Monday, September 18, 2006

Here We Go Again . . .

New membership year, new fencing season.

I'm startled each new season by the change in tone of our team class. You wouldn't think three or four people leaving would make that much difference in the feel of a class, but it does. The type of change varies from year to year, depending on the kids who leave—some years everybody thinks, "Well, the club just won't be the same without Soandso—he's always been so good helping with the younger kids and keeping the armory organized." Other years, it's "How nice that Soandso has gone off to the other end of the continent to college—his whining was going to drive us all insane."

Most years—like this year—it's a mix. The helpful fencer can nag too much, and the whiners can entertain with their hyperbole, and there are new people to add to the blend. The team doesn't really change for better or for worse. It's just different.

Though there is one very different aspect of this season—we'll have a personal reason to pay attention to the Senior Worlds in a couple of weeks: club alumnus James Williams, now a senior at Columbia, made the American men's saber team.

Now if fencing were only considered as interesting a sport as poker or spelling bees, we could watch it on cable. Ah, well—at least there's still the Internet.