Sports 'n' Things

Sports ‘n’ Things: Smokies best bang for buck

"Sometimes it is fun to say, 'I told you so,' but the thought of what might have been is not pleasant, even after all these years."

A couple of flashbacks.

Almost half a century ago, I said in a column in this same spot that spending the entire Centennial Grant – plus, on creating a steeply-sloped grassy area along the highway in Glenmerry was almost a complete waste of money which could have been much better spent providing a more convenient and usable amenity for the city.

I was not aware the the idea was mainly the brainchild of the then Times’ publisher, and rebuked but not punished for expressing that opinion (He was a very nice, if briefly unhappy, man).  I have, however, always believed it was a correct opinion. The place has been such an afterthought for half a century that the City is only now realizing that, as pretty as it is – much better than gravel, for sure – the, “park,” like many post-olympic facilities, an expensive white elephant..

In other words, the money, a not inconsiderable sum that would equate to more than the city has spent on any  project in recent years, was poorly spent in the first place, and cannot now be unspent and repurposed.

Sometimes it is fun to say, “I told you so,” but the thought of what might have been (created or improved) is not pleasant, even after all these years.

• Another flashback. About a decade ago I asked former colleague Ray Masleck about booking a then fairly prominent guitarist named Jessie Cook to play in Trail and he said that said Jesse would be unaffordable for the arts group that scheduled such things.

Well, Jessie Cook is still an amazing musician and, a little less the rage of those days, is booked into Charles Bailey Tuesday night. He has his old standards and a new album, and we have tickets. This digital age being what it is, even people who raved about him then may have overlooked this opportunity now – but there are still a few seats left so all is not yet lost.

Colin James was terrific, and I expect no less from Jessie Cook, albeit they work in slightly different genres. Check Jessie Cook out on line. Shame to let the opportunity pass to enjoy a night at the Bailey with a still very much world class musician.

• Back to the present, as it were. Don’t read too much into the results of their past two outings – the Saturday game with the Vipers was a very close and entertaining affair despite the final score – I still think the Smokies have a chance to be competitive in their BCHL division.

They are in town Saturday for their last home game for almost three weeks. Outside of a few Charles Bailey events, the Smokies are still the best-for-the-buck entertainment value in the area.

The Nitehawks, too, are at their barn Saturday. So don’t sit home. Get out in the community and enjoy yourselves.

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