asdI’ve been hearing about the sport of pickleball from a high school buddy in the Twin Cities for a couple of years and I’ve been more curious lately since I’ve not played racquetball since Northfield Athletic Club/Olympus closed.
So when I read an article in the StarTribune a month ago titled Pickleball continues to gain fans as a year-round sport for all ages in the south metro area, I decided to see what might be available in the area.
It turns out I was slightly behind the curve, as Northfield Public Schools Community Services had already announced a pickleball class for this spring. It starts this week at Bridgewater Elementary. You can register online or just show up with cash in hand:
Join the fastest growing sport around! Much like badminton, tennis and ping pong, pickleball is a game that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. Created during the summer of 1965, pickleball is played on a badminton court with the net lowered to 34 inches, and uses a perforated plastic ball (similar to a whiffle ball) and wood or composite paddle.
Then kick-off pickleball in Northfield with the Southwest Metro Pickleball Club on Thursday April 3, at Bridgewater Elementary from 6 – 8 pm! Get basic instruction on how to play and enjoy a little open play. Pickleball paddles and balls are provided. Offered in partnership with the Northfield Senior Center.
There’s also going to be an outdoor pickleball class this summer at the Northfield Middle School tennis courts. Registration for that opens on April 18.
I went to the orientation session at the Northfield Senior Center last week hosted by Melissa Bernhard, Recreation Coordinator for Northfield Public Schools Community Services and her husband Paul Bernhard, physical ed teacher at Bridgewater Elementary.
My Northfield photography exhibit (Near-Far Northfield) opens in the Northfield Senior Center Gallery next Monday, September 9 with a reception from 5-7 pm. The exhibit runs through Oct. 13.
(Naturally, I have a new Northfield Photos blog and a @NfldMNPhotos Twitter feed.)
Senior Center Assistant Director Patsy Dew (who has her own Patsy Dew Pix photography website) asked me to submit a blurb for the show. I wrote:
I started taking photos of Northfield and its community events in 2003 and publishing them on the Northfield.org and Locally Grown Northfield website. My online gallery has over 300 albums with 15,000+ photos. For this exhibit, I have selected images that feature close-ups of various objects with identifiable scenes of Northfield in the background.
All but one of the photos in the exhibit are Northfield-themed macros, hence the show title Near-Far Northfield. The photo above of the flower on Bridge Square with the First National Bank of Northfield in the background is one that Patsy selected for the show’s publicity post cards. And yes, the photos in the show will be for sale.
For the reception and month-long show, I’m teamed up with friend and Northfield artist Joyce Francis. The blurb on her work:
Joyce Francis is an artist with a passion for a newly discovered medium: gel printing. She writes, “I got hooked in early June and have spent the entire summer totally obsessed with gel-plate printing. This mono printing process is full of magical surprises. Even though the artist has control over the design idea one never knows for sure what will be revealed when the paper is pulled off the plate. The possibilities are endless. “ Francis will be demonstrating this process at the opening reception on Sept 9.
I blogged about Joyce on my Locally Grown Northfield blog back in May 2007 when she displayed her calligraphy at the HideAway. Northfield Patch had an article about her artisan bookmaking back in January of 2012.
After publishing 20,000+ Northfield-related photos in the past decade, I decided to include one in the Third Annual Senior Open, now open at the Northfield Senior Center through Jan. 6. Patsy Dew has once again organized an outstanding group of geezers to display one item from our work:
Jim Haas, Beverly Watson, Ruth Meliza, Marsha Kitchel, Riki Kolbl Nelson, Mary Ruth, Maryrose Gondeck, Patsy Dew, Barb Cleare, Sandy Dinse, Fred Gustafson, Mac Gimse, Kathy Anderson, Marj Gruszewski, John Walters, Larry Torgeson, Greg Smith, Donna Jackson, Walter See, Beverly Steberg, Bob Oates, Pat Oates, Linda Bliese, Sharon Bornhott.
And next Tuesday, Dec. 4, there’s a reception for the artists from 4-6 pm. If you show up, I just might take your photo.
Last week I stopped by the Northfield Senior Center to take a few photos of George Kinney teaching an AARP Driving Safety Course. The Northfield Senior Center, Fall 2011 Program Guide (PDF) describes the class as:
Classroom instruction for motorists over age 50 that may lower automobile insurance rates for three years.
I noticed there were a lot of Buicks in the Northfield Senior Center parking lot. It’s not an urban myth.
Fred Somers, local artist famous for his oil and pastel paintings, stopped by my corner office at the GBM this week to chat.
I told him that my wife Robbie had just signed up for his upcoming two-day workshop at the Northfield Senior Center and I wanted to know if he was qualified to be a teacher. He assured me that he was, and looking at his bio on his web site, I guess he is.
Patsy Dew has the details on Fred’s class in this blog post on Northfield.org. And Jacqueline Pavek has an article in the June 28 Nfld News about the class, too.
Fred continues to pile up the awards for his painting. Last week he won Best in Show at the Red Wing Arts Association’s Plein Air Arts Festival. This article in the Rochester Bulletin has the story: Northfield artist wins Red Wing contest:
Somers, of Northfield, and 29 other artists from the region, painted “en plein air,” the French expression for “in open air,” in Red Wing and the surrounding countryside from Monday to Saturday last week.
The paintings were judged and awards given during a reception at the Depot Gallery on Saturday evening. The judge was Brian Stewart, of St. Paul, a member of the Plein Air Painters of America.
I got an email (see below) from Don Diehl last week about the 2nd Annual Northfield Table Tennis Tournament coming up on May 7th (event flyer PDF). We got together a few days later at the James Gang Coffeehouse & Eatery for him to give me details.
Want to participate? See the registration form on the Northfield Senior Center website.
And see my photos/video from the 1st Annual Northfield Table Tennis Open last year.
Being the racket enthusiast that you are, possibly you’d like to enter/watch the 2nd Annual Northfield Table Tennis Tournament coming up on May 7th at the Northfield Middle School.
Last year’s event was the brainchild of Patrick McKown who now is living in Bethesda, MD and has an internship with North American Table Tennis (a group which organizes tournaments). So, he and I are co-coordinating this year’s event. He makes phone calls/sends e-mails to promote and I get to do the grunt work!
We’re being sponsored by the Northfield Senior Center and we’re looking to enlarge the number of players. We’ll have skilled players from both Rochester and the Twin Cities area as we did last year. You’re welcome and encouraged to participate/watch!