The Idle American
Their shots weren’t heard around the world. But, in the annals of intercollegiate rifle competition, the all-female team at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth won the whole “shebang” last month in the NCAA’s co-ed rifle competition.
Winning this year was improbable, what with three freshmen on the team. (The other two members are seniors.)
Annie Oakley would be proud, what with TCU’s riflery and “hossback” proficiency. (The TCU equestrian team won the national intercollegiate title in 2008, but this is not yet an NCAA sport.)…
Should community leaders decide to again trot out the “Where the West Begins” slogan for Fort Worth, these teams could be in the spotlight.
For readers wondering when TCU men’s teams won national titles, the answer is football: 1938.
(Actually, there’s been one other TCU national championship. It was carded by the women’s golf team in 1983.)…
The rifle competition this year was expected to favor two other institutions. After all, defending champion West Virginia University has won 14 national championships, and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks has won 10, including nine in this century.
Military loyalists may wonder about West Point and the Naval Academy in the eight-team field. Those teams won fifth and eighth, respectively.
It may take weeks for the victorious Horned Frogs to get their “eyes unsquinted” and the smiles off their faces. In the 31-year history of the event, this is the first-ever championship won by an all-female team….
There’s more good news in the world that meets the eye, though too many headlines suggest otherwise.
A good example is an ever-widening emphasis on projects to help fund cancer research.
Starting four years ago on Holland American Lines, “deck walks for the cure” were introduced on selected cruises. Now, all 15 HAL vessels feature walks that have netted almost $2 million for the Susan G. Komen Foundation funding of cancer research.
Pink-trimmed t-shirts and bracelets adorning guests throughout the ships are testimonies to strong support of cancer research….
On the subject of cruising, Fort Lauderdale, FL, residents have good news. The community boasts 33,000 hotel rooms and has invested mega-millions in the Port Everglades cruise port and area tourist attractions.
Citizens “love to live there” and tell others that they “love to live there.”
Little wonder but that within a year, this will be the world’s number one cruise port.….
One who’d be hard to dislodge from his Florida digs is concierge James Lesnick.
He’s spent the past 32 years with hotels in New York City, Las Vegas, Paris and Fort Lauderdale. James also has been on the eye-rolling end of wacky phone requests.
Countless experiences are worth recounting, but in the interest of space, I offer hem-of-the-garment treatment….
. Zsa Zsa Gabor’s appeal for help is a good place to start. She was befuddled by the coffee maker.
. James went to her suite, patiently explaining the step-by-step process.
“Oh, so I must pour the water through the top,” she squealed….
The concierge has scars to show for his work.
Once he suffered an arm triple-fracture in a canned heat explosion, and he may still have shoulder blisters caused by Ann Margaret. He remembers the frantic call vividly, one of many complaints fielded during a late-afternoon power failure. The Broadway star was in her 52nd floor penthouse, dressed for her evening performance, high heels and all. And the elevators weren’t working.
He did, of course, what any red-blooded American male concierge would have done.
James bounded up the 52 floors, threw her over his shoulder and delivered her to the lobby, taking only a few minutes longer than a functioning elevator….
His strangest request came not from guests, but from his boss, the general manager of a hotel in Paris, France.
The man owned a French poodle, perhaps the most coddled pet in Europe. “Fifi,” or maybe it was “Phydeaux,” had been trained to respond to commands in Spanish, French and Italian. Among James’ daily duties was to expand the dog’s training. (After all, if the pet could master commands voiced in English, she’d be “quad-lingual,” or whatever comes next after “trilingual!”) Anyways, following each “English lesson,” James served the pet’s favorite foods—carefully measured servings of chopped ham, English peas and carrots.
So far, his duties with Sheraton have been considerably more conventional….
Dr. Newbury is a speaker and author in the Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.