Your house or mine?Superior Curling Club’s open house is Saturday afternoon
By: By Don Leighton, Superior Telegram
The following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in The Superior Telegram.
If you like to have fun, enjoy old friends, eat good food, improve your social skills, and break the “ice” with new acquaintances, (sorry for the pun), you had better be at the Superior Curling Club Open House between 1-4 p.m. Saturday. Lance was invited to their open house last spring and had the time of his life. He may make a return visit to check out the “coolest,” sorry, sport in the world. Food and snacks will be provided and beverages will be for sale.
The sport of curling in Superior has a rich and long history. According to the Superior Curling Club Web site, www.superiorcurlingclub.com, the first record of curling in Superior was in 1893 when the Superior Curling Club was formed. (Please no e-mails as to whether Lance and Billy were there to watch, but I remember it was cold that day.) The sport gained popularity locally and became one of the dominate clubs in the world.
In fact, Superior was world champion in 1965, 1974 and 1978. Three World Championships in 14 years from Superior, Wis. How cool is that? Superior also represented the United States in the 1988 Olympic Games, when it was an exhibition sport, and brought home the Bronze medal at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games held in Albertville, France.
In 1965, Bud Somerville, Bill Strum, Al Gagne and Tom Wright were members of that World Championship team. In 1974, Somerville, Bob Nichols, Strum and Tom Locken were the best in the world then in 1978 Nichols, Locken, Strum and Bob Christman brought the World Championship Trophy back to Superior once again.
Sadly, the only member of all three World Championship’s, Bill Strum, passed away this summer.
In the 1988 Winter Olympic Games held in Calgary, Alberta, the team was comprised of familiar names of Nichols, Locken, Somerville and Christman. The Bronze medalists of 1992 Albertville Games were Bud and Tim Somerville, Bob Nichols, Bill and Mike Strum and Bob Buchanan. You can go the site to read more of the very interesting local origins and history of this great sport.
There are two schools of thought regarding the origin of the sport of curling. Some feel that the sport originated in Europe and was brought to Scotland by the Flemish around the late 1400s. Others believe that the sport originated in Scotland and spread to Europe. The first hard evidence of the sport’s existence is a curling stone dated 1511 found in a pond in Dunblane, Scotland.
Lance and Billy choose to officially honor Scotland with the invention of the game and for developing and standardizing the sport, creating the form of curling that is played today. Another dispute solved by the Lance and Billy Arbitration Association. (Lance concurs. since he is 50 percent Scottish)
Between the late 1400s and today, the rules of the game have not changed very much. What started with a few people on a frozen pond in Scotland has evolved into a game enjoyed by more than two million people worldwide. The sport has grown so much because of what is being stressed at the “Open House” on Saturday: fun, food, friendship and competition. Each of us is competitive and curling appeals to those who like competition. Ergo, (we just had to use that word), each of us will like curling.
Instruction will be offered, complimentary food and snacks will be available, beverages can be purchased, and the only equipment you need to bring is a clean carry-in pair of sneakers. Everything else is provided.
How easy, how much fun, how social and how much food can we eat, are questions that will be answered at the Superior Curling Club, which is located at the Douglas County Fair Grounds, 4700 Tower Ave. You and your friends can even join one of their many leagues that are being formed. In fact, in mid-November, a Junior Curling League will be formed that will be just for the younger curlers in our area. The league is for those curlers between 10 and 21 years of age.
Two-time world champion and Olympic medalist, Bud Somerville, will be there to help with the instruction. This is on par with Michael Jordan showing you how to play basketball. Bud is one of the great treasures of our area. Get a picture and an autograph from one of the finest gentlemen you will ever meet.
For the most in depth story available on the Superior Curling Club and on the championship history of curling in Superior, go to www.amazonbooks.com and order “Curling Superiority” written by John Gidley.
Gidley is from Superior and this book is a must read to discover the incredibly rich history of a local institution. You can purchase the book for $9.95 making it a perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas. Guess whose picture is on the cover? Hint: His first name is Bud.
For more information call Kim Nygaard, 715-399-2995, or Doug Runnoe, 218-391-5419.
Where else can you throw rocks at houses without getting in trouble?
Opinions and/or story ideas can be e-mailed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org