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Posts Tagged ‘albany’

Over at Bill Littlefield’s Only a Game on WBUR radio, Karen Given recently provided the background on athletic banners made in New England. The radio show is entertaining for all sorts of listeners as it covers anything remotely related to sports.

“The sewing room at New England Flag and Banner is humming with activity,” says Given. “It’s been that way for a while now — the company’s been around since 1892. The current owner, Ned Flynn, has only been in charge since 2006. …

“Among the photos on Flynn’s wall is one of Fenway Park, adorned with red, white, and blue bunting to celebrate the return of baseball after World War II.”

After a mini tour, Given describes the banner-making process: “Staples temporarily hold together full sheets of brightly colored fabric — usually nylon. The paper is used as a stencil to mark the pattern, but the design isn’t cut out. At least not yet.

“Skilled sewers, some of whom have been working here for 30 years, deftly zigzag around the stenciled marks. And finally, the extra fabric is cut off by hand, layer by layer, revealing the design.

“ ‘It’s counterintuitive,’ Flynn said. ‘People think we sew letters on and sew logos on. It’s actually the opposite. What we do is sew the image on and then we cut everything around it off.’ ” More here.

I like to read about longtime businesses like this chugging along in New England. I also like reading about start-up businesses. With three entrepreneurs in the family — including Suzanne (Luna&Stella), Erik (Nordic Technology Group), and John (Optics for Hire) — I am pretty sure the local economy is going to be OK.

Photo: Karen Given/Only a Game

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Photo: Nathaniel Brooks/NY Times
Lyle, Miles, and Ty Thompson have ignited a scramble for Native American recruits at lacrosse programs.

Maybe everyone who follows lacrosse knows that Native American players of the game that Indians invented tend to go to Syracuse University for college sports, but I didn’t.

I read the sports section only if there is a human-interest story, and today a NY Times front page article about a family of exceptional lacrosse players drew me in.

Zach Schonbrun writes, “The Albany lacrosse coaches stared at a small projector screen, searching for the black streak of a three-foot-long ponytail swooping toward the goal.

“They were watching Lyle Thompson, an Onondaga Indian from upstate New York, who has become a Wayne Gretzky-like figure in collegiate lacrosse. …

“He is a strong contender for this year’s Tewaaraton Award, lacrosse’s Heisman Trophy, which has never gone to a Native American. If he does not win, it could easily go to his older brother, Miles, who scored 43 goals in 12 games for Albany last season. And if Miles does not win, their cousin and teammate, Ty, has a chance.

“The Thompsons, who grew up on a reservation in upstate New York, are more than exceptional athletes thriving in the sport of their ancestors, a sport that is still endowed with deeply spiritual significance to Native Americans. They are trailblazers who have upended the athletic world and reservation life, and their success has ignited a scramble for Native American recruits at lacrosse programs across the country.” There’s lots more to the story here.

I especially liked this part, “One recent afternoon, Lyle Thompson, 21, took out a rattle made from the shell of a snapping turtle he had caught while golfing with his oldest brother, Jeremy. He uses the rattle to make music, part of the way he stays connected with Indian culture. Learning the Onondaga language is another.

 Art: Smithsonian Archives
What began as stickball, a Native American Indian contest played by tribal warriors for training, recreation and religious reasons, has developed over the years into the interscholastic, professional and international sport of lacrosse. See Federation of International Lacrosse.

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We’re hopping an early Acela train Wednesday to join Suzanne, Erik, and other family members for Thanksgiving.

I’m assigned to make cranberry sauce, stuffing, and a squash dish. Although I have already placed my ingredients order and can’t use the recipe I just saw at another WordPress blog, you might like to. It’s a maple-citrus-ginger-cranberry sauce.

The blog in question is the public face of a collaboration in Upstate New York, the “From Scratch Club”: “We are a small group of women, living within the Capital Region of NYS (Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs) striving for a sustained connection to the whole food we, our loved ones, and our communities consume.

“We meet twice a month for food swaps, and maybe even a food-related adventure, field trip, cheesemaking party or potluck. Once a month we participate in community outreach at various local farmers markets in our area.”

These ladies understand that the key to enjoying great cooking is to have others to share the results with.

Consider Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is mostly about preparing lots of food and bringing groups of people together to eat the food and talk and not rush off to anything.

This year at Suzanne’s, my sister and her husband will join the fun. Also Erik’s cousin and her family, who have just relocated from Sweden to the U.S. It’s great that little kids will be part of the festivities.

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