Our local basketball teams are really doing us proud this season. The Lady Chiefs and the Lady Tigers have advanced to another round in the state playoffs. (Both are on the road this week for Quarterfinals play.) The NCHS Chiefs, St. Mary’s Tigers and Lakeview Gators boys teams all have first round action Friday. Even the NSU Demons are making a run at making it into the Southland Conference Tournament. They’ll need to win out and will need some other teams to stumble, but hey, anything is possible.
In the movie A Field of Dreams there’s a famous line..”If you build it they will come.” Well, that’s not entirely accurate. JT has seen a rush by cities and towns across this state to build Sports Complexes hoping for that outcome. Natchitoches is no exception. Your metropolitan communities have done this for years and the town of Sulphur was the gold standard for such complexes. Now we are seeing smaller communities and parishes get into the act. Up in Ruston they have embarked upon a reported $15 million complex rushing to get it ready for hosting a World’s Series Baseball Tournament this summer. In Jackson Parish (Jonesboro area), they have an impressive complex with astro turf style baseball fields. The goal is to host tournaments and bring in guests to stay overnight who will eat and spend locally. That sounds doable…but it didn’t happen in Sterlington (just north of Monroe) where they borrowed $20 million to construct such a facility with those dreams. This week, though, the town of Sterlington traveled the path of Clarence and was placed under control of the state because of failing finances. Their field of dreams turned into a nightmare. JT doesn’t think Natchitoches’ venture will face the same fate. After all, we didn’t borrow money for the construction; we just raided a surplus in a city fund for the financing. Maybe there’s some left to fund an indoor swimming pool at the complex that some local citizens have been seeking? JT, for one, sure has missed the Natatorium.
JT is amazed at the large number of candidates who are saying they are in the race for President. Democratic candidates are coming out of the woodwork…and that’s to be expected with a Republican in the White House. What seems to missing from the candidates, in JT’s mind is “experience.” JT thinks what we are missing is governing experience from our Presidential candidates. He also thinks the veteran politicians, who know how the system works, don’t want to be under the microscope of the national media, which has taken on a nasty tone with them. JT recalls the days when the Presidency was looked at as a promotion for those in public service to our country. We saw the trend change with the election of Obama where the voters felt those in charge of running our states and country shouldn’t be trusted to carry on anymore. That opened the door for the less governmental experienced candidates. Even Trump came in as a businessman’s approach to government and voters were still tired of the old guard, so to speak. JT still believes youth, vigor and new ideas are important, but you just can’t overlook the fact that experience matters. Hopefully, that will be at the forefront of voter’s minds this time around….in all elections.
JT often becomes amused at some of the old sayings his generation uses. Examples, “Garlic makes a man wink, drink and stink,” “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” and “You’re pulling my leg.” JT uses idioms such as these often, but recently he commented on the weather by saying it is “raining cats and dogs.” Without a beat, his fellow conversationalist replied with, “It’s a frog strangler.” JT cracked up. He hadn’t heard that one in a while and found it refreshing to hear others of his generation still using the old tried and true sayings. So ya’ll just “hang in there” and “we’ll catch you on the flip side.”
JT’s funny bone must be working overtime. He finds the crazy Louisiana weather comical, rain, heat, freezing temps, humidity and sleet – all in one morning. In addition, JT has noticed the grass has decided to spurt up, a sure sign Mother Nature thinks spring is on its way. Well, Punxsutawney Phil said so a couple of weeks ago. JT did a double take Monday when it was cold as a frog’s belly (refer to JT above) and saw a fellow mowing. He did a double take again when he saw it was none other than Spiderman! Even superheroes have to do menial chores.