Karl Lindholm

LIKE THE CLASSIC column by Karl Lindholm, this image made by the inimitable Trent Campbell in 2013 is also a classic around the Addison Independent newsroom. It shows Lincoln Community School student Eli Burgess getting tagged by classmates Creed Stilwell and Neil Guy while Dustin Lavigne looks on during a game of touch football at recess seven years ago. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
Editor’s note: This Thanksgiving column by popular columnist Karl Lindholm is an oldie but a goodie. Originally published in 2001 (all the ages are almost two decades out of date) and then again in 2007. It evokes what is in some ways a bygone era, and yet we feel it is also timeless in its appeal to memories of childhood, family and home. Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.  Driving to Maine for Thanksgiving, I’m thinking about the “Turkey Day Classic,” the annual two-hand touch football game that was played in my neighborhood on Thanksgiving mornings when I...

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD FOOTBALL FAN Dylan Hicks of Monkton watches the Middlebury College big boys practice on a beautiful late afternoon day earlier this month. Panther football and sports at the college in general provided unexpected experiences for students athletes this fall. Photo by Karl Lindholm
Katharine DeLorenzo’s Middlebury College field hockey team has won three NCAA Division III championships in a row with an overall won-loss record in that time of 62-4. This fall season, however, they didn’t win a single game! The Middlebury football team, under Bobby Ritter, was the NESCAC champion last year with an unprecedented 9-0 record (the league went from a schedule of eight to nine games just three years ago), only the third undefeated team in the last 120 years of Middlebury football history.  The Panther football team likewise didn’t win a game this fall, though Ritter said he...

NEW SNOW DUSTS the ground around the 18th hole at Ralph Myhre Golf Course in Middlebury on Tuesday, Nov. 3 — Election Day. Although temps sank to 28 degrees that day, a reprise of 60s and sun visited Addison County in the following days extending the 2020 golf season. Photo by Karl Lindholm
I was hoping to get my pals together for one last round of golf before we shut it down for the winter. Monday night last week, Election Eve, was cold with snow on the way, and, sure enough, the next morning, we were greeted with three inches of heavy snow. I felt some slim hope as warm weather was predicted for the weekend. I checked the tee times page at the website of our local course (Ralph Myhre) and found no times listed for Saturday and Sunday. I figured the course must have closed for the year on Nov. 1, a reasonable end date, most years. I called the golf shop nonetheless, expecting a...

FRANK GRANT IS considered the best of the 19th-century Black ballplayers and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2006. In 1887, while playing for Buffalo, he led the International League in batting with a .353 average. Grant played in Middlebury in 1893 and ’94 for the Cuban Giants against the college boys.
Editor’s note: This is the latest in a series inspired by the centennial this year of baseball’s Negro Leagues. Baseball, the American version of the British games of cricket and rounders, began in an organized fashion in the United States with actual contests in the 1840s. By the time of the Civil War, “base ball” (two words in those days) was a big deal in the U.S.  In the Civil War, both the Union and Confederate armies played the game in their ample downtime. It was a favorite pastime for Black soldiers too: 180,000 freed slaves fought for the North. After the war, these soldiers...

LEFTY JOHNNY PODRES, who hailed from upstate New York just across Lake Champlain, pitched the Brooklyn Dodgers to their first World Series title in 1955 and was celebrated in this Topps baseball card.
It’s October — time to talk a little baseball, right? League playoffs now, World Series coming right up.  Alas, only the hardball diehards in this strangest of all baseball seasons are paying close attention to the end of this baseball season. My friends, there is some great baseball being played right now.  A couple of those diehards, Bill Kingston and I, sat at a table outside the Otter Creek Bakery on a chilly sunny morning recently doing just that, talking baseball. Bill is a lifelong Dodger fan and was proclaiming his loyalties, dressed entirely in Dodger blue adorned with “LA” insignia...
As I write this, It’s almost painfully beautiful outside. It is the weekend of the 25th of September, on Saturday. It’s like a mid-summer day, with temperatures nearly 80, but with fall foliage hastening to turn. I drove into town on this day, late afternoon, from Cornwall, and stopped on Route 30/Main Street, about a mile and half from town, to look east to the Greens, and take it in — and, inevitably, also to take a photograph, or two. I was powerfully moved, overcome. At this point, in the first full week of fall, I swear I can look out at the trees surrounding my house and see the colors...

CHARLEY SYKES, MIDD ’57, goes to the hoop: “He plays with the ease of a pro and is the picture of poise and composure.” Photo courtesy of the family
Editor’s note: This is the latest in a series inspired by the centennial of baseball’s Negro Leagues. “Whether confronting the challenges of world population growth or the nutritional needs of children, building a hospital or overseeing disaster relief, you have been there to serve and to care for the present and future needs of some of the world’s most impoverished people. Your lifetime commitment to CARE and the needs of people in developing countries is a matter of great pride for your alma mater and serves as an inspiration for others who will follow you from this place.” These are the...

MOST RED SOX fans know that Elijah “Pumpsie” Green (above left) was the first African American player for the Boston Red Sox, the last team in Major League Baseball to integrate.
Latest in a series of reflections inspired by the 2020 centennial of Baseball’s Negro Leagues. Larry Doby was the second Black player in the major leagues, first appearing for the Cleveland Indians on July 5, 1947, just 10 weeks after Jackie Robinson’s debut for the Dodgers. Every year on April 15, Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day. There’s no Larry Doby Day.  Unlike Robinson, 28, who had a terrific year for Brooklyn, Larry Doby, just 23, struggled in his first season, playing in only 21 games and batting just .156. The next year, however, along with the ageless Satchel...

THE ILLUSTRATIONS IN Kadir Nelson’s “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball” will take your breath away. The book is a must-read for baseball fans.
Editor’s note: Third in a series on the centennial of baseball’s Negro leagues. Perhaps you have seen the cover of the New Yorker magazine from June 22. It has been widely circulated. This cover is a stunning portrait of George Floyd, from his head to his waist. Floyd’s expression is sober, impassive, expressionless; he looks right out at the viewer — you, me, as if to say, “and what are you going to do about it?” The painting is nearly monochromatic — dark tones, black and gray and brown against a pure white background. Powerful symbolic images of America’s violent racial past are depicted...

BUCK O’NEIL PERSONIFIED, and brought to life, Negro league baseball when he traveled the country in his 90s. This wonderful image created by Mark Chiarello shows O’Neil when he played for the Kansas City Monarchs.
Editor’s note: Second in a series on the centennial of baseball’s Negro leagues. Over the years I have conjured a number of fantasy jobs for myself. None were consummated, of course — reality intruded, but it was fun to imagine myself in these roles. One of my favorite fantasies was traveling the country, under the auspices of Major League Baseball (MLB) or ESPN or the Hall of Fame or some such authority, presenting seminars on baseball’s Negro leagues for people whose profession extends from baseball but who don’t know squat about the Black game in the 60 years the National Pastime was...


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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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