A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Y Speed on Ice

Tonight I walked a couple of blocks to the MassMutual Center to watch the Springfield Falcons play the Hartford Wolf Pack. (That's professional hockey, for those who don't know.) It was YMCA Night at the Falcons, and I was there to gather information for an article.

YMCA board members gathered in the V.I.P. lounge, while the new memebership director manned a table of informational material about the Y. A preschool teacher from the Scantic Valley Y sang the national anthem, and Springfield YMCA President James Morton dropped the ceremonial puck. During intermission, a couple of different Y groups were on the ice.

Here's the Y Speed track team in their spiffy red, black and white tracksuits out on the ice with Screech, the Falcons mascot. Back in the stands after their ten minutes in the limelight, the kids watched the action attentively, although none of them that I talked to had ever seen a game before. I threw out the question, "How is hockey like track?" and one young woman immediately shot back, "You go fast!"

The Y Speed team is brand new this year. It's the brainchild of CEO James Morton, himself a runner. A number of the kids are new to track, but they're showing lots of promise. They're already going to meets in Boston, Albany, and Northampton, competing mostly against college runners (one of the Y kids is nine years old). Lucky for the Falcons that they don't have to compete against Y Speed. They're going to be a tough team to beat.

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