Monday, July 25, 2011

Unsettling Weekend

Although the Westlake H.S. 30 year reunion was great fun indeed and getting together with Denver Wade and his Wabash College football teammate, Seth, was also quite enjoyable, the news from Norway obviously was not.

The news of the Oslo bombing and the subsequent mass murders in nearby Utoya Island was, in a word, shocking.

I heard on the radio that Norway averages 57 murders a year. This senseless act claimed over 80 lives in just a couple of hours.

Cruising The Oslo Fjord

I spent four very pleasant days in Oslo during the month of April in 2010.

Bathing Huts on the Oslo Fjord

There are hundreds of these picturesque huts on the shores of the many islands in the fjord adding to the serenity and fun of the Oslo archipelago.

Norwegian College Students

These kids were enjoying the annual Rite of Spring in Norway as college students took up the good life before final exams.

I found Oslo to be another beautiful, peaceful part of the Scandanavian experience. It was full of idyllic spots and friendly people that I thoroughly enjoyed.

It makes no sense . . .

Summer Reading Continued

An interesting read about the infamous, gruelling pre-season camp that Paul "Bear" Bryant conducted in 1954.

Two busses, with 110 Texas A&M football players, left the Texas A&M campus at College Station for the trip to the drought ridden, speck of a town named Junction in West Texas.

After ten days of practice in temperatures constantly over 100ºF/38ºC with players not allowed any water during practices, only one bus returned to Texas A&M with a mere 35 players on board to play out the season in the old Southwest Conference.

If you love football, this is a must read to understand how tough and brutal football was back in the day.

On a side note, among Bryant's assistant coaches were Jim Owens and Tom Tipps. Coach Owens, a man I admired greatly, was our Head Coach at the University of Washington during my time in Seattle. Coach Tipps, who I believed was the best coach/motivator on the staff, was our Defensive Coordinator. They were both tough on us but not quite Junction tough.

Thank goodness!

This was my second Jo Nesbø crime novel of the Summer, a great read!

Nesbø's lead character is named Harry Hole, no really, Harry Hole!

Harry is a cop in Oslo, nice timing, fighting against neo-Nazis in modern day Norway. The tale intertwines with the history of the Norwegians who volunteered to fight with the Germans during World War II as part of the Waffen SS on the Eastern Front in Russia.

Lots of plot twists and suspense make this another excellent Scandanavian mystery well worth the read.

Why . . .


JMH said...

Just a quick comment: The Norwegian college students pictured are in actuality Norwegian high school students. Being a "russ" (ref. the red clothes) is a celebration at the end of high school.

Enjoy your blog, and I've done so since you were coaching in Italy. Keep it going! :-)

George said...

Thank you for the update!