The following Westside Story originally appeared on Tuesday, December 6. Sadly, Publisher Ben Sclair erred by not properly loading the images to the story and prolific author Joe Boyle feels “a lot of folks will have missed the full impact of the total original article.” We certainly can’t have “a lot of folks” miss “the full impact” of Joe’s words. Without further ago…
Publisher Ben Sclair and I hope you will not find this 1st and 3rd person article to be soporific. Stop reading now and plunge yourself into your dictionary or use my link if you do not know the definition of soporific? To be honest, I had my nose buried inside my classic 1894 edition of Funk and Wagnalls dictionary prior to being able to use soporific in this article.
Because I have only an 84 word vocabulary, I always find it exciting to learn a new word like soporific.
And now let’s talk sports. Anyone who knows me knows about my non-existent enthusiasm for sports. I do not watch football, baseball, basketball, tennis, bowling or golf. Yes, I admit it. I am a sports illiterate and therefore cannot be considered a true American.
I do enjoy participating in off-the-wall sports like the time I won The Junior National Banister-Sliding Contest including breaking the 1956 world record at the Sears Building in Chicago. The Sears Building was the tallest building in the world. Today, it is the tallest building in America.
Starting on the 110th floor, I slid down the banister into the basement. I was only 13 at the time. After racing down 98 stories, my banister-sliding regulation leather shorts caught fire as I approached the 12th floor. Not being a quitter, I pressed on to win the event resulting in a trophy and 2nd degree burns. That is why I walk funny to this day.
If you think I am making this up, I can give you a tour of the trophy, plaque and award certificate section of my attic. The National Banister-Sliding contest trophy is displayed right next to my 6th grade dodgeball trophy.
That’s another thing. When I was growing up after the big war, World War II, we had only one trophy per sporting event. There was none of this “everyone is a winner, nor did everyone get a trophy just for being able to breathe at a game”.
By 1945, all of America learned from WWII that you were either a winner or a loser. It was not realistic for Hitler and The Allies to both be declared winners. The Allies won and therefore were awarded the trophy. Hitler lost. No trophy.
In my day, to win a trophy, my 6th grade dodgeball team had to win the game. The team captain was given a trophy. No, I was not the team captain. The second part of the sporting contest required that I beat up the team captain, Allan Lundberg, a rich industrialist’s son, in order to take the trophy home to show off to my parents. We earned our trophies the old fashioned way.
If you think I am making this up, I can give you a tour of the trophy, plaque and award certificate section of my attic. The dodgeball trophy is displayed right next to my National Banister-Sliding contest trophy.
Now that you have some knowledge regarding my rich sports history, let me switch to some third person story telling to inform you about Joe Boyle’s current international sports achievement.
It is not often that one of our own City of Lakewood “favorite sons” has a shot at the Olympic Games.
Favorite Son, Joe Boyle, turned in the best qualifying practice time for a new Olympic event called the Garage Door Mad Dash.
Joe qualified to compete in the 2018, Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
Check out the still photos below with captions to understand the sport and following that the slide show to see Joe perform his record breaking practice dash. The judges were amazed and dazzled by Joe’s speed, dexterity and form especially for such a broken down old guy in his 70s.
Joe’s toughest competitor for the number one spot was veteran Mad Dash racer, Jimmy Howe. Jimmy took himself out of the competition when he lost his form as he shot through the garage door opening head first ending his practice run with a full face-plant on the bone jarring alley asphalt. Had it been an actual winter Olympic run, Jimmy would have landed in a snow drift thereby negating the need for emergency medical aid and avoiding Jimmy’s worrisome 3 month coma.
In a recent ESPN Wide World of Sports TV interview, Joe stated that to become a top Mad Dasher, a racer must keep six race elements in mind:
- The race starting position requires the racer to place one finger tip on the garage door button. Joe stretches as far away from the door button as possible without losing contact. Jimmy was at a big disadvantage because of his stubby arms. Joe, on the other hand, capitalized on the fact that he is a knuckle dragger.
- To make the game exciting for the Garage Door Mad Dash fans, Olympic officials park an old leaky ’92 Honda Accord EX with 280,000 miles in the area of the race course thereby creating an oil and gasoline slick on the garage floor race route.
- Once the racer reaches the “Big brother is protecting you” garage door safety-eye, which is designed to keep homeowners from crushing family pets and grandchildren with a closing garage door, the racer must abruptly skid to a stop and then catapult over the red arrow beam one leg at a time.
- If the racer succeeds in leaping over the garage door safety-eye without causing the door to reverse direction, the racer must land on both feet on a slippery snow and ice packed alleyway. If the door reverses and starts to reopen, the racer is disqualified.
- To give the blood-thirsty Olympic Games crowd the caliber of excitement they are looking for, a USPS style mail truck fully loaded with Christmas catalogs and equipped with snow chains negligently fish-tails up and down the alley. Even if the racer makes a flawless run, the competitor must avoid being knocked down by the mail truck if the racer hopes to capture the gold.
- Joe wears Piloti racing shoes made with the patent pending friction slicing red shoe laces and fire retardant Nomex. These specialty racing shoes help prevent the accidental spark or static electricity ignition of an oil and gasoline soaked garage floor race route resulting in a classic hot foot.
Now through the magic of the camera lens, watch Joe Boyle in his death defying mad dash. Keep an eye on the descending garage door which could crush Joe should he experience a single flaw in the execution of his mad dash.
The magic of technology allows us to animate the above slides to more dynamically show Joe’s race against the garage door.
And the winner of Olympic gold is…
Mary Hammond says
Joe, your article was longer than usual, a challenge for my short attention span. So forgive me if I submit more lengthy comments than usual. My next-door neighbor, who is older than you, Joe, no longer needs to stay in shape for the mad dash from my garage door button to the open driveway on those rare occasions when I have neglected to close the door before taking off for the day. Just recently, I generously installed – for her benefit as much as mine – a coded opener/closer outside. You might look into such a device, though you’d need to give up your dangerous sport if you got yourself one. (Your life insurance is paid up, right?)
btw, gold meDals are won and worn. In the actual Olympic Games, the gold, silver and bronze medals are all made of heavy meTals. To disambiguate, the medal is an award, while metal is the (usually mined) material this reward is made of.
If (as I doubt) you really are in possession of the 1894 F&W Standard Dictionary of the English Language, it’s no doubt a First Edition, and probably worth something, as long as you haven’t been taking it on your cross-country biking trips. You might get some $$$ for it, enough to buy your lovely wife a nice Christmas present.
Did you have to look up “disambiguate?” It’s one of my favorite words.
P.S. Your garage appeared to be empty of vehicles, so you must have had your vehicle(s) – garage door openers inside – parked in the driveway, which means your only motivation for risking life and limb was … a desire for fame? OK, you’re famous. Now, act your age! And you should give credit to your photographer. Was it your lovely wife? Then give her two Christmas presents.
Diane Chamusco says
Joan Campion says
Mary while while your suggestion of a coded control outside would benefit Joe and his wife it would take away one other form of entertainment Joe’s neighbors must continually anticipate and enjoy especially if blaring sirens on emergency vehicles are involved for the rescue efforts.
Not to mention his readers.
Mary Hammond says
Truth be told, Joe has assured me that he already has such a coded opener for his garage door, but he prefers not to use it, as long as he and his agile friends are able to enjoy the sport of jumping the line. And, if he always used the coded opener, he’d have no story.
Linell Jones says
You had me laughing on a day I very much needed it…but then I have always enjoyed your articles! Keep it up. I may have to sit out side your home just to watch the event – would that be considered stalking?
David Wilson says
Inspiring, you should have trophies in track, your sprint and hurdle are spot on!