Friday, March 23, 2012

Rain...and running

Over my almost 49 years of living, I have learned to never complain about rain.

I have seen way too many dry summers and can usually not worry about a good rain, even if it is not the best time for it.

But this late winter, early spring monsoon of this week has been almost too much.

I planned to spend considerable hours watching baseball at the Poteau Wood Bat Festival, but noooo.

I have watched it rain. And rain. And then more rain. I have tried the old rain chant “Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day…like July”, but gotten no response.

How are we going to bring thousands of college and high school students to make LeFlore County their spring break destination if all we can promise is rain?

The rain has also slowed down my annual spring running until my knees swell up like watermelons routine. I did get in a run Sunday and Monday, but that good start has been slowed because of the rain.

During my Sunday run, I did see something interesting. I was running (okay, maybe jogging very slowly) at the track when I actually passed a walker and noticed he was eating an ice cream cone while walking the track.

That didn’t quite add up to me. Yeah, it was an impressive use of multi-tasking and a part of me could understand his reasoning: Yes, I ate a double dip of ice cream and a waffle cone, but walked while I was doing it.

I am trying to get up to enough miles to do the Vike Hike in April and maybe do the Cavanal Killer in May, however, I am not particularly fond of trying out any event which has “Killer” in its title.

It has been over 10 years since I ran in a 5K. My only previous run was at Ben Geren Park in Fort Smith. That run was in May, starting at 1 p.m. Fortunately, I was in pretty good shape. But it was sunny and hitting close to 90 degrees, so it was not exactly prime running conditions.

When I got to the park, the sun kind of bothered me since I am lacking in the hair department. I checked and found no hat. I did have a visor and decided that would help keep my face cool. Bob Stoops does look better with a visor than the Craigman, I must admit.

Other than getting passed at the finish line by a guy approximately three times my age with more hair growing out of his ears than I did my head, I enjoyed the run since I actually finished without passing out or releasing projectile puke. The whole visor idea was not a great success, however.

I guess it did provide some relief to my face, but after getting home, I discovered that I had a unique sun burn over part of my head, but not other parts. Having a sunburned noggin is not an enjoyable experience.

All it did was provide some comic relief.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Journal answers the challenge!


A challenge? Issued to


Laura Young of the LeFlore County Literacy Council has asked me to get a team together for the 14th annual LCLC Adult Spelling Bee on April 19.

At first, I thought it was a joke. Really. She is recruiting teams to take part in the contest and wants all the county newspapers (and apparently the Journal falls into that category even though we are a website) as a part of the competition.

Just to be fair, I was going to turn down the invitation at first. I have a soft heart at times and didn’t want to crush the competition and make them leave with a beating of epic proportions.

Plus, there was the entry fee.

But after some consideration and because it is a good cause, I decided to give it a shot.

I have never actually competed in a spelling bee. There is the worry about getting asked a word and breaking out in sweats in front of the crowd with no spell check or internet to check for proper spelling, but then again, I could let one of my teammates be the actual speller.

That left another dilemma. It is a three-person team. I could probably win it all by myself, but I need to share the glory. So, who could I convince to be my teammates? Do I know anybody willing to step up to the plate and risk embarrassment after spelling an easy word wrong?

Sure. They just don’t know it yet. I plan to get my old pal Ralph (aka Ralphman Due) Perdue Jr. and Trish the Wife to be my teammates.

Plus, with Ralph, he could bring his chitlins Journey and Kirksey to be our cheerleaders. I considered using Molly and Dodger Dog, but they are easily distracted and don’t know if they will learn to bark on command in less than a month. Especially with everybody eating popcorn.

Ralph will hopefully be game unless Journey has a softball game that night. Trish the Wife is another story. Getting her out of the house can be a problem.

Both of them are smart and I think Ralphman Due would be an excellent speller for the team. I can just see him asking for the definition of a word and how it is used in a sentence, like the little guys and gals in the National Spelling Bee.

We could all dress in our official LeFlore County Journal T-shirts, which should both build camaraderie (in the interest of journalistic integrity, I did Google that word for correct spelling) and spread the word about the website.

This might not be the Dream Team of Larry Bird and Michael Jordan in basketball, but in spelling competition, I expect us to flourish and trounce the competition as we capture the championship.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Howe seniors close out great career

Part of the huge Howe crowd at the area consolation finals Saturday night

LeFlore County has been blessed with some great senior classes over the years.

You can add Howe’s senior class of this year to the mix. The Lady Lions’ class of Megan Brown, Brianna Hillebrand, Abigail McGarrah, Tori Kellogg and Mariah Landeros have more than done their part to keep Howe’s tradition alive.

Those seniors saw their high school career end Saturday night with a 39-30 loss to Amber-Pocasset in the area consolation finals.

The final mark for 2011-12 was 26 wins and only three losses. Two of those losses came to this same Am-Po team which is heading to the state tournament.

Four of the five seniors have started or been a major part of teams which have been the most consistent winners of the county’s girls’ teams over the last three years.

As sophomores, they finished second in the LeFlore County Tournament and reached the state tournament.

As juniors, they came up just short of another trip to the state tournament and once again finished second in the county, despite having to compete against six bigger schools.

And as seniors, they captured the LCT and were one of the final 12 teams playing in the state in Class 2A.

The only thing missing from their resume was a state championship. But despite not winning it all, this class will be remembered for a long time for their success, even though they played up a class over the last two years.

Howe could have easily made it to the state tournament this year if the OSSAA had not done some mixing and matching with the teams. If you go strictly on geography, Howe, Talihina and Colbert were the top three teams in the southeastern region.

But the OSSAA brought a pair of undefeated teams into the area in Amber-Pocasset, which is clearly not in the southeast part of the state along with Oktaha, which could have easily been in the northeast. And Colbert was sent to the southwest region.

Even without a state tournament berth this year, Howe was one of the top teams in the state and kept up the tradition of never having lost a game in its own gym.