Playing hockey can be a great experience for kids. Hockey teams can help community pride flourish. Hockey can bring people together. Playing hockey can also be an awful experience for kids. It can batter civic pride. It can divide people. Bear Town by Fredrik Backman looks at both the negative and positive sides of hockey. It is set in Sweden but could happen any place where people love the game.
In Bear Town hockey gives an immigrant kid a place to belong, helps a boy without a Dad find a father figure, gives meaning and purpose to the life of an old man, provides camaraderie for a hockey phenom whose parents don’t have time for him, and inspires hope in a dying community.
In Bear Town hockey creates a culture that entitles young men to think they can treat others violently. Hockey inspires vandalism and blackmail and fosters a locker room mentality that isn’t respectful of diversity. Hockey tears families apart and makes people feel hopeless.
Bear Town is suspenseful. It tells a story that will engage you completely. If hockey has ever played a role in your life as a fan, parent or player it will make you think about that experience in new ways.
Thanks Terry MacLeod
The Shady Area Between Violence and Non-Violence
Filed under Books, Sports
In 2009 The Giroux Athletics were inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame. My husband Dave was a member of that team. He is #3 in the first row at the far right.
On Friday members of the team gathered for a golf game and reunion meal with quite a number of the senior players bringing along their sons for the round. Dave was happy to have our son join him on the links. The group posed for a photo before they teed off. For one afternoon the Giroux Athletics were together again.
Baseball in his 60th Year
I Slept With a Champion Last Night
We decided on the spur of the moment to go to the Goldeyes game on Saturday night. We just live a couple blocks from the stadium and thought we’d pick up a couple of tickets at the box office just before the game. Were we ever surprised to see a very l…..oooong line up of people waiting to get tickets. The reason the game was so popular? It was Bark in the Park night. Fans were encouraged to bring their pooches to the game and they were lined up to get their dogs’ complimentary tickets and their ‘doggie bags’ of treats.
I found it fascinating to ‘dog watch’ and ‘people watch’ as we waited for a chance to buy our tickets. It was interesting to note the many different kinds of dogs, the many different ways people interacted with their pets and the way the dogs interacted with each other.
The Goldeyes were trying to set a world record for most dogs at a ball game established by the Chicago White Soxs last year at 1,123. Saturday night the Goldeyes only had 852 dogs registered, but that was still an awful lot of dogs. I’ve been to lots of Goldeyes games but this one was certainly the most unusual.
Once in a Blue Moon
I Slept With a Champion Last Night
Remembering Rudy York
Filed under Sports, Winnipeg
My husband Dave had tried the game of pickle ball once or twice before coming here to Arizona but now he’s joined a community league and he plays virtually every day for two hours or more. He wasn’t sure about investing money in a pickle ball paddle till he knew if he really liked the game. Our Steinbach friend Ric who spends half the year here in Arizona came to his aid . Ric wasn’t using his pickle ball paddle due to an athletic injury and said Dave could borrow his. Dave contacted the local pickle ball coordinator on-line and the first week we were here he hit the courts. I love hearing his stories about the various players every time he comes home. He is making lots of new friends from all over Canada and the United States and is really having fun. The other night he actually went to a sports store to look for a paddle of his own to take back home. A couple from Winnipeg plays regularly in his Arizona group and they have invited him to join a league in St. Boniface that meets at a facility not too far from our home. Dave doesn’t really need another sport to get involved in but there is not doubt he’s a life-long athlete as the shots in this post attest to. I had to take them through the wire mesh around the courts but I think they still give you a pretty good idea of just how much he’s enjoying his new sport. Other posts……….
Dave Tries Boogie Boarding
Watching the Regional Ultimate Tournament
I Did the Limbo on the Golf Course
Filed under Arizona, Sports
Taking the train into Phoenix
The art gallery was closed! We took the train into Phoenix yesterday to visit the art gallery in the afternoon and attend a Phoenix Suns game in the evening. When we arrived at the front door of the art gallery the information on the door said CLOSED MONDAYS. Why hadn’t any of us thought to check that? Many art galleries, including the one in Winnipeg are closed on Mondays. But wait! Were those people inside the foyer? Yes! Were those ticket agents behind the front desk? Yes! Were the doors open? Yes! It was Martin Luther King Day in the United States and in honor of the holiday the gallery was open to the public.
A painting from Kehinde Wiley’s Brazil series
We had a wonderful afternoon at the gallery including a lunch in the gallery restaurant The Palette and a tour that introduced us among many other things to the work of celebrated African-American artist Kehinde Wiley.
The Phoenix Suns lost a nailbiter against the Utah Jazz. An exciting game.
At the Suns game in the evening they were also honoring the holiday. Quotes of Dr. King’s ringed the stadium, a special video during the game paid tribute to his legacy and another showed the Phoenix Suns visiting the new African-American History Museum in Washington DC. Various players were interviewed about what their visit to the museum had meant to them. The game opened with a few words about Martin Luther King Day shared by player Alan Williams whose mother currently serves as the first female African-American chief of police in Phoenix.
We had a good Martin Luther King Day!
Art From All Kinds of Things
Art in the Airport
Five Things I’ll Remember About the Movie Selma
The alarm rings just after six. We are on vacation. Why are we getting up so early? Right! My husband Dave has a ball game at 8:30 am. It is a forty-five minute drive away. We need to get dressed, stop for coffee, leave enough time to be sure we can find the diamond and be there early so he can warm up. I am going along because after Dave’s doubleheader we are off to the airport to pick up my brother who is arriving from Winnipeg.
My husband Dave joined a slow pitch ball team for our two months here in Arizona. Many of his teammates participate in the same summer league as he does in Manitoba, although some of his fellow players are from other provinces. During the game I sit with another player’s wife who is from Edmonton.
There is a large slow pitch league here in the Phoenix area for seniors who love the game and want to play year round. In fact Dave tells me there are so many different opportunities to play ball here that some of the guys on his team have games practically everyday. Dave is just playing on Tuesdays but he does have a couple of weekend tournaments as well. We witness a beautiful sunrise as we drive to the ball park inside a huge Trailer Resort that boasts a state of the art diamond. Dave tells me the diamonds here are pristine, in much better shape than any he plays on in Winnipeg. I have a nice visit with two other women who have come to watch our team play. They give me tips about good places in the area to shop and eat. The sun is warm and I have fun trying to take some good photos of Dave through the wire fence. He has a couple great hits and does a dramatic dive but just misses a catch in the field. The other guys compliment him on his fast running and I hear them calling him DavieD a baseball nickname I have heard hundreds of times since I have been watching him play ball now for over forty years. After the game we have time for breakfast together before heading to the airport. It’s not so bad getting up early even if you are on vacation.
Baseball in his 60th Year
The Winnipeg Art Gallery is all boarded up these days. There are surfboards, skateboards and snowboards on view in our Boarder X exhibit. The works by indigenous artists get you thinking about our relationship to the environment and other people in new ways. The bright surfboards in the photo above come from Australia and were created by artist Vernon Ah Kee. They have aboriginal rainforest designs on the front and use the colors from the Australian aboriginal flag. On the back of each surfboard are black and white portraits of Vernon’s relatives. Only half of their faces are shown. The colorful surfboards are surrounded by texts that were chanted during race riots in Sydney Australia in 2005
and accompained by a provocative and at times jarring video.
You can stand in front of this cityscape of Winnipeg for a long time finding new and interesting things in it. It was created by Roger Crait, who was a passionate skateboarder as a teen and young adult. To me the wings on the planes and insects look like painted skateboards and there are skateboards hiding in other places too. Both skateboarding and painting are activities that require lots of practice if you want to become skilled at them.
These cedar boards were designed by Jordan Bennet who is from Newfoundland. They were inspired by stories he heard about the land and the history of his people.
I had some elementary school students in the art gallery this week and I gave them a whole variety of felt shapes to make designs of their own in Jordan Bennet’s style. They came up with some pretty creative stuff. There’s a fascinating trio of pieces related to snowboarding. First this digital photograph by Mason Mashon where the tiny snowboarder surveys the route ahead and…..
and then these two pieces Sky Blanket and Clouds by weaver Meghann O’Brien.
Mark Igloliorte shows viewers the similarities between kayaking and skateboarding in his video installation
Skateboard-Kayak- Flip- Roll.
Boarder X brings together elements you might not think have lots in common but you’ll be excited to see how they do and you’ll find lots of personal connections of your own as you walk through the exhibit.
The Dakota Boat
Parfleches for the Last Supper
A Controversial Statue