot of pump work in the military on well systems for homes. The rest of it I learned from my dad.
Q: What do people usually come in for?
A: Electric motors and power tools. Furnace blowers.
Q: Is there anything people don’t know about you?
A: I play bluegrass guitar.
Q: Ever been in a band?
A: Not professionally, just back porch players.
I got into bluegrass way back, started going to bluegrass festivals and discovered there’s quite a few people in town that play bluegrass instruments. Dr. Beck, the eye doctor, he plays a good banjo.
You wanna hear a good guitar player, my son Mike surpassed me around 14 years old. He’s played for a couple of bands in town.
Q: What about your future, what are you going to do?
A: I’ll retire some day. I don’t think I’ll ever not work, just because I don’t have enough hobbies to keep myself busy. I have tinkered with stuff for so long to just stop doing it would drive me insane.
My idea of retirement would be to pick and choose when I can go to work, have a day off.
Q: What’s your attitude about life?
A: Make the best of it day by day because you are not here all that long. The older you get the more you realize that.