Archive for Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Go ahead, try something

January 3, 2001

I am always surprised when I discover that I find myself liking something that I didn't think I did. You know, artichokes, Mozart, using a "real" camera, gumbo, Country Music stuff like that. It reminds me of a conversation Debbie and I had the other day. She was relating the artistic talents of the children of a certain person and asked why some people are more artistic than others. Speaking from my lofty heights of experience, education and abject ignorance, I pronounced in sonorous tones "Genetics." It sounded good at the time. But, I have been thinking about it since then, and I think I may have to apologize to her.

Yes, I am convinced that some people are gifted with certain talents that naturally lead to the artistic. I am also convinced that some of these abilities are hereditary. But, the more I ponder the situation, the more convinced I am that genetics isn't the final answer. To include her side of the discussion, exposure plays a great part in the development of our character, our likes and dislikes perhaps even the very essence of who we are.

I grew up in a roast and potatoes kind of home. Simple American country fare was the staple of the day. I think I may have been in my late teens before I ever had shrimp that wasn't deep-fried and served with ketchup and fries. I didn't know about deep-sea scallops broiled in butter and garlic, served with hot-from-the-oven sour dough bread while seated at an open-air table overlooking the ocean. I didn't know how absolutely heavenly tempura dipped sweet potatoes slices could be. Bean sprouts were just the beginnings of something in the garden, not the wonderful addition to a good oriental meal when saut with that same garlic and butter. Cuban black beans and rice, followed by ropas viejas and then topped off with Cuban coffee almost as thick as the caramelized flan that came for a sweet ending to the meal were completely unknown to me. These simple, yet wonderful delights point out to me the richness of my life that exposure to a wide variety of experiences has added.

It is therefore likely that most of us, and especially our children, would benefit from exposure to the richness that life has. I especially mean all things not sport related. Admittedly, older, more experienced palates best appreciate much that is considered great in the world of art, music and literature. The eloquence of language is best seen after much exposure to the fundamentals of language. The complexity of art and dance becomes more apparent when a person learns disciplines associated with them. The delight of music is enhanced as ever more delightful styles are experienced, giving us a measure by which to compare the richness of say a Jethro Tull composition that echoes the depth of a Mozart piece or the grandeur and simplicity of a Straus waltz.

Exposure to the wide range of possibilities in the world can ignite in each of us the desire to let loose that creative spark that resides in all of us to some degree. To give rein to the imaginative; to free the hidden and often unknown desire to be expressive; to mold that expression into some tangible form is the essence of creativity. It is also the essence of what it means to be human.

The year is just beginning. It could be the year when some new experience kindles a flame that will illuminate areas of your life you never dreamed existed. It might be the year when you discover some part of you that has been hidden before. Perhaps you will find yourself dancing or painting, finding satisfaction in some different style of music or perhaps nothing more than learning to enjoy a new type of cuisine. Although it seems highly unlikely to me at this point, I might even come to appreciate Kenny Chesney's sexy tractor. Assuming, of course, it was even Kenny who has a sexy tractor. Ropas viejas, anyone?


Jan. 6 Youth Basketball Clinic at Baker 9 a.m.

Jan. 8 Tumbling classes begin

Jan. 13 First games for the basketball season.

Jan. 14 Softball pitching clinic (4 weeks)

Jan. 21 Softball skills clinic

March 24 Boater's Safety Course. More details to come.

Adult Basketball (4 on 4) registrations are being accepted now. Cost is $75 per team. Contact the office for more information.

Basketball Pictures: Team and individual photos for this year's basketball program will be taken Saturday morning at the player's clinic. Samples and order forms will be at the clinic. Payment for the pictures will be taken at that time. Come prepared.

Monte the Dancing Bear trying anew dance for 2001.

Baldwin City Recreation Commission; 820 High Street; Phone, 594-3670; e-mail,

Commenting has been disabled for this item.