I've set up a multi-author social blog to be used by my part-time blogger friends who don't want one of their own. Send me a note if you'd like to be able to write on For Consideration

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Candlepin Bowling and Bill Chinnock

I came across two things recently that made me remember fondly my youth and teenage years. The first was this feature on "207" about Bill Chinnock, and the second was this article on regarding candlepin bowling. I thought I'd share a personal story or anecdote about each and invite others to comment with their stories and or elaborate on mine.
Perhaps the best story, but the one I need help with the most, involves a certain Bill Chinnock concert at the Pittsfield Community Theater, probably sometime in 1979 (one of the very few ticket stubs I can't claim to still have). A handful of us decided that not only did we need to be at this concert but we needed to have flasks or pint bottles of alcohol as well, lest we got thirsty inside. Unlike the famous Dresden ice fishing legend (sorry Chink), getting the alcohol for the Chinnock concert did not involve someone's uncle delivering it to the MCI campus in a black pulp truck. I don't recall where we got it but there's little chance the story is as colorful.
What is most memorable about this concert, aside from getting to see our local music hero, was the fact that not all of us managed to get into the concert with our alcohol intact. Isn't that right, SF? Luckily for us, some of us did! Were we cool or what? If you were there that night, please chime in with any information you have to fill in the story, as my pitiful memory has left me nothing more than what's above.
Regarding candlepin bowling, I'll offer up a couple of quick things. Many of us were on youth bowling leagues or high school intramural leagues at the Pittsfield Bowling Center. Most of my fondest candlepin bowling memories are there, and I'm sure there are plenty of fond memories by others to share. One not so fondly remembered, or better stated as bittersweet, relates to the reward we received in roughly 1972 for winning the Eastern Maine tournament. For whatever reason, that year it was decided that giving jackets was better than trophies. So while my trophies from my glorious youth survived in my mother's attic for many years, that jacket was lost, nay stolen, in less than a year, some idiot 11 or 12 year old having left it on a bench at Manson Park.
Also, any of my MCI classmates who still have the 1980 edition of The Trumpet, go to pages 112 and 113, and in particular look at the names of the teams. Does that bring back some memories? Long live The Zebulons!
I would be very appreciative if you would leave any anecdotes that you'd like to share, elaborate on anything I have said but also if you would please pass this along to anyone who might appreciate it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Who I learned about yesterday

I guess I'm on a streak here lately of learning about influential people that I shamefully know very little about. A couple of days ago it was Rachel Carson, and yesterday it was Martin Luther. My task here again is not to tell you who these people are in any great detail but to encourage you to learn more about them.
When it comes to Martin Luther, is it fair to say that most of us are familiar with the name and that's about it? Perhaps we know he was a religious figure, perhaps that the Lutheran religion is named for him. But what else do you know? Did you know he told a Pope, Pope Leo X, and a King, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, that he wouldn't retract his writings; that he was right and they were wrong? That he basically told the Pope he was irrelevant; that he translated the Bible from Latin to a language of the common people, and thus the Protestant Reformation starts with Luther?
He was a devoutly religious man and I'm an atheist but I love rebels and free thinkers. Every freedom fighter from Thomas Jefferson to Martin Luther King were inspired by Martin Luther. It could be fairly said that we as Americans owe our democracy to Luther. So take five minutes or so to become better acquainted with one of the most influential people of all time.
Up next? Cleisthenes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rachel Carson

This won't be a biography at all; it's an attempt to get back in the habit of using this blog, forcing myself to write a little something here on a regular basis.
I find it astonishing that the name Rachel Carson is unfamiliar to most Americans, including yours truly. While I'd heard the name and knew she wrote "Silent Spring," I really had no idea who she was or the profound influence she had on the modern environmental movement and the creation of the EPA.
Even that aside, she was a trailblazer for women in education and the workplace. Look at where and when she went to college; likewise, her early professional career prior to becoming a fulltime writer. You'd think that anyone included in Time's 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century would at least have been heard of.
You all know how to use the Wiki, so look her up yourself, or go here and decide for yourself whether this is someone with whom we should all be familiar.