During the week I am mostly skiing with my geezer pals and riding the lift with them. We swap stories and entertain ourselves with various observations about the weather, the news, the ski conditions, new equipment, and so on. The approximately seven minute lift ride goes by a bit faster that way.
My weekend skiing gives me an opportunity to meet a variety of people as companions on the lift ride. It can be an eclectic mix of characters and individuals. Sometimes my seat mates can be totally silent and completely engaged with their own thoughts. Because I enjoy hearing other peoples stories, I have adopted a plan to engage my companions with my own informal interview. There are all kinds of opener comments or questions to get the ball rolling. I try to gauge what to say by the age and gender of those with me. Most of the time we have a grand conversation. Often in the seven minute ride I can determine where they are from, where they grew up, what they do for a living, if they are retired, and something about their ski experiences and their family.
I think that as a geezer they consider me to be non threatening and they are likely to open up to me. Likewise, I have reached a certain maturity that allows me to freely express my life experiences as a way of connecting to the humanity around me. Finally, I am amazed at how much ground can be covered in a seven minute ride of the ski lift. It's a tremendous benefit along with the downhill ride on the skis.