Well, here we are in early November.
My countdown to Christmas continues with less than seven weeks to the big day. Yes, I’ve purchased my flocked Christmas tree, the Chief’s present is becoming clearer (assuming I get invited to the company Christmas party) and we’ll review some new gift ideas later in the column to help our readers that are gifting challenged.
But, first we jump into the third of three 10th anniversary columns celebrating the beginning of The Star. The date was November 22, 2007. Fittingly, November 22 is also famous for another celebrity star, like The Chief, getting their start. It was November 22, 1961 that Albert Broccoli began an expansive ad campaign to make Sean Connery, aka James Bond, a star. Granted, The Chief is like our own James Bond and it would be super if we had a few Bond Girls as sports interns. But, I’m getting frustrated having to play the role of Odd Job, Auric Goldfinger’s chubby caddy with the iron hat.
Whispers around corporate headquarters say The Chief may formally celebrate our anniversary with Dom Perignon Champagne for the staff on the Mill Mountain Star overlook. If that’s the case I hope someone around here remembers to cover the Starcam just in case our Bond Girls do show up.
As for The Chief’s Dom Perignon, which began in the 1920s, it’s a combination of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines that is aged a minimum of 7 years by the chef de cave (cellar master), making it a tete de cuvee (top blend). It was the champagne for the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, so if it was good enough for Di and Charley, it should be good enough for us on Mill Mountain. Yes, you always learn something in this column. (Publisher’s Note: Even the Chief – sometimes very much to his surprise . . .)
Now, to local sports, where the “Big-11” high school football playoff picture is becoming clearer. Losses by Byrd and Glenvar in week-9 left Roanoke Catholic as our only undefeated team heading into the final week of the regular season. We have eight of our eleven teams looking to be set for playoff berths heading into this week’s lineup of games. Here’s a look at the standings by region.
Glenvar (8-1) holds down the #1 spot in Region 2C.
Region 3D, which takes the top 8 teams, finds Lord Botetourt (7-2) at #2, Northside (4-5) #4, with Cave Spring (2-7) #7. All three are set for playoff berths.
Region 4D, which takes 8, has Salem (7-2) #4, followed closely by William Byrd (8-1) #5.
Patrick Henry (6-3) improved its position to #6 in Region 5D with their win over Pulaski County last Friday night. Now, the Patriots face undefeated Staunton River this Friday night.
In the VISAA, Roanoke Catholic (9-0) stays firmly at #1 in Division III.
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club looks to football for their November 13th meeting at the Salem Civic Center where former Dallas Cowboy cornerback Aaron Kyle will be the guest speaker. Also on the agenda will be author Mark O’Connell who penned the recent release “The Team the Titans Remember,” a look at the history of Andrew Lewis High School football, coaching legend Eddie Joyce and setting the record straight on the movie “Remember the Titans” (see our feature article in SPORTS). Things kickoff at 5:45, with the dinner meeting beginning at 6:00. Contact Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 for information and to purchase tickets.
Next, to our Christmas gift suggestions where music is in the air. Readers asked for popular gifts from the world of music, so we came up with a pair of possibilities. First is the roll-up piano, a miniature piano keyboard with 88 keys and amplifier that looks like a roll-up table runner. No bulky piano, no need for piano movers and no chance of a candelabra flareup. You’re a portable Liberace.
Also, I’m recommending that you consider an accordion. It was a disaster 7 years ago when I visited a piano dealer for this column and the clerk became furious when I asked questions about the piano lid and the bar that held it up. This time I went smaller with the accordion idea and things only got worse. Asking about the key things in buying an accordion, the sales gal told me the first thing to focus on is the size of my accordion. Admittedly, I looked around for the Candid Camera, Allen Funt and Fannie Flagg, but no dice, she was serious.
Apparently, more keys for advanced players, less for beginners. Same thing for the number of reeds. After getting a tutorial about concertinas, along with diatonic and chromatic accordions, I’m pitching the HohnerCompadre Accordion with wide grille, 31 treble buttons, black finish and gig bag.
Add the previously reviewed catnip blow bubbles plus a baton and you’ll be your neighborhood’s personal Lawrence Welk Show.
Until next time, get the wrapping started while I get into the foudre with my accordion, and send your requests to: email@example.com.