Spring has sprung and there’s been a lot of chatter around the water cooler at The Star.

Apparently one of our interns discovered that Queen Elizabeth has two separate designated birthdays during the year. The first, April 21, is the actual birth date in 1926 of the Queen. Since that date falls on a notoriously bad period of wet/cold weather, a tradition that had begun back in 1748 under King George II  moves the official countrywide birthday celebration to a summer month if the real date fell during other times of the year.

The monarch’s birthday has been celebrated in the United Kingdom since 1748 with parades and pageantry called, “Trooping the Colours.”  King George had started the tradition after his November birth date, also a bad weather month in London, was a poor choice for a celebratory parade and festivities. So, he picked the second week of June to be his official celebration date. Although Queen Elizabeth had her real birthday on April 21, she’ll get a second shot for parades and partying in early-June.

So yes, you always learn something when you read this column.

All this news about two birthdays led the interns to start taking about two birthdays for the Chief. Only problem, I pointed out, was a couple years ago I used the Ouija Board to determine the Chief’s birthday already falls on June 9th. Granted The Chief never admitted I had it right, but he kept avoiding confirming it as correct. So if he already celebrates in June, why have a second bash the same week. The interns agreed and decided one big birthday party and one big birthday present.

The interns worked hard to come up with a winner. Since The Chief is still rehabbing from his knee surgery, they came up with the idea of installing an outdoor lap pool and lazy river on the back lawn of corporate headquarters. The estimates were high but we thought The Chief might like the idea. The old boy was all “GO” on first sight and started making changes. A cabana bar, drink stations along the lazy river, cookout station, fake palm trees, a waterfall with grotto, inflatable rafts….you name it.

Our senior intern, Babs, quipped, “I don’t know if The Chief will more resemble Hugh Hefner in the grotto or Otis Campbell rambling down the lazy river on an inflatable gorilla, stopping at every other beverage station.”

Admittedly, the interns are quick learners. Well, the digging has begun and the girls headed out to buy their matching Baywatch one-piece swimwear, not to mention sunscreen, sunglasses, beach towels and Jimmy Buffett CDs. The Chief has already given the accounting department a doctor’s statement so this qualifies as a medical deduction. Wow, and I thought the year-end bonuses were extravagant.

Now, before I take a ride down the lazy river, let’s take a look at local sports.

Congratulations go out to the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs for their exciting run through the SPHL President’s Cup Championship series. Knocking off #1 seed Knoxville in the first round, #2 seed Huntsville in the semifinal round before falling in the final to the #3 seed Peoria Rivermen. Best quote of the series from Roanoke veteran Travis Armstrong, “After this President’s Cup run, it’s easy to say hockey is here to stay in Roanoke.”

The Salem Red Sox are off to a good start in the Carolina League season. Upcoming home games at Salem Memorial Ball Park include Myrtle Beach (May 6-8); Lynchburg (May 17-22);Columbia (May 30, no game May 31, June 1-5); Delmarva (June 14-19); Fredericksburg (June 21-26).

High school basketball awards were heavy on “Big-11” teams in the Class 3 ranks. VHSL Class-3 First Team All-State include Stark Jones and Owyn Dawyot (Cave Spring); Ayrion Journiette (Northside). Second Team All-State: Lawrence Cole (Northside). Class 3 Coach of the Year Jacob Gruse (Cave Spring).

2022 Virginia High School Coaches Association All-State Class 3 BHoyse:
First Team: Stark Jones. and Owyn Dawyot (Cave Spring); Ayrion Journiette (Northside).
Second Team; Dylan Saunders and Bryce Cooper (Cave Spring); Lawrence Cole (Northside). Co-Players of the Year: Stark Jones and Owyn Dawyot (Cave Spring). Coach of the Year: Jacob Gruse (Cave Spring).

The Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2022 will include five area baseball players and contributors: Eric Altizer, Ryan Gilleland, Tyler Lumsden, Keith Mayhew and Doug Pence. Renee “Butch” Craft will receive the Wayne LaPierre, Sr. award for contributions to the game. The Hall of Fame banquet will be July 31 at the Salem Civic Center. Watch for more information on the inductees and banquet in a feature article next month.

The Monday, May 16 meeting of the Roanoke Valley Sports Club welcomes former MLB  Milwaukee Brewer star George Canale as guest speaker. A 5:45 social is followed by dinner and the program. Visit the club’s website at to make required reservations.

Until next time, may all your lazy rivers flow counter-clockwise.

Wild Bill




















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