20th Annual Penn State Track and Field/XC Reunion

And SAVE THE DATE! The Executive Committee meeting of the Officers of the Group convened and chose the dates for the 2022 Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament. This will be the 20th anniversary of the formulation of this whole shebang, and you better SAVE THE DATE!! So set aside May 13th and 14th, 2022. (Each year will alternate between May and August) We will be going all out for this event and you won't want to miss it. Adult beverages, camaraderie with old and new friends, mediocre golf, AND LIVE MUSIC FROM PROFESSIONALS! Stay tuned...

Monday, August 31, 2009

PSU Track Alumni Golfer Garners Second Place in National Contest!

Yes, I came up just one place short in the captioning contest for the above photo! You tell me whether or not mine was better. The movie Fletch is another one of my favorites, and can be seen daily on cable channels world-wide. That, or The Wedding Singer are on 24/7 as mandated by law or something.

And in other news: Our Google Page Rank is up to 9/10!! This reflects Google's interpretation of the importance of our site.

And don't forget about the Suburban
Philly Outreach Dinners!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Paul Souza Takes Philadelphia By Storm!

The Outreach Facilitator (Barb Black) and I rumbled to Philly in the Hybrid and met other PSU Track Alumni Golfers for the Velveteen Playboys appearance at World Cafe Live. Paul Souza entertained the crowd with two energetic sets, showing that time hasn't slowed him down at all. It was a great show, keeping me up WAY past my bedtime and making me feel 30 years younger, (at least until I had to find my car in the monsoon afterward!)

A blast from the past shook us right before the first set, as Ted Lyon '83 sauntered in with the wit and good cheer I remembered from 30 years ago! Sitting at the table as I arrived were two other veteran Track Alumni Golfers, Larry Mangan and Holder of The Golden Putter, Bob Gabel. A respectable turn-out for our motley group. We get one more chance to see the Playboys in Philadelphia, as they will enliven the crowd at the finish line of the Philadelphia Distance Run on September 20th.

My attendance was rewarded with assurances that Ted, Larry and Bob will indeed attend next year's Harry Groves Golf Tournament and Reunion. Negotiations are under way for our new House Band to entertain us at next year's Award Dinner. I have commissioned Paul to write a special song for Coach Groves' 80th birthday.

I was also rocked with the revelation that Paul was in a band with Steve Black while at PSU!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Warning: I'm turning the mirth way back on this post, but it shall return shortly.

The question I'm most often asked is "Why?" in reference to this web site, blog or whatever it is or will become.

It started for me in the summer of 1975, when I got wind of the store Greg Fredericks owned in State College. Word of his exploits had even made it to Dover, PA despite the lack of TV coverage, internet existence, and precious little newspaper coverage. I traveled the 100 miles to purchase my first "real" pair of running shoes (Nike Waffles-Blue!) and got the autograph of the PSU and American Record Holder in the 10,000 M on the back page of my first running log. I began two daily runs the next day. My goal became to run for PSU in the future.

Coach Groves wasn't on my radar then. All I heard about him was from a local high school coach who described him in extremely unpleasant terms. That sealed it, of course. Now I really had to train harder to make it onto the team. I had no talent, very little speed, but I did have many more miles than anyone else I knew. I sometimes put in 100 mile weeks in high school when others were doing 20 weekly. I sometimes ran 20 miles on a Saturday or Sunday when I set out to do 8 or 10. It was easy then, and quite fun. Because of my mileage, I figured no one should beat me my senior year, and the only one that did was the friend I let beat me in my last 880 yd. race because he had never won one. I didn't know what was ahead of me at PSU, but I turned down entreaties from several Division II and many Division III schools. My first meeting with Coach Groves was when I walked into his office early in the summer and asked if I could walk on. Surprisingly, I was welcomed and given a training schedule that consisted of him telling me to run a lot. Soon I received ominous letters from crazy people named Bruce Baden and John Ziegler urging me to up my mileage! What had I gotten myself into?

I have started this blog in order to make sure there are future athletes who will enjoy exactly what I did. An opportunity to become a better person through a tradition of excellence and hard work. Almost nothing else I have done in my life means as much to me as my achievements as a PSU athlete. There are probably thousands of athletes who Coach Groves help mold, many with talent far exceeding mine, but some with even less. He coached us all. He kicked our a**es when we deserved it. He reluctantly (and rarely!) praised us when we really deserved it. But every one of us is better for what we did as part of the PSU Cross-Country and Track and Field Teams. The Golf Tourney and Reunion started by Clark Haley is a great opportunity to remember and celebrate that part of us that was made better at Dear Ole State.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wrist Bands Continue Pandemic!

Ron Moore has come through for us again! This time from the bowels of the worlds largest working nuclear accelerator. That's some sort of gizmo that does something or another to quarks or the likes of them. (Actually its a dipole magnet that helps direct the beam.) He throws in a bonus pic at the beach of Lake Michigan. The entries are appreciated. Remember, two polo shirts and a golden golf ball are the prizes in the contest.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nittany Lions at The Championships of the World

PSU was well represented at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin last week. Four Lady Lions laced them up in Germany representing three Countries and Dear Old State.

Aleesha Barber placed 7th in the semi-finals of the 100 M hurdles for Trinidad and Tobago, while Toyin Augustus placed 6th in her heat in the same event for Nigeria.

Shakeema Walker-Welsch placed 9th in the prelims of the Triple Jump for the good ole USA. Also, the USA was well repreented by Bridget Franek with 12th in the prelims of the 3000 M Steeplechase.

Berlino, the mascot has been deemed by our Blog Laureate as the best mascot ever, and my arguments for the Philly Phanatic fell on less than deaf (in fact profanity laced!) ears. I may have to put up a poll on the subject, and we all know how accurate our polls are! He certainly was the fastest mascot I have seen, especially considering the size of his head and feet.

Ich bin ein Berlino!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Paul Souza's Velveteen Playboys Venture South!

The Velveteen Playboys, with lead singer Paul Souza, have become Big News up in New England! With their growing fan base spreading out, the group ventures South for a big show in Philadelphia on Saturday August 29. This gives the greatest density of our motley bunch of PSU Track Alumni Golfers the best chance to see what this new type of music is all about. The musical styles range from New Wave to Cabaret, the Beatles and Beach Boys to Burlesque, Big Band to Heavy Metal. (Everything except Rap!!!)

Let's soar to new heights (get it everyone? Paul was a high jumper for those of you who majored in Liberal Arts!) with Paul and his Super Group. I'll be there with bells on.

Just click here to be magically directed to the web site to obtain tickets at a low, low price. If enough of us come, he may even golf with us some day!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Suburban Philly Outreach: Kung Pao Round-Up

You can see I have been thinking hard about the upcoming Penn State Track Alumni Golf Outreach Dinner in Suburban Philly! So as not to interfere with our brethren who care deeply about the Nittany Lion Football squad, I will try to schedule it during an away game weekend. Two dates seem to be reasonable. Halloween Day, Saturday 10/31/09 (Northwestern) or the week before Thanksgiving Day, Saturday 11/21/09 (Michigan State). Other dates will be entertained. Drop me a line or vote in the poll conveniently placed on the left sidebar!

The NYC Outreach was a huge success with all six guests turning crimson sequentially with the spicy food and Chinese beer in combination. Enter the exciting world of PSU Track Alumni Golf and Kung Pao with experienced guidance! Everyone is invited, but RSVP will be required.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Zombies Would Over Run Humans in No Time

Scientists, actual real Canadian scientists, (but not physicists), have determined in succinct scientific terms that humans would be no match for even the slow zombies we remember from movies of our youth. Assuming a bite confers infection of "zombieness", and only decapitation or severe head injury renders them defeated, humans don't stand a chance. Don't argue with science. (Unless you are from Dover, PA as I am. Then 50% of your friends have no use of science!)

And tune into Plan9: The Movie on 9/9/09 for the trailer of the remake of the worst movie of all time! Plan 9 From Outer Space featured aliens and zombies and Bela Lugosi in his last film role. In his second career, Steve Black has secured a role in the movie and can be seen being over run by a zombie in the trailer. Steve has previously appeared in the Docudrama John Adams and several TV roles.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Things Even Mom Forgot to Tell You About Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf:

Most importantly! Don't Fear the Golf! Even first-time golfers have attained immortality on The Cup. What better way is there to enter the frustrating world of golf than with friends and comrades? We'll barely make fun of you. Besides, the golf is secondary to getting together, honoring Coach Groves, and supporting the present and future of PSU Track. You can still come and NOT golf, but we'll entice you in soon enough. Might as well be this year.

Facts about the tourney:
  • It is a Best-Ball scramble format. That means you take only the best of the foursomes shots after each shot. You only need an occasionally lucky one to make your partners extremely happy with you.
  • You don't need a foursome to enter. In fact, we assign foursomes according to a complicated formula involving EtOH, pizza crusts and numerology centered around the letter "D". Whatever you do, don't get involved with the picking of the foursomes. Leave it to the professionals (Clark Haley, Harry Smith and other insane members of our group). Watching this is like watching sausage being made; you'll never want to partake again!
  • No one has ever played in our tournament and gone home thinking "I wish I hadn't done that."
  • We had 37 golfers last year, with a goal of 60 this year. A shotgun start is in the works for the first time in the history of the event.
  • Coach Groves played with all 9 foursomes last year, and even sunk a birdie putt for my foursome on the dreaded 5th hole.
  • All monies generated go toward the Coach Groves Endowment, Friends of Penn State Track and future costs associated with our group.
  • The current PSU Staff and Athletes will attend our festivities this year.
  • Spouses, relatives and friends of PSU Track are welcome! That includes just about everyone on Planet Earth.
Some changes are coming to our event this year because of our growth and increasing popularity.
  1. Both the Friday Night Get Together and the Post-Tourney Celebration will be held at Damon's in the coming year. We will still call the Saturday evening awards ceremony and dinner the "Shisler Shindig" in honor of their hospitality all the previous years.
  2. Discount rooms will be available shortly at the Hampton Inn next door to Damon's. There will be an easy one-click reservation option right here on our web-site.
  3. An all inclusive Fun-Run and Alumni Mile will be held at the Outdoor Track Saturday morning before the tourney. Prize packages and various "competitions" are being dreamed up. Come run or walk with Olympians and "Schlubs" alike.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Appalling Idiocy of Blog/Group Officers!

Sure, it sounded good. "Send me the SD card with all the video clips of the 8th Annual Harry Groves Golf Tourney on them to me so I can edit them and present them to the group via the blog! Go ahead and send it via the US Postal Service, what could go wrong?" One empty envelope later, these blog idiot/officers are no longer fans of government related entities in any form!* Of course, the back-ups would come in handy this time. What? No back-ups!! How stupid can we be, you may ask. The answer is simple. We are as stupid as anyone who would trust the government with anything important.**

So instead, I include old video of a dual meet against Villanova starring Nigel "Incubator" Jones held in 1978 at the Westerly Parkway Junior High School Track.

* The USPS is a joint government/private entity.

** Continued criticism of the government serves no purpose, but it's still fun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wrist Bands Multiplying!

Baldhead Island, NC and Kitty Hawk, NC are added to the fray. In addition, I added a conglomeration of three vacations in one. NYC Chinatown, Toronto and Ocean City NJ all-in-one photo! (I couldn't afford the 8" replica of The Cup, just the 4 1/2 incher).

Falmouth Conquered! Socialism Kills!

Those who have been reading this blog know it isn't a surprise, but LetsRun.com says it was a big surprise. Honorary Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfer Rebecca Donaghue placed second at the prestigious Falmouth Road Race. It was a great homecoming for her, as many friends and family witnessed the great performance. Her progression in performance has been steady and remarkable to even this "seasoned" observer. I would hope that the atmosphere and facilities in State College have contributed to this progression (as well as good luck from the wrist band I gave her!).

AND, as America leaps headlong into Socialism (A fellow alumni golfer says we've been there for years and are now becoming less socialistic), the founder of Soviet Socialism has killed another victim long after being preserved and put on display in Red Square. An apt analogy to our times.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quote of the week


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Wrist Band Fun

Two more entries in the contest, this time from The Outer Banks of North Carolina and Los Alamos, New Mexico.

The Outer Banks were first encountered by the good folks who subsequently founded Jamestown. At that time the Outer Banks were the most inhospitable place on Earth (or close to it!). Read about it in the history books. Apparently unrelentless winds, bugs and a complete lack of drinking water made the settlers scramble north to Virginia to face Indians and disease as a welcome alternative. The winds later made two bicycle builders select it as a great place to fly their new machine. Now, due to the greatness that is the United States, we see it as a great vacation spot! Ask me sometime about my Frog Story!

And Fat Man is shown with a Wrist Band! Or is that Little Boy? A life-size reproduction of the bomb partly devised by Richard Feynman in his formative years.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No Flying Car Yet! And Fermilab Still the Boss?

In the 60's I was promised a flying car that somehow has eluded me since. Another government promise unfulfilled!* This may have to do for now, but I'm not happy.

On the other hand, I may not want one as there appears to be no cup-holders and no ability to text while driving! (Undoubtedly my biggest pet peeve.)

And now we learn that the super-collider in Europe is still not fully functional and physicists are scattering to other parts of the globe, specifically Fermilab in Chicago! Ron Moore is ensconced there, complete with our official t-shirt and wrist band, colliding particles every day. PSU rules.

*Maybe not a government promise, but I'm joining the crowds complaining about government anyway.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Vacation Continues!

First New York City, then Toronto, and now on to Ocean City, New Jersey! (With a two-day work week in-between each of them.) But now it's time to catch up on some miscellaneous Blog items.

First up, PSU alums continue to impress in Europe:
  • Shana Cox finished second in the 400 M at the London Grand Prix.
  • Toyin Augustus finished 2nd in two 100 Meter Hurdle races in France.
  • Jake Bartholomy won a silver in the 5000 M and the 4 X400 (!) and a gold in both the 800 M and 1500 M in Copenhagen, Denmark. Quite a weekend there!
And three Nittany Lions (or former Nittany Lions) will be competing at the World Championships in Berlin next week.
  • Bridget Franek, 3000 M Steeplechase.
  • Aleesha Barber, 100 M Hurdles (for Trinidad andTobago).
  • Shakeema Welsch, Triple Jump.
Keeper of the Beer and Founder Clark Haley supplies this great link for a golf tip most of us can really use. (Not like the tips on swings and grips that we usually get but can't possibly use because we stink too bad!) How to Throw a Golf Club. No references to Gary Black are intended or implied.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Catastrophe in Canada!

A business trip to glorious and free Toronto, Canada started out as a pleasure but turned into a nightmare on the second day. That's the day I traveled to the Hockey Hall of Fame to see Harry Smith's name on the Cup and was greeted with nothing but disappointment! Harry's name isn't "really" ON the cup, but the historian assured me his name is spiritually "right there". Names weren't engraved on the Cup when Harry and his 1905 Ottawa Silver Seven took the title from the Rat Portage Thistles. But the enthusiasm for Harry is genuine, as he is credited with retrieving the Cup from the canal the morning after captain Harvey Pulford drop kicked it into Rideau Canal while celebrating with his intoxicated teammates. Truly, the Keeper of the Cup! Lord Stanley's original Cup has a permanent home in a vault in the Hall. It is a replica that travels the world to wide acclaim. Another replica is housed at the hall for the hordes of day care rug-rats to manhandle and slobber on while getting their picture taken, (at least while I was there).

So I took a picture of Eddie Shore's name on the Cup instead. "Old-Time Hockey", indeed.
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