Monday, July 13, 2009

In the woods, the Rooters cheered!

The above photo-types were snapped this week-end in Winthrop, Maine, at a sylvan site on Little Narrows Pond where Stuffy, Hurdy and an assorted band of miscreants gathered to raise glass after glass to the Topsham Ham Fighters, that talented band of pond-hockey enthusiasts of which we all belong.

On Friday evening, a-fore the campsite was thronging with various ladies and family members intent on swimming and carrying on, the men dug holes, pondered glasses of Duffy's and tossed metal washers in an ingenious game dubbed "O'Connor". (It is most certainly a regional game, perhaps a variation on the Midwesterner's popular game of "Cornelius".)

But as we doled out generous drams of Duffy's and punctured several canisters of ale, we also bent our collective ear to the traveling wireless, which L.A. Gray, captain of the Ham Fighters, had carted down to the waterfront after fashioning a block-and-tackle system from several stout fir poles and hand-wound roping.

We listened intently as Jonathan "Nothin' Doin" Lester twirled a glorious set of ace-less frames, and engaged in rousing choruses of cheers as Dustin "Lil' Hands" Pedroia belted a winning two-sacker in the eighth frame.

The following evening, we sat quietly by the fire-light, the Duffy's having left its mark on our now-fragile constitutions, and listened as the Red Stockings see-sawed with the visiting Kansas City. The visiting yannigans scratched ace after ace despite the ash sticks of the home team supplying much early clouting and plating of lads. Indeed, it was as if the Red Sox hurling corps had taken an early leave and left the pill to a gaggle of fresh-faced pennant-hangers from the nearby colleges. In the end, our moustache-chewing was not required, as the Bostons regained their menacing stance at the home pentagon. Another win for the heroes in Red and Blue!

And Sunday, after a morning of sweeping pine needles from our britches and trucking southward to home, I again settled in for a hurling demonstration from the Good Gen. Joshua P. Beckett, whose pill tossing set the gold standard among pretzel men around the league. The ale was cold, the camaraderie excellent, and the tavern most welcoming.

From the woods to Westbrook, a weekend to recall when the snow begins to fly and I replace my cotton duvet with a Pendleton blanket. Summer, I love thee.

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