Subscribe for 33¢ / day

I’m no sports fanatic, but I do get excited when the Giants start spring training. Maybe this will be the year they recapture the Spirit of ’14 … and ’12 … and ’10 …

***

Baseball is also on the mind of anthropologist George Gmelch, who will discuss his book “Playing with Tigers: The Changing Culture of Baseball” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at the St. Helena Public Library. Much more so than, say, basketball or football, baseball is all about tradition. But while the rules stay the same, the culture of baseball has transformed, as Gmelch discovered. Gmelch, a professor of anthropology at the University of San Francisco who once signed a minor-league contract with the Detroit Tigers, wrote a book about playing baseball against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, civil rights protests, and the emergence of the counterculture. The social and political turmoil of the time bled into baseball, recalls Gmelch, who played in the Jim Crow South. It sounds like a fascinating book and discussion. I’ll see you there.

***

There’s always plenty of I-N-T-E-L-L-I-G-E-N-C-E on display at the annual Junior Women spelling bee, scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the St. Helena Elementary School auditorium. Kim Phinney, who’s organizing the bee along with Catherine Dann and of course the great Maureen Olen, says fifth-graders from four local schools are competing this year, thanks to the participation of their teachers: Michelle Parriott, Gina Meade and Ashley Wright at St. Helena Elementary; Maria Phelps at St. Helena Catholic School; Del Christian, Renee Lloyd and Katherine Carattini at St. Helena Montessori School; and Michael Luque at Howell Mountain Elementary School. Huzzahs to all of them, and to the Junior Women.

***

The Upper Napa Valley Republican Women Fed. have a knack for scheduling speakers to discuss topics that are in the news. John Staggs will speak about gun laws and gun safety at their next meeting at noon Monday, March 13, at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. There’s an 11:30 a.m. meet-and-greet, followed by lunch and the speech at noon. Lunch is $27. RSVP by March 8 by calling Bev at 963-3148. And who is their next guest on April 10? Why, it’s newly elected Napa City Councilmember Doris Gentry. …

***

Attention Dave Stoneberg, Jake Scheideman and other local cycling buffs: Velo Vino’s Eagle Cycling Club is planning a series of rides. The first one is on March 19, out Conn Valley Road and Moore Creek “for a little road and hard-pack dirt action,” as the club’s note jauntily puts it. The second ride on April 23 will be “a nice climb up Old Lawley Toll Road.” Riders leave Velo Vino by 9:15 a.m. Look up the club’s Facebook page to learn more. Ouch, my legs are aching at the very thought of it …

***

Have you ever wondered about those giant container ships? Jay Greene, historian and former shipping executive, will talk about “The Box: And How It Revolutionized World Trade” at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, at the St. Helena Public Library. Ships’ cargo used to be loaded and unloaded by hand, but steel shipping containers saved time and money at the docks and changed global delivery systems forever.

***

March 2 is apparently designated as Old Stuff Day. I wonder if that means I would qualify for a free cup of coffee somewhere …

0
0
0
0
0