Thumb Suckers, Ice Hockey, Political Muscles

Published 9:23 am Thursday, November 17, 2016

Based on my very unscientific research, ice hockey team parents are the calmest, nicest, quietest — and coldest — of all the youth sports parents.

I make that observation after going to one match.

I was too busy shivering to yell at the referees. My feet were freezing. My coat was too thin. Unlike other more experienced parents, I didn’t bring a blanket.

Two of the grandsons are playing ice hockey in Decatur, Ill., and we watched them in action during a recent visit. The mother of number 15 brought a cowbell, and she used it every time her son scored, which was often. He is a future Bobby Orr.

The boys fell a lot, but they were well padded. There were no injuries despite a lot of head-on collisions with each other and with the wall. It took about 15 minutes to suit up.

Ice hockey is big up there.

• • • • •

Tiny Davie County’s political muscle is growing. After last week’s election of Ted Budd of the Yadkin Valley community, the county will have for the first time a resident member of Congress. The county’s political cast also includes a resident state senator, a state house member, a Superior Court judge and two District Court judges.

Across the Yadkin River, Clemmons also flexed its muscle. West Forsyth High graduate Dale Folwell won statewide office as the new North Carolina Treasurer.

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Clinton “Clint” Ellis of Farmington may have made his last joke about his political namesakes, Bill and Hillary Clinton. The Clintons may be retired from political life.

Clint Ellis is an avowed Republican, but that hasn’t prevented him from linking his name with the former President during the 1990s and with his wife, Hillary, as this year’s Democratic nominee.

On his lawn last week he co-mingled Democrat and Republican political signs to proclaim “Clinton Votes For Trump.”

Motorists must have done a double-take wondering if that guy was confused. Not a bit. Just a bit of word play.

• • • • •

My youngest is applying to colleges this month, and I hope he avoids the namby-pamby schools that are coddling their distraught students upset by last week’s election.

Expecting Hillary Clinton to win, some college students collapsed in fear and trembling that the unexpected happened. The polls were wrong. The pundits were wrong. Donald Trump upset the political apple cart. And college students fell apart.

Some colleges have given their students coloring books, Play-Doh, support puppies and chocolates to help them get through this “rough” time. Cornell hosted a “cry-in” with tissues and hot cocoa.

Are we raising a generation of thumb suckers? I’d hate to think how these students would handle real adversity. Many of the colleges encouraged the immaturity. Maybe it’s time to bring back the draft.

Did any college deans or presidents tell their students to grow up? That’s where I’d like my son to apply.

– Dwight Sparks