I am reminded of a circular
concrete slab covering the underground coal bin next to our farm house
when I was a child. It's
where Mother taught me how to bounce a red, white, and blue ball. As I
grew older, I realized the natural extension of bouncing that ball was
basketball, and I got serious about the sport (unfortunately, not
successful at it).
I've been smitten in the past by March
madness, and I have had my share of basketball idols. However, nowadays, I
can't believe the amount of booing, baiting, and other acts of incivility
that go on at basketball games. And I can't believe the extent to which
our nation has become a spectator society. Although I follow Iowa State
women's basketball by reading about the team in the paper, listening to
some of the games on radio, and occasionally going to Hilton Coliseum,
I've taken the sport of basketball off the pedestal that I held it on for
I wish I could say I have recovered a sense
of play in my own life. The closest I come is a good walk or a game of
scrabble with friends using three sets of letters and boards. I have also
grown to appreciate yoga and free form movement (somewhat akin to tai chi)
in my parlor with the warmth of the sun coming through the south window on
a winter day. Often I find myself moving in profound ways as though I am
caring for and dancing with a golden ball the size of the ball that Mother
taught me to bounce. And I would like to say I
am cultivating a healthy imagination ... it certainly helps with my
photography and with expanding my sense of options in life.
You might want to check out
Farlow's essay about his basketball endeavors from the days he was a
young tyke at Rolfe to now when he is a math prof at the University of Maine.
And you can read an essay I
wrote a year ago during March following an Iowa State women's game in
the NCAA tournament.
The April theme probably will be that of
proms. I hope to put a video clip on from a 1950's prom that was originally
shot in film by Superintendent Mortensen. For May, maybe we'll focus on
track and field and have video clips of RHS
Winter still lingers in Iowa. I've heard
many people lament about how bad the weather has been and how eager they
are for spring to arrive. There are signs that winter is actually getting
ready to depart with the snow and ice receding, temperatures rising,
and sunshine adding a glow to faces and the landscape.
It's been said that
a person can never trust winter is truly over in Iowa until after the
girls state basketball tournament. Often, winter can be deceptive,
giving a false sense that spring has arrived, then wallops the state with
a blizzard during tournament week. Well, this is the week of the girls'
tournament, and all looks pretty good. It will be a long while, though,
before gardening starts and farmers go to their fields. Later when the
heat and humidity of August smother us, winter might not look so
bad after all ... well, not so bad for some of us. I think some people
just plain, out and out, detest winter and would prefer any other kind of
weather, including the August conditions which prompt a certain amount of
disdain on my part.