Guy Ellis

Wedding bell blues

I can’t buy a break this year when it comes to Grove vs Jay athletic events.

Regular readers might recall that I had to miss the Grove/Jay football game in order to attend the wedding of my brother-in-law. Now I have to miss the Grove/Jay wrestling dual this weekend at the Jay Dual Tournament because one of my brothers is getting married back home.

I mean, really, don’t these people check the sporting calendar before they plan these nuptials?

It isn’t all doom and gloom. I did get to see one of the two Grove/Jay softball games this past season (a commitment in Tulsa kept me away from the second one.) It was a great game with the result in doubt right up to the final pitch. But even that silver lining had a cloud, literally, as the game was played in a constant drizzle.

In any event I’d like to make a public announcement to all friends and family members: Please hold off on any and all weddings until the end of May. Please.

Back to school

I was given a great opportunity to address Coach Sean Bott’s journalism class at GHS this week.

Originally the plan was to speak for about 15 minutes on the basics of writing sports stories but I wound up blabbing on for the whole 50 minutes. The students were grateful for that as it kept them out of a chapter quiz.

A couple of things from the visit stand out in particular. Just out of curiosity I conducted a quick poll: Which school logo do you like the best? By a large margin most of the kids preferred Ridgy over the oval G. Some of the oval G fans felt that Ridgy wasn’t fierce enough but we Ridgy-ites all favor the bird because he’s so unique.

Another neat thing from my visit occurred as I was leaving the class. I didn’t attend school in Grove, of course, but walking down the hallway after class let out reminded me of my own old high school. I had forgotten what it was like with people going to and fro and folks yelling out at others and lockers slamming; it’s organized chaos.

It was a lot of fun to get a chance to go back to high school for one hour.

Heroes

Covering various sporting events allows me to witness some heroic acts from time to time; student-athletes making last minute moves to pull out a victory and/or teams getting on a roll and stringing together a series of big wins. It can make for some exciting stuff.

But my job, occasionally, brings me into contact with some true heroes and I’m talking about the members of the local fire departments and EMS workers.

I spoke with a fireman some time ago who told me that when people see him at work they are usually having the worst day of their life, a powerful and true statement if ever one was uttered.

Thursday morning local responders arrived on the scene of a nasty chimney blaze. The roof was completely lit up and the temperatures outside were hovering near 12 degrees F.

The fire was a tragedy for the homeowners, of course. Fortunately there were no serious injuries reported.

The events of 9/11 brought into sharp focus, for everyone in the world, the bravery and heroism of fireman, policeman, EMS, and other emergency responders.

All of us here in Grove and the surrounding communities should be thankful that our area fire departments are staffed with dedicated, highly trained, skilled, and brave personnel.

Mind the gap

Ricardo Montalban, better known to millions as Mr. Roarke from TV’s “Fantasy Island”, passed away this week.

Some years ago at a different job I was wasting time chatting with a co-worker. We began talking about TV shows from our youth and I mentioned how I used to watch “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island” every Friday night when I was “coming up,” as my good friend Daniel puts it.

My co-worker looked at me as if I had horns growing out the side of my head. She had no idea what “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat” was. I knew she was younger than me but it never occurred to me that she would have never heard of those classic shows. A psychology professor explained the situation to me as a “generation gap.”

My boss Kirsten remembers Mr. Montalban as Kahn from the Star Track TV shows and movies. Yes, I know it’s called Star Trek; I just call it Star Track to annoy her because she’s a big Trekker, or, excuse me, Trekkie.

Back home again

As I mentioned earlier I have to go back to the Valley this weekend to attend the wedding of one of my six brothers. Any thoughts of ducking the event (no offense to my little bro but this is his second wedding) were banished when my grandfather called last weekend and issued a sort of “command performance” decree.

Seems my granddad had purchased a plane ticket for my brother in Idaho so that he could attend the wedding as well. Granddad, we all call him Big L, or LAB- which is an acronym of his initials- wants, as he put it, “to spend some time together like we used to.”

I would have come home just for that- never mind the wedding.