I don't usually enjoy a book about sports,
so reading Boys in the Boat, by Daniel J. Brown,
was definitely a different experience for me.
And, it has become one of my favorite books.
More on the book in a moment. Food seems important at our book club as much as
we try to simplify things. This time Lydia Grace, our hostess, provided just
simple snacks. Well--maybe not so simple. One thing led to another
as she creatively came up with boat-type serving pieces and snacks.
See all the narrow slips (boats), oars and nine crewmen?
The book was about the 1936 University of Washington crew that won the
gold medal at the Berlin Olympic games. See? That doesn't sound to me like
a book I'd like. It was even long, and I had to get three different
copies out of the library to get it all read before book club.
But it was well worth it. Mr. Brown is an excellent writer.
I kept reading snippets to the Gardener and he followed the story along with me.
It took us through the depression, regattas near our college, the dust bowl,
Hitler's propaganda schemes, extreme weather, and inside the lives
of young college men who were just regular guys.
The teamwork was what was the most fascinating and such a wonder
to take in. It was a riveting story and gave me a lot to think about.
"And he came to understand how those almost mystical bonds of trust and affection,
if nurtured correctly, might lift a crew above the ordinary sphere, transport it to a place
where nine boys somehow became one thing--a thing that could not be quite defined,
a thing that was so much in tune with the water and the earth and the sky above that,
as they rowed, effort was replaced by ecstasy."