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// TALES FROM SHEET NINE


Small favors can go a long way


By David Garber, U.S. Curling News Columnist, dj.garber@tds.net


(see his obituary on P18). I always enjoyed see- ing him at world events and meetings – he did us some favors (long forgotten) and sent me his book, “Curling Vademecum,” many years ago. His passing also evokes memories of “olden days:” the world curling media bench was inti- mate, and the fax was the fastest mode to file a story. For those representing monthly maga- zines, pressure was minimal. Old Worlds?


E My first curling media experience was at the


1986 Toronto Worlds. As a new guy on the scene, I was relegated to sit not on the main bench in the end zone, but in one of four small satellite benches atop the arena on one side or the other. Tere, along with curlers Mike Fraboni and Mark Hartman, I met a young Andy Kapp (Germany), a young Richard Harding (Scotland), and other whippersnappers; I enjoyed participating in the media ‘spiel, Te Brass Whisk, and in the Grand Transatlantic Match, the latter versus a team from New Zealand (I still have the Kiwi tie they brought to exchange for pins). Tose “old Kiwi guys” were about my current age. Ten-USCA president Bob Hardy had set up


the budget to allow his new Executive Director to benefit from a “full cycle” of curling activity, from board meetings to worlds. Curling News editors Frank and China Rhyme got me media credentials (I had a column back then, too). I brought my spouse, Ann (at her expense). We


were having dinner in the pizza joint under the headquarters hotel when Ed Lukowich came in to get pizzas for his team – they had just lost a game, so Ed was in the doghouse; they eventually won it all in a low-scoring final against four young hot- shot Scots, take-out artists who had beaten the USA in their semi-final, 3-1. Bronze went to our Steve Brown, Wally Henry, George Godfrey, and


USA Curling (( 31


rwin Sautter’s death reminded me of what a terrific fellow he was, and how well he epitomized curlers everywhere


Richard Maskel, who then beat the Swiss men. In 1987 a successful Glayva World Ladies


Curling Championship was held at the Lake For- est (Ill.) College Ice Arena (note change in gen- der terminology). Chairwoman Joan Smith and many volunteers from Illinois and Wisconsin watched Pat Sanders of Canada crush Germany’s Andrea Schopp, 14-2, in the final. Te USA’s Sha- ron Good rink rebounded from a slow start to finish fiſth, the best USA result in six years. Scot- land finished last and as a result, failed to qualify for the 1988 curling demonstration event at the Calgary Olympic Winter Games, a bitter blow for Scotland. Just two years later, Milwaukee hosted the first


combined men’s and women’s worlds – a great idea then; I was disappointed when, in 2005, the sites were again separated. A combined event saved spectators, media and staff from a second 10-day trip if they wanted to see the whole event. In today’s era of multiple national and world championships, covering them all is a grueling process, not to mention governing bodies run- ning out of available winter weekends. I had met the legendary Doug Maxwell in


Toronto. In 1989, he famously introduced the crowd to the players at an 8 a.m. draw at Mil- waukee Worlds (I was there, with few witnesses. I don’t attend 8 a.m. draws anymore unless it’s to witness a comet striking earth). USCA veterans


// COMICS


Clark Higgins and the late Bill Pattinson, and many, many others, did a great job as Host Com- mittee, eventually turning a six-figure profit that benefitted Milwaukee-area and southeast Wis- consin curling clubs. Te year of my retirement as USCA Execu-


tive Director, 2006, I was honored to be asked to emcee the Worlds Banquet in Lowell, Mass., as a last-minute fill in for Doug Maxwell, who had taken ill. Well, it was not literally last minute – I got about 30 minutes’ notice, and this in front of more than 500 people. At least the mikes worked without feedback, I was reasonably good at pro- nouncing the names of folks around the world, and no tomatoes were hurled. Scot Tour USA


Scottish men are touring the USA as they do


every 10 years (with the USA reciprocating five years in between). Te gorgeous Wausau Curling Center was one stop on Jan. 21, where Wausau men and one team from Stevens Point vied. I en- joyed renewing friendships with several Wausau curlers, including Bill Edwards and Cal Tillisch (2013 USCA Volunteer of the Year). I first met Bill in 1964 at Wausau’s annual High School Bonspiel. I was a high school freshman; Bill, was several years older and already an active player, coach, volunteer and “encourager.” Q


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