The Student Athlete

While cleaning up the basement over the holidays, I came across some old team photos from my formative years. I had forgotten what a fine athlete I was back in the day, and thankfully I have the photographic evidence to back up my claims.

(Me=front row, far right.  Click to enlarge)

Meet the Harv’s Self Serve t-ball team, circa 1979. We were a fearsome group, coached by the dynamic duo of my mom and dad. The fact that I’m now older than they were in this photo is just a little disconcerting.

(Me=second row, far right.  Click to enlarge)

Having mastered the art of hitting a ball off a stick, I moved on to softball. Bob’s Print Shop was a big step up in competitive zeal – half the team was doing HGH at recess. This is around the beginning of my geek phase, which would last throughout the 1980s. The glasses were a nice touch, as were the jeans that look to be pulled up to my chest. At least I’m not wearing a rabbit’s foot…

While baseball was my summer sport, I needed a winter sport that was just as physically demanding. I considered darts and curling, but I lacked the upper body strength to compete at the elite level. So, I settled on that most noble of sports…bowling. Not just bowling, but 5-pin bowling – you know, the one with the small balls.

While everyone else in my class was playing hockey, I spent my Saturday mornings at Playfair Bowl in downtown Hespeler. It was a cute little bowling alley, with eight lanes and a snack bar. It had this distinctive smell – a memorable combination of old shoes, hot dogs, and cigarette smoke.

In this team photo, I’m sporting the official YBC bowling shirt. This polyester miracle had a zipper on the front, and was the canvas on which all your bowling-related accomplishments were displayed. Various badges (I Beat My Coach, Super Spare, Family Twosome) were sown or glued onto your shirt so as to strike fear into the heart of your opponent (no pun intended). The shirt was pretty abrasive and would rub your nipples raw unless you wore a shirt underneath. Yup, it was a tough sport.

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2 thoughts on “The Student Athlete

  1. Yes truly we are not the most athletic of people. However your father was athletic, being a truly gifted tennis player, good baseball hitter , great throw with a football, and golfer. He had a natural swing, and with more time on the golf coarse could have been a scratch golfer. I’m sure that he tanked a couple of times when we played tennis just to make me feel better about my non jumping and running abilities. I hope that your sons have the co-ordination gene and sports gene that sadly lacks in many Dearloves

  2. I remember some people being surprised when the music teacher started helping out with the high school tennis team, but Dad was pretty good at it.

    It’s still a little early to tell with the boys. Soccer’s been a bust, but A seemed to be more into baseball last summer. Maybe we’re just made for slower-paced sports.

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