GIRLS SPORTS: A Century of Girls Basketball; and Today, Little League


A century ago my grandmother Laura was involved with something radically new: girls basketball. She reflected on it in an address she made to a graduating class at her high school fifty years later, as follows:

I would like to share a few memories of our school days. For instance, 4 of us in the class were on the first girl‚Äôs basketball team that Frewsburg High had.¬† And was that an innovation.¬† The first thing we had to do was call in a dressmaker to get outfitted in navy blue serge bloomers and white middies.¬† We wore big silk ties and probably big ribbon bows in our hair, which was long.¬† This might be in braids around our heads, in a bun at the back or a psyche knot and I don‚Äôt believe a single hair was out of place when we finished a game.¬† We went wherever the boys had a game and we played the opening game.¬† I remember going to Celeron, Chautauqua, and Randolph and we rode on the train.¬† All games were on Friday night.¬† This surely was exciting, especially if your boyfriend happened¬† to be¬† on the boy‚Äôs team. ¬† ¬† ¬∂ Then the group decided they needed a cheerleader to help the boys win games.¬† And I was chosen it.¬† My 2 granddaughters , ages 11 and 12, think that is the most hilarious thing they ever heard of.¬† So I have tried to explain ‚Äď we didn‚Äôt need to take special lessons or to put on a floor show ‚Äď all you needed was a good strong voice.¬† And usually none of us could talk the next day. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬∂ That summer a bunch of us spent a week on Chautauqua Lake across from Celeron Park, which was a thriving place 50 years ago.¬† So one day we dressed up in our blue serge bloomers, white middies, tennis shoes and long black stockings and rowed across the lake to take Celeron by storm.¬† Did we ever feel naughty walking around like that! ¬† ¬† ¬∂ This one thought I‚Äôd like to leave with the class of 1966.¬† The past 50 years have gone much faster than the 17 or 18 years before graduation.¬† The first¬† thing you notice –¬† it is 5 years since you graduated, then 10, then 20.¬† Your¬† children are graduating, then 40, then 50 and you are sitting here in the place of honor.¬† And by this time your grandchildren are¬† graduating and you wish you could just hold time a little slower. ¬†+ + +¬†(NB: photo not from Frewsburg HS)

I was delighted last week to catch a segment of Little League World Series where Mo’ne Davis was pitching against the boys. Who says girls can’t throw? She pitched a 2-hit shutout, hurling her 70-mph fastball!

Little Leaguer, on the boys team. Photo by Gene J Puskar, AP/Photo

Little Leaguer, on the boys team. Photo by Gene J Puskar, AP/Photo




PORTRAIT OF A PIG (my title): a book review



While the publisher’s title,¬†Crash of 2016, is not to my liking,¬†the writing is compelling; indeed, it is quite educational and insightful. I was not aware how rare having a vibrant middle class has been over the centuries. Nor was I aware of how devious and controlling the √ľberwealthy have been during this same period at waging class warfare to keep wages low and people desperate. We clearly have lived thru a golden age in the latter half of the 20th century. Whether you vote left, right, in-between, or not at all, this book will complete your economic education, providing much to ponder & discuss. Don’t miss it.



¬∑¬∑You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows¬∑¬∑ ~Bob Dylan


I’ve long had a fascination with weather, to the point of putting up a windmill on our farm up north. I had even researched adding some weather tools to the mast, hoping to join the volunteer weather corp, which is the main point of this post ‚Äď sharing an account of a volunteer from today’s NY Times. That’s a photo of him, above, studying the sky in the 1930’s for his daily report, which he has done continually right thru today ‚Äď 84 years! Amazing, how a sense of purpose can invigorate. (He’s 101.)

Our windmill flew for only fourteen months, failing atop the tower. I crashed it, attempting to repair it. The mast, which snagged as we were lowering it, snapped at a coupling. Insurance bought me out. But it was great fun watching the sky for signs of change.


This ¬†Merida windmill, designed to lift water, didn’t survive a hurricane

.eric windmill

Friends helped me erect my pinwheel. We tilted it up with a tractor, for attachment next to the silo.

Our Christmas card, 2006

Our Christmas card, 2006

These are some of my favorite weather tools:
Realtime lightning strikes
North American radar, with animation button
Water vapor, animated
Tropical hurricane tracker



Dear __YOU__,

You can read, and ponder what you’re reading, or you wouldn’t be here presently. Reading is a precious gift. Doing it well, reading¬†between the lines,¬†can be transcendent. (Why was¬†this word chosen, instead of¬†that¬†synonym?) Questioning a text is wise, since a right question is the beginning of wisdom. And words have an array of meanings ‚Äď which is why literalism contested between readers can result in feeling as though we’re in a combat zone.

In January 2003, as USA was preparing for war in Iraq, I had an epiphany in which I was cautioned not to lose my peace, as war would surely come. But also I learned that the GREAT RED DRAGON described¬†in St John’s apocalypse, Revelation,¬†reveals an aggressive penchant for literalism.¬†

No one needs to study the writings of Plato or Wittgenstein to realize that interpretation determines experience! How we perceive events shapes what happens. The shaman understands this, as explained in this brilliant set of radio stories. But I digress.

It is with much enthusiasm that I now share with you a simple way of unpacking the words of scripture (a love letter to you!), enabling you to ponder their early meaning. PLEASE NOTE:¬†This scriptural love letter is written to you. Nobody else¬†should presume to interpret it for you! Not your granny, not your pastor or priest. You can do your own thinking, with the help of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit¬†¬†(‚Äď see v.26; many versions can be selected for comparison). And if you are a bible reader who has told others what their love letter says, well, just STOP! Instead of thinking for them, invite them to think by asking leading questions! Does God love your ears and eyes more than those of your friend? (Don’t become like the taliban, who tell others what the Quran says!)

O, that I had these tools when I was in grad school! (NB: To use the linked interlinear translator, enter a word or a verse-address in the LOWER FIELD.) Let me  illustrate, using these familiar verses. Notice that some words at the linked site are blue. They are clickable. When clicked, you will see an array of word meanings from biblical Hebrew or Greek. This gives an idea of the wide variability handy for translators, including you and me. Here is my take on this psalm, based on many years of reflection and study, and now, using the interlinear Bible study tool. Below is what the psalm means to me.


Now you try it!

Now you can translate your own love letters: