Stonewall Road, The BEST Maintained Dirt Road In Alton, If Not New Hampshire, Was Graded, With Care, Today.
by Anura Guruge
This is an attempt to document the exceptional care we get on or road. We are so lucky. When I tell others in Alton about the service we get they don’t believe me and think I am just trying to make them jealous. More than once I had said that I will keep a journal for a year so that I can show them the amount of undivided, unstinted attention that this stretch of dirt road, at most a mile long, receives. Now that I am blogging here, more of less daily, this is the perfect place to maintain that journal — with full visibility to all.
So today, Tuesday, October 9, 2012 the BIG grader was here for awhile, making multiple sweeps, grading the road. Thank you.
Nicest bunch of guys ever. It is always an honor and pleasure to have them.
I have created a new Category called ‘Stonewall Road’ for all the journal entries related to the painstaking upkeep of our little stretch of Alton.
by Anura Guruge
As far as I can remember, all my life, I have been cricket MAD. It is still the abiding passion of my life, a just very few things getting precedence over my addiction to cricket. As a boy growing up in Ceylon I played some form of cricket everyday; if it was raining making do in our garage. My desire to study and analyze subjects in depth, to be a ‘guru’ on a subject, started with cricket. I would study the science of cricket for hours on end. I was good at reading games. Yes, I played, never that well BUT always memorably to all concerned. Yes, people would come to watch me, at all levels, just for the sheer entertainment value I would provide. Nobody, especially me, would be sure what I would do, but invariably there would be a flash of genius followed by long periods of ignominy. But, those flashes, though always fleeting, amused people. I played with gusto. All heart. No discipline. Non-stop action. I watched a LOT of cricket too. I was a member of ‘Hampshire Cricket Club’ and ‘Middlesex Cricket Club’ and was a regular fixture in the Grandstands at most home games.
I saw, in person, all of the GREAT players on the 1970s and 1980s; Barry Richards, Imran Kahn, Mike Proctor, Richard Hadlee, Andy Roberts, Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge and all the British players. I ‘knew’ many of them from all the times we would be at the same place at the same time. I was there in Southampton the day a 19 year old Malcolm Marshall made his debut on a cold, April day. He bowled terribly and dropped a catch. Me, from my customary perch in the Stands, shouted out: ‘give him a bucket’. I cried when he died.
My son’s middle name is ‘Gordon’, after Gordon Greenidge. I was blessed to see a LOT of Gordon, both for Hampshire and the West Indies. Given that Gordon, Andy and Malcolm, all played for Hampshire (to which I belonged) and Viv played for Somerset (which was my 2nd home in those days), I was a HUGE West Indies fan.
Yes, I was there in 1979 when they won the World Cup.
That very, very briefly was a BIT about me and cricket before I moved to the States in 1985. During the first 10 years I still followed cricket quite a bit. I used to have the London ‘Sunday Times’ air mailed to me. I used to also get both cricket magazines from the U.K. delivered. Plus, I used to go back. During my first two years I used to fly back for weekends — and get a day of watching cricket in, at Lord’s, on Saturday! Fly out Friday night, fly back Sunday afternoon. back at work Monday morning.
Two years ago, I ditched Metrocast and got DISH. DISH offered 3-channels of 24×7 cricket for $20/month. Since this is my only indulgence is life, I rationalized that I can afford it. So, I have the DISH cricket package.
When I first subscribed, DISH did not bother to maintain the Program Guide for those 3 networks; i.e., you had no idea what was going to be shown. All that the ONLINE program guide would say was: cricket, cricket, cricket …
Took me 3 months to get that FIXED. They just could not understand. I had to keep on explaining that it would be like subscribing to HBO and having the guide just say: movie, movie, movie …
I did chronicle my woes … here. Check it out.
So we now come to the ICC World Twenty20 2012 T20 world cup that was held in Sri Lanka (the country of my birth) from September 18 to October 7, 2012.
Willow, Ten Cricket nor NEO Cricket had coverage of it.
The bloody ICC had sold the U.S. and Caribbean rights to SBOs at ESPN. What the heck do the clowns at ESPN no about cricket. Cricket is way, way too subtle and cerebral for those that can only appreciate crash-AD-bang-AD-wallop-AD sports.
I can’t find any bloody TV coverage of the T20 World Cup by ESPN. I don’t want to watch it on my PC. Yes, I have a 27″ HD screen, and yes it looks good, BUT I have a 47″ HD screen and that is where I want to watch the cricket — FULL SCREEN.
Bloody ESPN. May all of them get the POX.
“New Hampshire Stories” sets out to chronicle noteworthy, but mostly amusing, events from my 3 decades in New Hampshire.
Check the CATEGORY ‘New Hampshire Stories’ or do a SEARCH using sidebar search box for ‘stories’ for other posts.
How I met the once bestriding Kinney O’Rouke in the parking lot of the Laconia CVS and how me got me involved in ‘Granite State Ambassadors‘ (GSA) and Laconia Rotary were described in this July 14, 2012, post. So I won’t revisit that again. If you want the background, please read that post.
Kinney who was President of Laconia Rotary at the time ‘fast tracked’ my induction. I had to fill in a questionnaire about my life and meet with a 3 person ‘Induction Committee’ who wanted to ensure that I had integrity (and took regular showers). Anyway, since Kinney wanted me (and that was mainly to boost his recruitment score) they agreed to have me, integrity be damned.
I was not the first non-white that had been inducted. Dr. Prabhkar K. Shetty, the renowned Ophthalmologist from Gilford, had been a member for a longtime. But, I was by far, the most exotic person they had inducted and that was what Kinney wanted. As Kinney emphasized from the start, we were going to have fun and that fun started with my induction ceremony.
Birthdays are a BIG deal at Laconia Rotary. Around the time of your birthday you are supposed to bring in an item that is then auctioned, at the weekly lunchtime meeting, to raise money for the Club. The goal is to sell your item for as much as you can. So some get very creative and I remember items selling for $300. So, as part of the induction they announce your birthday. Based on a comment I had made that I knew somebody that was born on that day, Kinney announced that my birthday was ‘April 1’ — thus trying to set the tone that I was a clown, if not a fool.
Right after the induction meeting, Kinney tells me: ‘You are ON for the next 2 weeks. You are doing the presentation. Just tell them about your life‘. Another brilliant Kinney move. Each weekly Rotary meeting is supposed to have a ‘meaningful’ (hopefully educational) 20 – 30 minute presentation. As with the Birthday Auction each member is supposed to find speakers to fill these slots — again some setting out to excel (and keeping their speaker secret until the meeting). Once when it was my turn, I got Philip McLaughlin who had just finished his term as the Attorney General of NH. (Yes, they were impressed. Philip, a Laconia native, wowed them.) So, by getting me to fill in 2 slots, right away, Kinney, as President, didn’t have to worry about whether those two meetings were going to have speakers — that always been a challenge. [If he didn’t have school, e.g., Summer, Matthew, who was 8-9, used to attend the meetings with me, kids being encouraged to attend. At one of the meetings the speaker did not show up. I bribed Matthew, who had just come back from ‘Global Finals’, to talk about Destination Imagination (DI). I can’t remember what the bribe was, but I know it was expensive. He must have been 9 at the time. He got up on the podium. His face just about cleared it. So, he is now facing 100 adults. He, hesitated for a minute, but then launched straight in. He got a standing ovation. For the next 2 weeks I would meet people in Laconia or Gilford who would say: ‘I heard about your son’s speech at Rotary‘.]
So, per Kinney, my brief was that in my 1st slot, I had to talk about my ‘early’ life and that the 2nd slot should be about my experiences in high-tech.
So, as instructed, I did my first presentation talking about my life in Ceylon, growing up in the U.K. and going to school there.
As per rote, the proceedings of all the Rotary meetings are documented and posted on the Web. In those days, given his professional credentials, our official chronicler of all matters Rotary was Ed Engler, the Editor/President of the Laconia Daily Sun. Ed is a great guy. Very nice, very obliging. But, as anybody who is familiar with the Laconia Daily Sun will know, Ed and his lovely crew don’t waste too much time about accuracy.
The meetings are on Thursday. The report of the proceedings get posted by Monday. So given that I was still new and curious, I checked what dear Ed had said about my presentation.
He had done a decent job covering my time in Ceylon, Buffalo, Paris and London, but then said: ‘he got his first degree from the University of WHALES’!
I am not exactly thin, but I am NOT that fat.
I called Ed up and asked him what that was all about. He says: ‘That is what you said, right? University of Whales‘.
Yes, I know I have an accent, ironically part of it Welsh undertones. So, Ed had heard my: ‘I went to Swansea, University of WALES’ and interpreted it, without ever thinking to check, that I had gone to the ‘University of WHALES‘.