Monday, February 15, 2010

Track and Field

This weekend my basement flooded, which is to say that Chesapeake Bay Woman spent two consecutive days in tears was forced to go through junk to ascertain what was regular old junk and what was trash that should have been thrown away decades ago really and truly junk, all of which was trash sopping wet.

After digging through to China layers of rubble, the source of the leak was found. Right next to that source, like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, was a metal box containing letters and newspaper clippings from my past.

This concludes the basement portion of this post, and it also marks the exact spot in the whole basement operation when Chesapeake Bay Woman threw in the towel to focus her attention on the contents of that box, because that was way more fun and a lot less work.

Once upon a time, back in the Mesozoic Era Chesapeake Bay Woman was an athlete, and she thought she'd spend the rest of her days competing in track meets up to and including the Olympics. And she was very serious about that Olympics thing even though now it makes her fall out laughing until she nearly pops a pants button busts a gut.


As I was going through this box I discovered a newspaper article.

The headline was, "Kline Sets World Record in Richmond Meet." Mr. Kline from Mathews broke the world record for the 70-74 year old age group in the 400 meter dash. He came in at 68.1 seconds. For someone in that age bracket, that's unbelievable. Some 45 74 year-olds I know can't recall what they had for breakfast in 68 seconds, much less sprint a lap around a track.

The articles goes on to say, "Joining Kline at the Richmond meet were four other Mathews runners. Chesapeake Bay Woman won the long jump with 18' 1/2 ". She won the event by 1/4" on her last jump of the day. Blah blah blah. She also ran the anchor leg for the Pacers Track Club of Newport News mile relay team. Her 1:06 split gave the relay team a second place showing."

Basically this means that I ran a 400 (one lap around the track or one leg of the mile relay) only two seconds faster than Mr. Kline who was in the 70-74 year-old bracket. I might have been 17 years old. Repeat for emphasis: He was 70-74.


Here's the part that's important, and the reason I even mention this article, besides the amazing Mr. Kline:

"Mathews Mountain Man earned a fourth place ribbon by throwing the javelin 165' 11". He pole vaulted 12'6" and high jumped 6'. Ms. Seabreeze ran in the 1500 meters and Farley A. reached the finals in the 200 meter dash."

Mathews Mountain Man (known as MMM in the comments section) is Mathews Mark's brother. He has contributed some invaluable stories and is long overdue for submitting another one (hint, hint). Ms. Seabreeze, who used to take me to the skating rink and points beyond in her brown Pinto, also provides valuable and humorous commentary here. We were all part of a traveling track team who lost touch after it was over, and here we are 30+ years later reconnected however loosely and rather accidentally by this blog.

It boggles my mind.

Aside from Facebook, which seems to be reconnecting people who don't even remember each other (not that I'm speaking from experience on that "not remembering" thing), have you reconnected with old acquaintances through the internet or blogosphere?

Or how about a 74-year-old man running a 400 in 68 seconds. He was such an inspiration to me at the time. Do you know any people approaching older age who are in amazing shape and are exceptional athletes for their age?

Is there a market for junk '70s-era light fixtures, saddle blankets, typewriters, mismatched china, slightly damp clothing or soggy books?


Perry said...

If they're the right 70's light fixtures, eBay is your friend, they've become a "thing". And I feel your pain about the basement, half my christmas decorations are still swimming in water in the plastic boxes I packed them in when the basement of our building flooded last summer.

Jamie said...

I use Facebook all the time and was able to reconnect with several childhood friends I haven't seen in 20 years or so.... Congrats on the running accomplishments!

Mental P Mama said...

Ugh. And Mr. Kline sounds amazing;) I am glad you paced yourself so as not to upset him...

Country Girl said...

I just left a very long comment. And blogger ate it.

Country Girl said...

Damn. It didn't eat that one.

So sorry to hear that not only could you not come up north but your basement flooded!
I also ran track & field. Both the 50 & 100 yd. dashes, anchor for the 440 relay and the long and standing broad jumps. A fellow athlete! Can't do any of it now, of course. And I'm not even 74 yet.

Mathews Mark said...

Athletes: well let me see, My PaPa (grandfather) who is 97 (you have heard me speak of him before)still cuts his hedge takes him a little longer. My father just turned 80 last week gets up Monday thru Saturday and works a 9-5 job (He can out work me)don't know if they were athletes or not (My dad did a little boxing in college) but they are in shape! The athletes of the family were MMM and my little brother JWT. MMM was high school quarter back An one Hell of a track star,And to this day is in as good shape as he was in high school (legs were a little bigger back then).JWT is just a gifted athlete anything he did football,baseball,wrestling,basketball anything. He could have gone to any college with a full ride, but he decided to fight for our country instead. MMM and JWT just ran a marathon in Texas dedicated to my late beloved sister in law. (Thank you guys wish I could have done it.)JWT has qualified for the Boston marathon!MMM could have also if he did not spend most of his time teaching others, no question in my mind.I was all was a little jealous of MMM. Me the big bad older brother who new everything (tough Guy) and when He out jumped me in pole vaulting man I was pissed (keep it in the family brother) So I challenged him to a race, from the drive way to the barn about 150 yards. MMM had legs on him like a speed skater (ask CBW) I knew i would have to cheat to beat him! My little brother lined us up and said GO! I took my forearm and hit him across the back of his legs, Knocking him to the ground, the boy got up and still beat me!I did not mess with him any more. I had to wash his car for a month! You go MMM proud of you!! MM

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Mathews Mark-You definitely have a very athletically gifted family, all of you are very talented, and all of you have lots to be proud of. (Although I've never met Texas Man, I've no doubt he's the same way.)

I wouldn't have gone anywhere with track if not for Mathews Mountain Man, who helped coached us in the later years. We would not have known any form or technique if not for him. Plus, he was more fun to tease than Mr. Brown.

That's funny about cheating to win the race. Sounds exactly like something I would have done to my sisters, and it's something expected of the oldest in the family, it says so in the handbook of sibling rivalry.

Happy Monday to y'all. Federal holidays are The BEST.

big hair envy said...

You should have come up to my place Saturday instead of crying alone at home. I would have been happy to console you, along with Snow White. When are we going to NYC....I want to make sure it's scheduled for an uneventful weekend!!!

Is it summer yet?

Daryl said...

i guess Mr Kline is dead or you'd have friended him on FB .. I was a listener at Choral and a watcher at Sports

mmm said...

It's only in my older age that I really appreciate how talented Mr. Kline was. Now, 30 years later, 68 seconds is still fast. The current world record for that age group is 60.77 seconds; set by Hugh Coogan of Australia. A time of 66 seconds is in the top 50 in the world.

As for MM, he actually won the race that he has written about in the comments. Instead of 150 yards, it was about 40 yards. Notably, in our family, pushing down your opponent at the start is not considered cheating - outside the family we are, of course, perfect gentlemen. MM is right about the youngest brother - JWT. He's proven himself to be a very versatile athlete.

Thanks for the trip back to the glory days, CBW! Is it fair to say that when you got to college you gave up running on the roads for Rugby Road? Understandable...

Grandma J said...

There's something in the water around Mathews! I think I'll send my track enthusiast granddaughter there for training.

Connecting with old friends on Facebook? Ummmm both of my brother's ex-wives.

Mathews Mark said...

Thanks brother I din't want to brag (yea right) but you know you could beat me with a broken leg! I may have been able to drive better than you (braggin again) ? MM

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

I say just throw away everything in the basement, except for the mementos. If you look at it and you wonder if you should keep it, then the answer is NO! It'll feel so good.

On reconnecting - yes, very much through Facebook. My high school classmates are finding their way together, which is cool because we have a "significant reunion" (translation: very large number) this year. Otherwise, I found a cousin on the geocaching website - he's hidden some caches very close to where I grew up, including in a couple of cemeteries. I do see him every great once in a while, but I didn't know he geocached until I saw that "Rev. John" had hidden some in my old zip code - well, there's one one Rev. John and sure enough.

Caution Flag said...

That is exactly what FB is doing for me: reconnecting me with people I never knew in the first place!! I did, however, reconnect with a college friend I've been searching for forever. The other 300 are just bonus, ya know?

How come you haven't become my FB friend?

Then again, you are probably much too athletic to FB friend me. It's such a sad truth.

Ann Marie said...

I wonder if I will make the paper this week for the marathon cleaning I have been doing...
I did take a tiny little break this afternoon and did something I wanted to do... :)

Happy Monday everyone.. (yea right now that it is almost over)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kline's grandaughter was good friend of mine in our younger years. We re-connected on FB and I couldn't wait to send her a message about your blog today. She read it and really enjoyed it. She runs too and he has always been her inspiration. She said she has his medals and ribbons hanging in her home. I remember seeing him run all the time, even across the Piankatank River Bridge! Good job as always CBW!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Trinia - Thank you for forwarding the post to Mr. Kline's granddaughter. She sent it to her mother (Mr. Kline's daughter) and they both e-mailed me. It was wonderful to hear from them. Mr. Kline's daughter, my mother, CB Middle Sister and I all played on the same summer softball team. Mr. Kline's daughter could play a mean infield and she was strong as an ox when she hit. Those were good times. In other trivia, Mr. Kline's daughter and my father were in the same class in high school, and those who are still living in Mathews get together once a month.

MM-Rugby Road did beckon, as did the rigors of the academics. The fact that they recruited me but were not willing to cut me any slack on the tuition caused me to have to pick and choose. I do regret not sticking with it. Well, except there was all that uphill running. We don't have mountains here in Mathews and all my years of training had been sub-sealevel. That first practice where the warm-up was up a mountain that they called a hill (Observatory Hill) was brutal and pretty much set the stage for my ultimate decision.

To everyone - thanks for reading and commenting. I am honored to have been around Mr. Kline and feel he is such an inspiration, even today after all this time. He just did it. He just ran. No excuses, no barriers.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

track and field hmmm is that like four wheeling out your driveway at least twice daily. at 53ish? i should get a gold this year =)
hurry spring!