Surgery Room: Dunahoo’s knee troubles double

February 14, 2002 — “Not again!” Johnson High sophomore Megan Dunahoo was screaming. She lay on the basketball court clutching her right knee. Yes, Megan, again. For the second time in less than a year — almost a year to the day, in fact — Dunahoo suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in her […]

Cheerleading: Three cheers for ‘good facials’

February 7, 2002 — There was so much enthusiasm in the gym, I was surprised there was room for anything else. The Johnson High cheerleaders may be small, but their sound is decidedly big. From the moment the Knights opened their collective mouth, they owned the room. They controlled everything inside of it. Including me. […]

Home Brewing: The science of making suds

January 31, 2002 — “GOT BEER??” That was the question posed by Dennis Brown’s baseball cap. I’m assuming it was meant to be rhetorical. I was spending the day with the Chicken City Ale Raisers — Gainesville’s home brewing club — and they always “got beer.” If they run out, they just make some more. […]

Being a Fan: Hoops rivalry turns friends into foes

January 24, 2002 — Clinton Howard stood up and screamed: “Ohhhhh! Ohhhhh! Ohhhhh!” He pointed his finger outward repeatedly at nothing in particular. In several settings, such behavior would merit a trip to the mental ward. But not at a boys high school basketball game between East Hall and Gainesville. No, at such a slugfest […]

Skiing: A lesson in ‘mind over mountain’

January 17, 2002 — The “snow” at Sky Valley Ski Resort near Dillard looks as though it seeped up through a crack in the Earth. There’s a bright strip of white from mountain-top to mountain-bottom, and it’s surrounded on both sides by still-green trees and grass. The scene looks unnatural, and it is. All three […]

Winter Hiking: The refreshment of refrigeration

January 10, 2002 — I went home for the holidays again this year. Bloomsburg, Pa., hadn’t changed much. It never does. The town was just a year older. And, as I was often reminded during my stay, so was I. Annual tackle football games with old friends take longer and longer to recover from. So […]

Mountain Dancing: Good music, good people, good fun

December 27, 2001 — Everything in the mountains is laid back. Even the dancing. “You don’t have to know anything,” John Kelley said to the crowd in the basement of the old Dahlonega Baptist Church two Saturday nights ago. “You can’t make any mistakes.” Advertised as “an evening of old-timey mountain dancing,” the monthly gathering […]

Ballet: One of these ‘kids’ does not belong here

December 20, 2001 — Twelve-year-old Briana Burns turned around and said, “Whoa.” There was a new person in line for her ballet class. And that new person needed a shave. Briana traded her shock in for a smile, though, and extended her right hand for a shake. “My name is Briana,” she said. “I’m 12.” […]

Night Hunting Detail: Putting the pinch on poachers

December 12, 2001 — Ranger Mitch Oliver looked tired. His eyes already showed the wear of a full day’s work. And we still had a long night ahead of us. “There are days when you might work four or five hours,” said Oliver, 26, of Buford. “And there are days you’ll work 16 hours. Today […]

Tracking History: Blue Ridge Railroad buffs uncover mountain mysteries

December 6, 2001 — It didn’t look like a tunnel. It looked more like a common hill, covered with rocks and leaves and moss. But Rutherford Ellis, who is known as “Ruddy” to other members of the National Railway Historical Society’s Atlanta Chapter, stared at the embankment like a prisoner staring at the cell walls […]

Five From Three: Columns that got people talking

November 6, 2001 — When my beloved New York Yankees lost in Game 7 of the World Series on Sunday, two streaks came an abrupt end. The Yankees’ three-year championship run is done. Finished. Kaput. So is my reign of baseball bragging rights in The Times newsroom, where tomahawk chops are preferred to pinstripes. I […]

Georgia-Florida Game: Sleep not in mix at ‘World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party’

October 30, 2001 — If the madness that surrounds the annual meeting between the college football teams from Georgia and Florida is indeed the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” then the game itself is simply the excuse for throwing it. It’s the wedding, the graduation, the reunion, the New Year’s Eve. Just another justification for […]

The Bumper Pool Table Saga: Baton Rouge or bust (Part 2 of 2)

October 16, 2001 — I suppose the skeptical Northerner in me was expecting something different. I was stranded in a small town in the Deep South. Bad things were bound to happen. For every act of kindness, I expected a catch. Sure, someone would patch up our broken-down pickup truck. We’d eventually leave Mississippi, and […]

The Bumper Pool Table Saga: Twilight in tiny Toomsuba (Part 1 of 2)

October 9, 2001 — Richmond Eustis didn’t know what he was getting himself into. Back in August, I e-mailed him the following question: “How long of a road trip would you be willing to make for a bumper pool table?” Richmond had just returned from a long vacation in Turkey. Perhaps he was still jetlagged, […]

Skateboarding: Svitak’s biggest challenge

October 2, 2001 — Kristian Svitak and his skateboard were flying. They launched and landed. They soared above cement. They did so as one. This has always baffled me, the way board and boarder stay connected in midair. There are no straps or adhesives. I watch and wait, always expecting the two to separate, gravity […]

Pilates: ‘This ain’t no sissy stuff’

September 25, 2001 — Mr. Cantore, my high school health teacher, wanted to illustrate to the class that boys — basketball players in particular — are less flexible than girls. So he called me to the front of the classroom. And I proved his point. I was unable to do a simple stretch, like bend […]

Bear Stalking: It’s not fear, it’s excitement

September 18, 2001 — “I just can’t believe that anybody would do that to anybody,” Jim Collins said to me, staring at the road in pained puzzlement. “I don’t care who they are. That’s just beyond my comprehension.” The same conversation, I’m sure, was likely going on in pickup trucks across the country last Thursday. […]

Silver Comet Trail: Bicycling a ‘path to the past’

September 4, 2001 — The drive from Smyrna to Rockmart was nothing special. I spent the first half of it waiting for Atlanta to ease its grip on the greenbelt. I spent the second half eager to remove my bicycle from the back of my friend’s pickup truck. I traveled to this countrified corner of […]

Poker Run 2001: Boats are ‘wild’ on Lanier

August 28, 2001 — I’m still not sure if I really grasp the whole concept of the Poker Run on Lake Lanier — which, for what it’s worth, is touted as the largest event of its kind in the world. On Aug. 18, more than 300 boats participated in this year’s Poker Run, sponsored for […]

High School Football: A day in a coach’s life

“You gotta love it,” West Hall High head football coach Tim Marchman says of his job. “It’s just a way of life around here.” Coaching high school football is a year-round job, filled with long hours and sacrifice. Sporting Life columnist Dan Washburn caught a glimpse of the life of a coach when he followed […]