Monroe Community College, April 21st, 2020. Except where indicated photos by David Kramer. Note I brought my mask. A jogger I met [more below] said he has not seen the team sports van move in weeks.
Recently, I’ve made excursions to five educational campuses: a high school, a two-year college, a four-year college, a university and an institute. [SEE SERIES AT END]
Today, I visited Monroe Community College. School is in full session — the virtual cloud humming with intellectual activity I could imagine but not see — but the campus was desolate. In an hour stay, I counted exactly six people and saw one riderless RTS bus.
During the excursion, I reflected on where Talker has been at MCC, and what might not happen for a long time. Every September 11th, people gather — vigil-like — on the walkway in front of the 9/11 remembrance site, carrying white roses, then convening for a ceremony in the Samuel J. Stabins Physical Education Complex.
Next September will there be a 20th anniversary? Will be able to socially distance on the Remembrance Walk? Will we be able to gather in the gymnasium to remember and honor victims, survivors and first responders?
In 2016, we attended rallies for Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz at the Stabins Complex’s Monagan Court, and the Bernie Sanders rally at the nearby Bill Grey’s Regional Iceplex. Even if the races were still competition, no rallies will be held before the New York State primary. And probably none during the presidential campaign.
Clinton and Cruz ralliessee An Outsider Looking In: Report from a Clinton Rally at MCC from George Payne and Talker interviewed by Channel 8. Knowledgeable supporters back Cruz’s gold standard
In 2014, I watched Kenneth “Cruz Control” Cruz work out at the MCC baseball field with two SOTA teammates. The 2020 MCC baseball season is cancelled.
THE REST OF THE EXCURSION
I met jogger Zachariah Barfield, a UR doctoral student in physics living in the apartments on East Henrietta Rd near MCC. We don’t know for sure, but the jogging path in the wooded area might be closed due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Doing his experiments in plasma physics at the UR Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Zach is able to continue his research, but with some delays caused by the pandemic. While Zach loves what he does, he’s going a little stir crazy. His apartment room designed for relaxation has now also become his office. Suddenly, work and play are more intertwined than Zach prefers. His head space is messed up. Hence, the jogging. Last time he was out, he saw one other runner. Zach hasn’t seen the Tribune team sports van move in weeks.
My route to campus began in the fitness and disc golf trails in the rear of the college. Today, the disc golf object course was unused.
My disc golfing friend educated me on some of the sport’s terminology and history. Its original name, Frisbee Golf, not been used since the mid-1970s. More significantly, Rochester — like Cooperstown for baseball — is considered the ur-home of organized and sustained disc golf competition. This year marks the 50th anniversary of league play:
Before 1973 and the invention of the disc golf target called the disc pole hole, there were only a few disc golf object courses in the U.S. and Canada. Despite having never heard of the International Frisbee Association (IFA) that Ed Headrick and Wham-O had put together, or ever seeing a copy of the IFA Newsletter, Jim Palmeri, his brother, and a small group of people from Rochester, NY, had been playing disc golf as a competitive sport on a regular basis since August 1970, including tournaments and weekly league play. By 1973, they had even promoted two City of Rochester Disc Frisbee Championship events which featured disc golf as the main event. (Wikipedia)
As seen on the basket # 9 sign, the yellow/black numbers — 228 and 264 — refer to the distance between the tee pad and the basket. The par is three. My friend says these days almost no one plays the black approach.
On hole #9 — considered a “monster” — players must throw over water. The pond takes its fair share of misdirected discs. Players are often seen fishing out floating or sinking discs from the pond — to the detriment of their smartly coiffed disc golf outfits.
As discussed on the Greater Rochester Disc Golf Club website, Rochester events have been cancelled up until the Saturday, June 27th GRDGC Series Event at the Parma Disc Golf Course, Spencerport, NY. My friend believes that disc golf is not legally prohibited, but the GRDGC has urged its members to practice scrupulous social distancing. Unfortunately, he has heard that some players are not maintaining adequate personal spacing, not wearing masks or playing in too large groups that he calls, “mobs.” My friend is not sure if the PATH CLOSED sign directly refers to the disc golf course. It may be that with the campus closed, MCC authorities don’t want anyone skulking around on the trails.
UPDATE 4/24: My friend, d.t., said he’d that he seen a DISC GOLF COURSE CLOSED sign at the iceplex entrance. A bike trek confirmed he had. On the 18th hole is a tire — once a part of the fitness circuit — chained to two trees — and now used as as a lost-and-found receptacle for wayward discs. Players put names and phone numbers on their discs: drivers, mid-range and putters. When someone finds a disc lost in brush, they leave the disc in the tire and call the owner.
Inside the tire are two empty Ruby Grapefruit White Claw Hard Seltzers (5% alcohol). In the first disc golf game — Bladworth, Saskatchewan, 1926 — players threw tin lids. Perhaps players were using the spiked seltzer cans as discs, storing them in the tire. More likely, the trashed cans prove my friend’s initial hypothesis: the sign was posted by MCC authorities to discourage people from skulking around on the trails.
While I was looking for a picture of Carol from her time at MCC, I came across a thick file folder labeled “Miscellaneous Correspondence.” The following is the last paragraph of a letter written to the MCC Math Department in 1990 by David Sestito, one of her Calculus I students (included here over her objection).
When we discovered Mr. Sestito runs a Rochester company that designs and manufactures guitar effects — Leslie Simulator, Chorus effects, Univibe, Overdrive/Distortion, Echo, Tremolo — the discovery confirmed Carol’s prediction that David’s work ethic and commitment would lead to success.
I have an autograph from the only MCC grad to be Mayor of Rochester: Robert Duffy, associate degrees in Recreational Leadership, 1975, and Criminal Justice, 1988. On 12/21/2010, I ran into Duffy at Silver Cleaners & Launderers on 245 Andrews Street. At the time, Duffy was Lieutenant Governor elect. My hope was that Cuomo would run and win for president, making Duffy the Governor, thus raising the value of his signature.I couple of years ago, I ran into Duffy at Thimble Tailor at Topp’s Plaza in Brighton. I told him about the signed dry cleaning ticket from Silver Cleaners. Duffy said that the owners had retired, moved to Florida and the store was closed. Duffy was wistful about the ending of Silver Cleaners which — as he wrote on the ticket — he had patronized since 1977.