Guy Ellis

That didnít last long

Observant readers of this space will note that it wasnít but hardly a month ago when it was announced that I was taking leave of the sports desk here at the Grove Sun Daily and heading north to work with our sister paper the Miami News-Record. And, yes, itís News-Record with a hyphen; they get upset when you leave that out.

Taking the position in Miami was something that, on paper, looked like a good thing. It turns out that it was one of those situations that tested well in the lab but didnít quite execute as planned in the field.

I mean, really, no offense to anyone, but taking notes at a city council meeting canít even begin to compare to taking pictures at a basketball game.

So, after a brief stint I asked our publisher if I could come back to Grove and, thankfully, he allowed it.

Iíd rate my performance as managing editor at the News-Record as about average. About half the folks who approached me said they liked the product and about half said they didnít. Iíve learned from my brief time in the media biz that if you can bat .500 that ainít bad.

The people at the News-Record are really great. If I mention one I have to mention all but everyone I dealt with was professional, helpful, and, most of all, patient.

Early indicators that I might be better suited for sports were delivered when I interviewed US Senator James Inhofe. The senator flew into Miami to visit a factory in Quapaw and he was gracious enough to sit for an interview. At least three times in the course of our conversation I began a question saying, ďNow, coach, let me ask you aboutÖĒ

Youíd think that a newspaper-person who was interviewing a US senator might have some really hard-hitting questions lined up. I could have asked about the superfund site at Tar Creek. I could have asked about how the billion-dollar stimulus bill would affect Oklahomans. I could have asked about the war on terror.

But no. About ten minutes before we sat down I discovered that the senator is a licensed pilot. So I asked questions about flying, aviation, and things of that nature. I bet you didnít know that Senator Inhofe has flown a Cessna around the world. As to how that knowledge will help you gain a better understanding of whatís going on in Washington, DC Ė well, Iím not really sure myself!

Go Ridgerunners!

Tuesday was opening day at Beauchamp Field for the GHS baseball team. We have a short report about it on the sports page today. The two biggest stories from the game were the weather; it was bitter cold, and the fact that most of the baseball team is still playing basketball. Itís a long season though and the basketball guys will join up with the baseball team soon enough. But not too soon I hope!

As I write this it is Thursday afternoon and Iím getting ready to travel over to Coweta to watch the Ridgerunner basketball team open play in the area tournament against Victory Christian. Way back in early December when basketball season was just getting started the area tournament seemed a long way off for the boys team. Coach Winters (Doug, GHS basketball coach) was experiencing the same thing that Coach Bouher (Bret, GHS baseball coach) is now: a large bulk of the team was still playing another sport; in that case it was football.

The results of tonightís game will be known by the time this hits the press. Like all of you Iím really pulling for a Ridgerunner win. The boys team has had to overcome a lot this season: late start, new coach, injuries, a brutal schedule, and the mini-ice storm. But here they are in the area tournament having overcome long odds and securing a goal that Coach Winters had set way back in August when I interviewed him after he had just arrived in town.

Later Tuesday night the GHS soccer team debuted for í09 over at Miami. With the sun having vanished it was even colder for the soccer guys and they were running around in shorts and t-shirts. Bbbbrrrrr.

Both games had a really good turnout and as the weather warms and the season stretches on those numbers should grow.

Milk money

At home we have a coffee can on the kitchen counter that we are all supposed to deposit spare change into as we collect it. I like to dip into it in the morning on my way to work so that I can stop at Mr.Mís and buy a cup of coffee and do a little visiting with everybody.

But lately Iíve been noticing that the change can has been low on quarters and high on nickels and dimes. Well, I heard on the news that we are in a recession. But the answer to the missing-quarters mystery was much simpler than that.

It seems that my first grade son has been swiping the George Washington coins and spending them at school during lunch. For a quarter he can get an extra box of milk it was explained to me.

Well, thatís all good and well but Iíve dropped six or seven quarters in on a Monday night and found almost all of them missing on Tuesday morning. So I asked the boy if he was buying a round of milk for all his buddies, too.

No, he wasnít. You see, for a dollar he can get an extra lunch to go with the one he is regularly served. I was impressed with two things. One, the boy must have a monster appetite because heís eating every time I turn around at home. Two, the food at the Lower Elementary cafeteria must be a lot better than what I was served back home during my school days.

So, I hope the guys down at Mr.Mís will understand if I come in with dimes and nickels to get my morning cup of coffee.†