MARILYN HAGERTY: Grand Forks has room for hockey, symphony and roller derby
Dear Shirley, I'll bet you thought my Thursday columns had gone to the dogs. The past two weeks, there were letters from Dot.Com, my dachshund in Grand Forks, and Sasha, the dachshund who is her pen pal in Alvarado, N.D. Now, it's time to catch u...
I'll bet you thought my Thursday columns had gone to the dogs. The past two weeks, there were letters from Dot.Com, my dachshund in Grand Forks, and Sasha, the dachshund who is her pen pal in Alvarado, N.D.
Now, it's time to catch up with you again in Arizona. I suppose the early snowbirds are landing in Tucson. I hear them making flight plans as they gather here and there. The rest of us have just been enjoying beautiful autumn weather and cringing when we think of what is coming next.
I love this time of year, Shirley. The trees are shamelessly shedding their golden leaves right before our eyes. There are some late blooming chrysanthemums at their height of glory. People are decorating their houses for Halloween already. Area churches are holding their annual dinners.
The last wasps of summer are vicious. There are still a few pesky flies, but mosquitoes never were an issue. We have such a good city control system.
And as I have told you before, Grand Forks is no one-horse town. Last Saturday evening, there was an opening exhibition hockey game between UND and Regina in the Ralph, the second annual Zombie Music Fest in Town Square. . . and the Grand Forks Symphony opened its season with music of the 1940's in the Empire Arts Center.
The Symphony drew an almost full house, loud applause and a standing ovation. This is no stodgy symphony, Shirley. Alexander Platt is in his second season as music director, and he brings the whole stage alive. I am sure he expended as much energy on the podium as UND's Sioux football team did on the field when they made a statement Saturday with their win over Southern Utah in Cedar City.
There was high praise for the Grand Forks Symphony throughout the lobby and people were excited as they left the Empire -- the new home of the symphony.
With so much going on, a person might not realize that the Forx Sugar Beaters roller derby team prevailed with a win over Bemidji's Babe City Rollers team, the Whistle Punks.
Have you heard of roller derby, Shirley? It's an up and coming sport that attracts large crowds. Cheryl Lawson, who is president of the Sugar Beaters, told me they had to come from behind to beat those pesky Babe City Rollers.
The score was 100 to 75. The derby is played in two 30-minute halves. There's a blocker and four jammers from each team. I guess the idea is for the jammer to pass through the opposing blockers as everyone rollerskates around the rink.
There's a lot of pushing and shoving. All the players have wild names. Cheryl Lawson goes by the name of Schmylee Rukus.
I met the roller derby women when they led the kids in the Fourth of July parade downtown. Cheryl says it takes a lot of endurance. While she is in her 40s, most of the others are younger. She finds roller derby "so empowering."
This is not a sport that you and I should take up in our golden years. Even though we used to do a lot of roller skating.
Love from your sister, Marilyn, eating Mr. Goodbars on the west bank of the Red River of the North.
P.S. The Forx Sugar Beaters are losing their practice rinks now that the ice is going back on them. Sometimes they have to go over to Crookston to train three times a week. Cheryl says you gotta stay in shape.