IT’S POST-LABOR DAY, and we can all drive around town again, just in time for … Mud Bowl!
In the old days, before the valley got as busy as it always is now, Mud Bowl was always held the weekend after Labor Day as a way to extend the summer season one more weekend. It continues to do that, even though it seems that the valley is pretty much always busy 3½ seasons of the year, thanks to great marketing and event promotion by the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce and other organizations.
SPEAKING OF WHICH, in addition to Mud Bowl, it’s also annual Muster in the Mountains Weekend at Great Glen Trails at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road in Pinkham Notch, today and tomorrow.
The camp features a colonial encampment of re-enactors representing the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War and Mountain Man periods from 1750 through 1840. For a trip back in time to the days of the French and Indian War and the Revolution, be sure to drive on up Route 16 to enjoy the festivities. For more information, call (603) 466-3326.
HERITAGE DAYS: Civil War re-enactors will also be at the U.S. Forest Service’s Russell-Colbath House on the Kanc (US Route 112) Sept. 14, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
REC CENTER OPEN HOUSE SEPT 10: Director John Eastman and staff invite the community to an open house at the Conway Rec Center to check out their fantastic new digs at Kennett Middle School (old Kennett High) on Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 6-8 p.m. If you haven’t seen it yet, you definitely want to be there Tuesday night to celebrate.
SO LONG TO P.G. CASE: We were saddened to learn of the passing Aug. 29 of colorful valley character, past Eaton Village Store raconteur/server, former Mountain Ear and Conway Daily Sun writer and past WBNC newsman Peter Griffin “Piggy” Case at age 75.
His PG initials gave him the nickname of Piggy. I first interviewed Peter to do a story on his Cochon et Co. gourmet mustard company for The Mountain Ear in August 1980.
I got to know him better at Mud Bowl when he and former WBNC/WMWV radio legend Danny “DD” Del Rossi were hilarious as a play-by-play announcing team in the early 1980s — sometimes, they even related the football action that was happening on the field!
It is fitting that both Piggy and his longtime partner in crime and valley events promoter Paul “Bosco” Lodi, 72, both died the same year. As we reported in a recent column, Paul’s celebration of life was held at the Omni Mount Washington last month.
According to Peter’s son Jameson, “This fall (or spring) in Tamworth, a gathering will be held (for Case) to toast the living and the dead and tell stories about one of our favorite storytellers.” Stay tuned — and my condolences to his wife, Wendy Damon and family.
As Jackie Howe told me at Mud Bowl Friday, it seems that we have lost many good souls this year.
IN OTHER REMEMBRANCES, MWV Hogs alumni David Cianciolo, Fred Jones, Curt Bartlett and Gary “Hog of Steel” Sheldon will be at Saturday afternoon’s Mud Bowl Hall of Fame ceremonies at the posthumous induction of the late Bob “Tanaka” Tara, a great linebacker and former Canadian Football League player who helped the early Hogs win their string of championships.
Tanaka bartended at several local establishments, including Barnaby’s. He married Hoggette Lynn Kelly. He suffered an apparent heart attack while riding a chairlift at Heavenly Valley, Calif., where he worked. Kudos to Curt Bartlett for bringing this omission of him not being in the Hall of Fame to my attention and to the Mud Bowl Committee for making this at long last happen. Next, Gary says we need to get late Hogs defensive ace Peter Mead in there. I agree.
MUD BOWL FRIDAY SCORES: In opening day of play at Steve Eastman Memorial Field at Hog Coliseum Friday in the double-elimination, 20-game Mud Bowl, in Game 1, the 11-time champion hometown MWV Hogs defeated the Mud Things (one of three local squads, along with the Hogs and two-time champion North Country Mud Crocs), 12-8; the Mud Ducks defeated the Predators, 24-8; the 2005 champion Mud Sharks trounced the 2001 champion Mudcats, 32-12; the Crocs defeated the Mud Dogs, 12-6; the 20-time defending champion Muddas Football Club pulverized the Cumberland (R.I.) Muckaneers, 30-0, and the eight-time champion Nashua Mud Gumbys blanked the Carrabassett Valley Rats, 18-0.
That means today’s match-ups are: Game 7, 12:15 p.m.: Things vs. Predators; Game 8, 1:15 p.m., Hogs vs. Ducks; Game 9: 2:15 p.m., Mudcats vs. Mud Dogs; Game 10, 3:30 p.m., Mud Sharks vs. Crocs; and the Muckaneers playing the Rats at 4:30 p.m. and the Muddas vs. the Gumbys in Game 12 at 5:30 p.m. The Mud Bowl action on Sunday begins at 8 a.m., with eight games slated, ending with Game 20, the Mud Bowl championship, at 3:30 p.m.
In the women’s three-team opening action Friday, the MudMaids defeated the MerMuds, 8-0, in Game 1 and then the MudMaids defeated the Women Mud Dogs, 20-0, in their second game. A women’s game is set for today at 11:40 a.m., between the MerMuds and the Women’s Mud Dogs for the chance to get to face the MudMaids in the women’s finals on Sunday at 3 p.m. before the men’s Mud Bowl finals.
And, don’t miss today’s 37th annual Tournament of Mud Parade at 10 a.m., honoring our local first responders as grand marshals.
AUSTRIA SCHNEIDER CONNECTION: In addition to a South Korean film crew at this year’s Mud Bowl, we’ve got an Austrian production team in the valley to do research on late Austrian Cranmore skimeister Hannes Schneider.
Marcus Knaus and Alassendra Ravinelli of Blue Danube Media first visited four years ago and met with several of us.
They are seeking help to uncover any old photos and stories, so they are meeting Monday, Sept. 9, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. with local ski historians and residents at the Eastern Slope Branch of the New England Ski Museum. They are asking local residents to bring their old clippings and photos.
They are particularly interested in stories and photos of the Schneiders’ arrival at the North Conway Train Station on Feb. 11, 1939.
For more information, call (207) 441-8035 or the Eastern Slope Branch at (603) 730-5044.
BLUES WEEKEND: Don’t Miss the Blues Project featuring blues diva Diane Blue and Cliff Goodwin at Theater in the Wood in Intervale tonight at 7:30 p.m. and the Red Parka Pub re-launches its Blues Sunday night with Jon Butcher and Allen Estes from 5:30-9 p.m. Meanwhile, the Feel the Barn Series continues at the Farmstand in Chocorua Sunday night with a show by Boston singer-songwriter Vance Gilbert at 7 p.m. For more, go to thefarmstand.net.
TUCK’S OPEN MIC: We see that Tuckerman Brewing Company is now doing a Tuesday night open mic. Heather Pierson and the Lazy Anarchists were among those performing on opening night Sept. 3.
JIMMY KEYS AT THE DOOR: British comedian Jimmy Keys returns to the Shannon Door Pub in Jackson Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 9-11. Co-proprietor Tommy Mulkern says tickets are sold out for Monday, but give them a call at (603) 383-4211 to see if any are left for the remaining two nights.
We see on Facebook that Jimmy enjoyed a boat ride on Ossipee Lake this week with Mike and Ingrid Carlson-DeWitt and friends.
IN HAPPY BIRTHDAYS this week, we salute one and all, including: Lynn Jones (belatedly, 9-5); September Quint, Kim Keys, Catherine Elliott and Jackson Selectman John Allen (today); Dan Mulkern (9-8); Friends of Tuckerman Ravine’s Jake Risch and esteemed local landscape artist and Almost There Friday night dancer Robert Gordon (9-9); art framer/Art in the Park promoter Louise Ann Perry (9-10); Raetha Stoddard, MWV Hogs’ Carl Iacozili, Mud Bowl female player Tamara Wood, photographer Tim Shellmer and Whitneys’ Village Inn’s Don Bilger (9-12) and Cranmore bartender Matt Burkett and Bill Vose (Friday the 13th).
OLD CAR CLUB: Lastly, in between going to Mud Bowl and the Muster in the Mountains, be sure to drop by Settlers Green for the MWV Old Car Club’s annual car show, set for the east lawn from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, go to mwvocc.com.
GO HOGS, MUD CROCS AND THINGS — and the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots as they take on the Steelers Sunday night!