Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You're never too old to take the ice

I found this as inspiring as the Young at Hearts singing a few blogs ago.


You’re never too old to take the ice
81-year-old woman competes at Edge arena in Bensenville

By Justin Kmitch
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Friday, April 13, 2007

Yvonne Dowlen’s days of Salchows and Axels are well behind her.

But that hasn’t stopped the 81-year-old from lacing up her skates for regular competition.

Dowlen began figure skating competitively in 1938 in her hometown of Lakewood, Colo., and spent time with the Ice Capades in the 1940s and ’50s.

This week, she’s in Bensenville competing in the 2007 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships. Her daughter Sherry, 44, is also competing at the Master Ladies Senior level that she’s mastered previously.

“Be warned: Watching me is not like watching Sasha Cohen or Michelle Kwan, because that’s not my style,” Dowlen joked earlier this week after arriving at Bensenville’s Edge Ice Arena. “At my age I’m an absolute dud, but I still do my freestyle, edges and spirals and things like that.

“Just being on the ice, at my age, is important to me.”

Dowlen’s age — she’s the oldest person in the tournament — is only part of what makes her appearance in the competition noteworthy.

Last May, she was involved in a serious car crash and sustained head injuries. Doctors told her she should hang up her skates and call it a career.

“That was like waving a red flag in front of a bull, I’ll tell ya,” she said. “No doctor’s gonna tell me I better not skate. So here I am competing at the U.S. Championships for my sixth straight year.”

She doesn’t do Axels anymore, because she’s afraid of falling, but her routine does include a few less difficult jumps.

Dowlen, who says she’s “very happy to be 81 and two-thirds,” finished in fifth place Thursday in the age 56 and Over Ladies Masters Junior competition.

“I’m not doing extra wonderfully (because of a pulled muscle earlier in the week) but I’m here,” she said. “Whenever I start to feel down I just look at everyone else my age touting around oxygen tanks and I just put on my skates and smile.”

She attributes her health to a mix of exercise and daily vitamins and supplements. She still practices for about an hour a day and still coaches a small group of children and adults.

She will also take the ice at about 5:20 p.m. Saturday to compete in the Ladies Masters interpretive artistic program. Her 90-second performance will be set to “Stars and Stripes Forever” and will include baton twirling.

Regardless of their age or experience, her message to all her students is the same.

“If you enjoy it, go all out and give it your best,” she said. “But if you’re not having fun or feeling at peace on the ice, do something else.”

The feeling she gets on the ice is what has kept her coming back to the annual competition for the previous five years.

“It’s a whole different world,” she said. “It’s a camaraderie thing and it’s what I want to do, what I love to do.”

Thursday was ladies day at the Edge with ladies master and ladies gold events filling the schedule. Many spectators likened the atmosphere to the Olympics with the stoic judges, flowers launched onto the ice after each performance and the general buzz throughout the crowd.

“It’s a lot of fun seeing these adults out there living it up like kids and having their moment,” said Rachael Brennon, who came to support friends competing for the St. Louis Figure Skating Club.

The competition continues this morning at the Edge Ice Arenas in Bensenville and runs through 5 p.m. Saturday.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I was tagged

I was asked to share things people might not know about me. I had a similar tag on MySpace a while back and , due to these lingering shoulder problems, I made a goofy vid and loaded it to youtube. Here it is:-)

The youtube URL is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJpoLFuyJ9U

I was tagged by fromdowntherabbithole, formerly angel hicccups.

I'm no going to tag anybody in particular since I don't know who's around and who's not swamped right now with work/life, so if you'd like to do this, post in the comments below.


Monday, July 23, 2007

The Most Intriguing Album (or CD) covers

When the switch came from LP's to CD's I thought that the fantabulous art we saw on album covers would be a thing of the past. True, CD art is smaller. It's lost the grandeur of size, the feel of turning the cardboard over and over in your hands while the vinyl played, but there's good stuff out there. Go to the link below and find one of your favorite covers. Post the name below. If not, post the name and any of us can search the site for the CD.

I have many favorites. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac is another great cover...yes, originally LP size when I owned it. Tom Waits won out tonight, though. Click to see full size.


Happy Hunting!


Oh..I couldn't resist adding the wonderful portrait of my favorite cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, on this CD cover..

And what search would be complete without that history changing album by the Beatles??

And....one just for Lyle!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Young@Heart sings I Will Fix You (Youtube vid...from a UK documentary on the elderly.)

The below text comes from the youtube site:

'This is from a documentary shown on Channel 4 in the UK called 'Young@Heart'; the name of the New England octogenarian chorus line. The performer here is Fred Knittle, who suffers from congestive heart failure. This song was intended to be a duet between Fred and another chorus member, Bob Salvini. Sadly, Bob died of a heart attack and it was left to Fred to carry the song on his own. If I'm correct, the people you see crying at 01:13 are Bob's family. The lady you occasionally see mouthing the lyrics in the audience is Fred's wife.'

Dec 2010 edit: This video continues to be removed from youtube. Embedding isn't allowed but it can currently found at THIS YOUTUBE LINK

I added this edit, since my profile page webtracker regularly shows people coming to this page.


Artist: Coldplay
Album: X&Y
Year: 2005
Title: Fix You

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

High up above or down below
when you're too in love to let it go
but If you never try you'll never know
Just what your worth

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears streaming down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears streaming down your face and I

Tears streaming down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Coldplay Lyrics
[Fix You Lyrics on http://www.lyricsmania.com]

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Collin Kelly posts

Please go to Collin Kelly's blog to his July 13 post...Annie Lennox paying tribute to AIDS, and the blog directly beneath it about one of his friends who died from AIDS. Both posts moved me to tears and the youtube video by Lennox is both moving and tremendously beautiful.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Today's my Birthday

Five candles on the cake. Yes, tis true. I'm only five. I'm a child prodigy. My first poems were dictated from the womb and scribed by my mother until I could write for myself at 2 weeks.

her candles
set the ceiling on fire
birthday girl


Okaay...the real truth. Sigh.

Birthday picture:

Friday, July 13, 2007

For right now...

..for multiple reasons, I've lost my joy in the internet. Recently it's been a source of pressure more so than creativity and a source of dischord in one instance instead of a place of peace. I'm offering a youtube I enjoyed, today, and hope I can find my way back to the reason I started blogging and posting in the first place. Thank you, those of you who read me and have become friends in the process.

Visit the amazing brush with me. It's indeed amazing.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Pageland Watermelon Festival

My old hometown in South Carolina, population 2500, celebrates 55 years of the Watermelon Festival this year beginning July 20, just two days after my birthday. I just discovered that they have a site on MySpace and offered some ancient clippings and photos I have from the fifties. They asked me to send to feature some. I'd like to share them here, too.

Now, tell me what YOUR town is famous for!

Click on the pictures to enlarge and read...especially about watermelon prices in one of them!

This is the front of a booklet of all the beauty contest winners who came to Pageland to vie for Watermelon Queen.

This is the swimsuit competition, held at the local swimming pool.

Next is a photo of my father with Miss America. He was wearing the traditional red shirt that men on the welcoming committe wore to meet her at the airport. The shot was taken at the beauty queen's luncheon.

Barefoot Day! Before the parade day, men were required to come to town barefooted and the women wearing aprons or face a fine by this bevy of newly deputized high school girls who collected a quarter for each 'misdemeanor':-)

Here's the article about watermelons. It also shows a photo of the recently built watermelon market. I hear it's grown tremendously over the past years.

And finally, a shot from the 80's showing downtown mainstreet. Not much changed from when I lived there.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Brady Senryu Contest

I've decided to enter this contest, sponsored by The Haiku Society of America, for the first time this year so have been busy workshopping senryu at Haiku Hut instead of blogging. Since last week's Nostalgia Friday didn't garner any interest I'm content to put that off for a while:-).

At the least, this contest will be fun. Senryu must be unpublished and posted nowhere except your website or a workshopping board.

First prize for this prestitious contest is a hundred dollars. For those of you who write the form, check this link below:

Brady Competiton Information.

Entries are sent on 3 by 5 cards snail mail with a dollar an entry fee and up to ten allowed. Deadline for them to be in hand is the end of this month.